Japan Cup Tournament Delayed, Now Starts April 26thAn upcoming eight-man bantamweight tournament, dubbed the Japan Cup, has been delayed by eight days and will now begin on April 26th. A source close to the new promotion confirmed to MMARising.com on Tuesday that fighters competing on the card have been notified of the change in date.

Spearheaded by former Pride Fighting Championships president Nobuyuki Sakakibara and vice president Hiroyuki Kato, the Japan Cup will feature a three-round bantamweight tournament that spans across two events. The winner and one or more of the semi-finalists will advance on to DREAM.

Names of the tournament participants have not yet been released, but MMARising.com has learned that a number of Japanese fighters are confirmed to compete. As previously reported, the quarterfinals and semi-finals of the tournament will take place in one night, with the tournament final to follow in May. The timetable for the final may also be adjusted to accommodate the date change for the April card, but this has not yet been confirmed.

The tournament champion, along with one or more semi-finalists, will then advance on to take part in the planned DREAM Bantamweight Grand Prix later this year. The Japan Cup tournament is expected to feature Japanese and possibly Korean fighters only, while tentative plans for the DREAM GP call for an international affair with fighters from around the world.

A reason for the delay is not known, but recent earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan have likely hindered the promotion’s ability to assemble its first event. A venue for the April 26th event is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks and will likely seat between 2,000 and 3,000 spectators.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)