by MMAWeekly.com Staff
SHINJUKU, TOKYO – Streams of screaming neon, high pitched shrieking sounds, and people everywhere is what we can find around Shinjuku Station, a convoluted area of Tokyo that sees more than two million people successfully pass through each day.
On Monday, in the midst of this neo-Japan scenario, fans and strangers alike gathered right outside the station and the nearby Tokyo red light district better known as Kabukicho to greet and cheer for the 20 fighters that were part of a live weigh-in and brief press conference to preview Dream 9′s Featherweight and “Super Hulk” openweight tournaments to take place Tuesday night in Japan.
The theme of the press conference consisted of every fighter asking fans and non-fans alike to tune in for the show on local Japanese TV channel TBS and support the live event Tuesday night at Yokohama Arena.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, perhaps the biggest name currently in Japan MMA, spoke briefly about his anxiety leading to the match against decorated American Greco-Roman wrestler Joe Warren. “I’m cool,” he replied to a question about the injury that has sidelined him for the past one and a half years. “I’ll do my best so that I won’t kill.”
In another of the most anticipated matches for Dream 9, former Shooto champion Tatsuya Kawajiri refused to shake hands with former HERO’s champion Gesias “JZ” Calvancante at the weigh-in. When asked about it, Kawajiri told the press, “My heart is already in fight mode.”
On the other side, and indifferent to the challenge presented by his Japanese opponent, Calvancante told the press that it was “ok” for Kawajiri to adopt whatever mood he wanted before the fight and that he will show inside the ring who really is the strongest.
Finally, former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco, scheduled to make his MMA debut against Korean Techno Goliath Hong Man Choi, told the press his impression about his opponent. “This was my first time meeting a person bigger than Bob Sapp. Frankly speaking, I’m afraid. But in baseball I did various challenges and succeeded. I hope I can do a good fight tomorrow.”
Dream 9 official weights:
-Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (83.7 kg)(184.5 lbs) vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller (84 kg) (185.1 lbs)
-Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (62.2 kg) (137.1 lbs) vs. Joe Warren (62.6 kg) (138 lbs)
-Masakazu Imanari (63 kg)(138.8 lbs) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (62.8 kg)(138.4 lbs)
-Yoshiro Maeda (62.8 kg)(138.4 lbs) vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (63 kg) (138.8 lbs)
-Abel Cullum (62.7 kg) (138.2 lbs) vs. Hideo Tokoro (62.7 kg)(138.2 lbs)
-Tatsuya Kawajiri (70 kg) (154 lbs) vs. Gesias “J.Z.” Calvancante (70 kg)(154 lbs)
-Gegard Mousasi (99 kg)(218 lbs) vs. Mark Hunt (130 kg)(286.6 lbs)
-Jan “The Giant” Nortje (160 kg) (352.7 lbs) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (102 kg)(224.8 lbs)
-Hong Man Choi (150 kg)(330.6 lbs) vs. Jose Canseco (115 kg)(253.5 lbs)
-Ikuhisa Minowa (89 kg)(196.2 lbs) vs. Bob Sapp (145 kg)(319.6 lbs)