Glory Sports International (GSI), owner and operator of the Glory World Series, announced today that it will be responsible for presenting ‘DREAM 18 – Special NYE 2012’, a New Year’s Eve MMA mega-event taking place at the Saitama Super Arena on December 31.
“We are very fond of the DREAM brand and the company’s world-class production team. The GSI team is passionate about Japanese MMA and is intent on restoring it to prominence. The DREAM 18 event on New Year’s Eve is a first step towards this goal,” states Pierre Andurand, chairman of Glory Sports International.
“New Year’s Eve is traditionally the high point of the martial arts calendar in Japan,” continues Andurand, “and DREAM has staged superb events at Saitama for the past four years. This year, GLORY will be taking over presentation of the event and you will see a better production than ever before. Fans worldwide can expect a spectacular show.”
New Year’s Eve shows at Saitama Arena have traditionally involved both MMA and kickboxing bouts and that will continue with this year’s event, entitled ‘GSI presents DREAM 18 – Special NYE 2012’. Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi, Shinya Aoki and Joachim Hansen are a few of the MMA stars that have featured on previous New Year’s Eve shows and fans can expect a similar level from this year’s event.
A press conference was staged in Tokyo today, during which further details of the event were revealed. Mr Andurand explained that GSI is taking over and presenting the New Year’s Eve show rather than partnering with DREAM and thus the one-off event can essentially be considered part of the GSI portfolio via the company’s Japanese sub-division Glory Sports KK.
Present at today’s conference call were three Japanese fighters confirmed for New Year’s Eve. They are DREAM featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya, the ‘Crusher’ Tatsuya Kawajiri and the lightweight contender Satoru Kitaoka. Announcements regarding participating international fighters are expected in the coming weeks.
There will be ten MMA fights and three kickboxing matches. GSI vice-president of business development Bas Boon told the press conference that the tradition of having kickboxers fighting under MMA rules and MMA fighters competing under kickboxing rules would likely continue on this event, although participating fighters were not specified.
A media conference call is also to be held this week and will be announced separately. It will feature GSI Chairman Pierre Andurand and Managing Director Marcus Luer plus participants in the New Year’s Eve event.
New Year’s Eve will be GSI’s second visit to Japan in December.
The first will be December 2 when ‘GLORY 4 TOKYO: Heavyweight Grand Slam’ takes place at the Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Greater Tokyo. The revolutionary 16-man one-night tournament features the world’s top kickboxing heavyweights fighting through a four-stage elimination tournament for a purse of $600,000 and a grand prize of US$400,000.
Among the entrants to the tournament are World No.1 ranked heavyweight Semmy Schilt and the legendary icons Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts and Jerome LeBanner. Top contenders Daniel Ghita and Gokhan Saki have confirmed participation and so have knockout artists Sergei Kharitonov and Errol Zimmerman. Other entrants include rising stars such as Filip Verlinden, Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva, Brice Guidon, Rico Verhoeven and Jamal Ben Saddik.