Jorge Santiago says Brian Stann is the perfect opponent for him, declares he can beat Anderson Silva

Speaking via Heavy.com, Santiago said:

“I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. Come back to the United States, fight in the UFC, Brian Stann, an American hero, main card, May 28th. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity, you know?”

“As soon as I heard he was the guy I was supposed to fight, Brian Stann, he’s [making] a lot of noise, I was like, `man, perfect, right away, yes.’ Like I said, I want to come back to the United States and face the best guys, and right now, he’s an [up-and-coming] fighter, and I think it’s the best time for me to prove myself to all the American fans, you know?”

“There’s a lot of people doubting me because I’m not here, I’m not fighting the guys everybody sees on every month on TV, because the Japanese fighters don’t get the same exposure here in the United States. Like I said, I’ve fought a lot of good guys, I’ve [beaten] a lot of good names, I’ve [won] a lot of titles in my life, but I just want to come back and take it one step at a time.

I’m getting back to the UFC; I’ll have this fight, of course, one day, I want to fight for the title, but I just want to prove myself and do everything I did in Japan. I want to [do the same things here in the UFC.] Sky’s the limit, my friend.”

Santiago also spoke about how he feels he stacks up against current UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, explaining no one is unbeatable and that he’s more than capable of getting the job done.

“Of course; nobody is unbeatable man, we know that. With the right game plan, I think one advantage I have to my game is that I know how to mix it up. I’m not just a striker; I do jiu jitsu, wrestling. If somebody wants to come and just bang, it’s not something that I’m going to do. I’m going to chose what I want to do. We saw the fight against Chael Sonnen; everybody has their weaknesses, their bad day. I think I have a big chance.”

 

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Jean-Claude Van Damme has chosen a promoter and country for his fight

By Dave Walsh

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and it did. We’ve been talking about this mythical fight Jean-Claude Van Damme has been preparing for now for just about two years, and it never felt any closer. There were talks of having Golden Boy promote the fight in Vegas, but after contacting the NSAC it was clear that they had never heard from anyone about a JCVD fight, ever, and that it would be a big risk for Oscar De la Hoya and his crew.

There were talks about China, Thailand, Japan, getting K-1 to promote the fight. There were dates, it was pushed back due to JCVD’s schedule, trouble finding a suitable promoter. The list goes on and on and on and sadly, on. But it seems like JCVD has finally found suitable business partners and an arena to host such an event as a kickboxing fight against Somluck Kamsing.

Apparently the legendary Fairtex gym will be hosting JCVD’s fight in November or December of this year in Thailand. Banjong Bussarakamwong of Fairtex will be promoting the fight and is currently looking for a suitable 30,000 seat arena, possibly the Impact Arena or the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium. There are talks about the fight being broadcast live across the world as well and Kamsing was given a 200,000 baht down payment (about $6,500).

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Kato and Sakakibara Open Up Shop. Japan Cup – Bantamweight GP?

By Daniel Herbertson

The new promotion spearheaded by former Pride FC president Nobuyuki Sakakibara and former Pride FC vice president Hiroyuki Kato is gaining momentum as the pair have moved into an office in Shibuya, Tokyo and have started to flesh out the details of their Spring event.

It has been decided that Kato will be the face of the promotion while Sakakibara will be working behind the scenes due to Sakakibara’s past legal issues and the plan at this stage is to have the event at either JCB Hall or Yoyogi No. 2 Gymnasium.

The event will be called something along the lines of “Japan Cup – Bantamweight GP” and will include several fighters that fought under the DREAM banner and obviously a bantamweight tournament. DREAM champions Shinya Aoki and Hiroyuki Takaya and top lightweight Tatsuya Kawajiri were being targeted, but have since been lost to Strikeforce. The loss of Aoki is quite surprising as Kato has personally been paying Aoki for his fights in DREAM.

The event will not be a major production or a replacement for DREAM or Pride FC, but will be around the size of Shooto’s Vale Tudo Japan. DREAM was planning on holding a bantamweight GP in 2011, but it now seems unlikely.

 

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Kazuhiro Nakamura coming to fight in America? Yoshida returning to Judo?

By N.O.B

Some possibilities for the futures of a couple of Yoshida Dojo fighters.

J-Rock boss Kokuho hinted that Olympic gold medalist and retired MMA fighter Hidehiko Yoshida himself might return to Judo as a leader/coach from April 25th and onward (that’s the next date that you can register as one).

Kazuhiro Nakamura said that he had hoped to fight in Japan but since no fight has been decided he’s looking abroad. The plan is for a fight in America in either May or June and he should be able to announce it soon.

Also, as reported previously, Yoshida Dojo fighter Michihiro Omigawa’s next fight will most likely be at the end of May UFC Las Vegas event or the June UFC Vancouver event.

 

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Tim Kennedy Eager to Make a Statement in Battle with Melvin Manhoef

By Ben Fowlkes

When Tim Kennedy steps in against Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce this Saturday night, it will have been nearly seven months since his last fight — a narrow decision loss against Strikeforce middleweight champ RonaldoJacare‘ Souza.

If you ask Kennedy, seven months is much too long without somebody to punch in the face on live TV. And it’s just possible, he’s willing to admit now, that maybe he didn’t handle the layoff all that well.

“I don’t mean to use an inappropriate metaphor, but you know that guy who really wants to go home with a girl, and it’s two o’clock in the morning and the bar’s closing down and he’s just going after everybody? He doesn’t care what they look like or what they weigh, he’s just up for anything? That’s how I’ve been feeling about a fight,” Kennedy told MMA Fighting. “Like, how about you? How about you? Just anybody.”

He’s still not entirely sure why it was so difficult to get an opponent and a date. Originally he’d hoped to get a rubber match with Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and he’d heard that Miller was willing and able. When that fight failed to materialize, Kennedy started to get a little desperate for some action.

“I was asking my confidants like, should I just start talking smack about people? Should I go to Japan? Should I go to Brazil? I was that really creepy guy outside the bar being like, ‘Hey, what are you doing later?’ I just wanted to fight.”

Ask long and loud enough, and ye shall receive. Eventually.

 

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Yamamoto prepares for March 19th fight with Akihiro Gono in Tokyo for Krush

By EK

K-1 MAX fighter Yuya Yamamoto held a public practice session on Friday as he prepares for his March 19th Superfight against Mixed-Martial-Artist and former All-Japan Kickboxing champion Akihiro Gono.

Yamamoto has found success in the smaller Krush promotion winning his past two fights including a knock out win over Masakazu Watanabe this past January whereas he’s struggled on the bigger K-1 stage losing his last three fights.

Krush recently announced a -70kg Tournament (K-1 MAX weight) kicking off April 30th and baring any injuries, I would expect to see particiaption from Yamamoto in the tournament regardless of the outcome in his match against Gono.

 

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Gomi Wins! Starting Off 2011 In A Good Way

By N.O.B

Takanori Gomi won the 2011 ADCC Asia Trials in the 77kg division on the 27th in Japan. He faced “Former Super High School Student” Tetsuya Yamada in the second round and won via points. It seems like he racked up the points with his strong wrestling.

Tetsu Hadairo won the tough 66kg division (defeated Kohei Yasumi in final), Korean Doo Kwang Jeon won the 88kg division, Yoshihiro “KISS” Nakao student Animal Anzai won the 99kg division, and the beast Hideki “Shrek” Sekine won the +99kg division.

 

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