by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Dream Stage Entertainment, the parent company of Pride Fighting Championships, has announced a list of the potential participants for Pride 34: Kamikazi on April 8th. For the first time in Pride history, the U.S. Pay-Per-View will air live from Tokyo, Japan.
Fighters expected to participate include:
-Eric “Butterbean” Esch
Wanderlei Silva has been medically suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until April 11th due his knockout loss to Dan Henderson. Although the NSAC has no jurisdiction in Japan, the commission does expect fighters to honor its mandated suspensions worldwide. If Silva chooses to compete in Japan while he’s still medically suspended by the NSAC, it may be difficult for him to secure a fight license for future American events.
When reached for comment by MMAWeekly, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said that he had spoken with Pride representative Matt Hume and was assured that Silva would only fight if he’s medically cleared.
Kizer said, “If Mr. Silva is cleared by a doctor there [in Japan], our doctor will look at the medical records and determine whether to lift the suspension three days early. If not, Pride will not let him fight.”
Denis Kang is also listed as a participant, but may not be able to fight due to an injury. The American Top Team fighter recently broke a bone in right hand during his recent win over Jung-Kyu Choi in South Korea.
Although no match-ups have been officially announced, it has been reported by Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network that Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has accepted a fight with Ricardo Arona. Sokoudjou pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent MMA history when he knocked out Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in just 23 seconds at Pride 33 last month.
Other fighters rumored to participate include:
Jon Olav Einemo