by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
K-1 HEROS has announced three additional fights for its March 12th event at the Nagoya Rainbow Hall.
Kazushi Sakuraba returns to action after his controversial fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama at K-1 Dynamite 2006, where Akiyama was caught cheating by applying an illegal substance to his body. Sakuraba faces famed European playboy Jurij Kiselov, who sports an 0-2 record in MMA.
HEROS 187-pound tournament runner up Melvin Manhoef takes on former King of Pancrase Yoshiki Takahashi. Manhoef is coming off a submission loss to Yoshihiro Akiyama at HEROS 7. Takahashi is coming off a quick knockout loss to Vitor Belfort at Pride Critical Countdown Absolute 2006 and recently participated in BodogFight against Mark Burch.
In addition, Pride veteran Yoshihisa Yamamoto takes on former New Japan wrestler Katsuyori Shibata. Yamamoto is coming off a loss to Don Frye at HEROS 7. Shibata’s only MMA fight came at Jungle Fight 2, where he defeated Ice Man by submission in the first round.
Also scheduled to participate is HEROS 154-pound Tournament 2006 Champion Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti, but his opponent has not yet been determined.
When reached for comment, K-1’s United States pay-per-view distributor, Integrated Sports, said that the company does not currently have any plans to distribute this particular K-1 Hero’s event on United States pay-per-view.
The full card is listed below.
Nagoya Rainbow Hall
March 12, 2007
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Jurij Kiselov
Melvin Manhoef vs. Yoshiki Takahashi
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro (#7 Lightweight in the World)* vs. Ryuki Ueyama
Hideo Tokoro vs. Katsuhiko Nagata
Caol Uno vs. Ali Ibraham
Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Andre Dida
Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti vs. TBA
* Based on MMAWeekly Rankings