What was previously held as an annual mixed martial competition from 1994-1999 in Japan, Vale Tudo Japan has become a legendary event that helped pave the way for modern MMA.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Rickson Gracie was dominant in his tournament victories during the first two years of competition and helped put the sport on the mainstream map.
The legendary tournament now returns with VTJ 1st, which will have all match-ups take place inside of a cage rather than the traditional ring. The event takes place on Dec. 24 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium and live on SkyperfectTV in Japan.
In the main event, SHOOTO legend Rumina Sato battles DREAM bantamweight favorite Hideo Tokoro.
To add to the excitement, viewers will also see three “JAPAN vs. USA” bouts. Current SHOOTO welterweight champion and former UFC fighter Kuniyoshi Hironaka (20-8) will be taking on UFC veteran Carlo Prater (30-12-1) in a highly anticipated lightweight match-up. Longtime SHOOTO veteran Mamoru Yamaguchi (26-6-3) will be representing Japan in a flyweight showdown against the USA’s Darrell Montague (11-2). The number 1 SHOOTO prospect, 23-year-old Kyoji Horiguchi (8-1) will take on UFC veteran and current Tachi Palace Fight champion Ian Loveland (16-9).
Takeshi Inoue (21-6) vs. Kenji Osawa (18-10-2)
Megumi Fujii (25-2) vs. Mei Yamguchi (10-4-1)
Keita Nakamura (24-5-2) vs. Nobutatsu Suzuki (9-0-2)
Daisuke Hoshio (7-6) vs. Kuntap Weerasakreck (0-1)