Thomson vs Kawajiri, Sakuraba vs Zaromskis Planned For K-1 Dynamite!!Two more bouts are planned for K-1 Dynamite!! “Power of Courage 2010” on December 31st in Saitama, Japan. Former Strikeforce champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson will face one-time Shooto ace Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri, while Kazushi Sakuraba challenges Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis. first reported on the Sakuraba-Zaromskis bout, which will be contested for Zaromskis’s DREAM Welterweight Championship, while was first to report the Thomson-Kawajiri matchup. Both fights have yet to be announced by Fighting and Entertainment Group.

Thomson (18-3-0, 1 NC) previously expressed a desire to fight Kawajiri in a November interview, but talk centred around the possibility of a trilogy bout between Thomson and current Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez. Thomson upset Melendez to capture the title in 2008, but lost a five-round decision in the rematch last December. The third meeting between the two will have to wait, as Thomson will now travel to Japan for the first time in well over five years to face a tough opponent.

Kawajiri (26-6-2), a former champion in Shooto, rose to fame in Pride Fighting Championships before moving on to DREAM. He advanced to the semi-finals of the promotion’s 2008 Lightweight Grand Prix before falling to reigning Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez, but rebounded with four straight wins. Those victories set up a long-awaited matchup with DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki at Dream.15 in July, but Kawajiri was quickly taken down and eventually submitted with an achilles lock. He will look to get back on the winning track against Thomson, a well-rounded fighter like himself.


Sakuraba (26-14-1, 2 NC), often referred to as “The Gracie Hunter” for his past triumphs over members of the famed Gracie family, has struggled in recent years as age and injuries take their toll. He has won just two of his last six fights, but tasted defeat just twice in 12 bouts prior to the recent losing skid. Known for his crafty submissions and ability to take obscene amounts of punishment, Sakuraba is a legend in Japan and remains one of the top draws in DREAM. Despite losing his last two fights, he will challenge for Zaromskis’s title on New Year’s Eve.

Zaromskis (13-5-0, 1 NC) is also on the road to redemption. Despite holding the DREAM title, he is winless in his last three fights; all of which took place inside a Strikeforce cage. Prior to that, Zaromskis had won nine of ten bouts and captured the DREAM Welterweight Championship with two head-kick knockouts. He scored a third head-kick KO last October, but has yet to achieve victory so far in 2010. Zaromskis will have one last chance to end the year on a high note when he faces Sakuraba, who will be looking to score a major upset over the champion.


K-1 Dynamite!! “Power of Courage 2010” takes place on December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event will air live on HDNet.



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