ALPHA-1 NEWS January 1st, 1998
The new ALPHA-1 management decided to ride the wave of momentum created by the announcement of a new way of organising the company and unveil some upcoming ALPHA-1 events!
ALPHA-1 Warriors of the Ring - February 8th, 1998
The first episode of the TV series held under new rules will see a prestigious main event, as Naizen Hamacho, a young kickboxer from Mok Kar Dojo whose impressive 7-0 record gave him a 5th place in Tier I of the Lightweight Division faces a fighter 1 place higher in the division ranking, Wudang Academy's Shizuya Nakae, the bowling ball-headed, no-nonsense ground-and-pounder with a 23-11 record, whose recent winning streak lifted him to rank #23 in Blurcat's Lightweight world ranking. Let not the less-than-stellar record of Nakae fool you, this is the greatest challenge young Hamacho has ever faced.
A very similar story, although this time from the Heavyweight division, will be seen in the semi-main event, as 5th ranked in Tier II Gyokusho Fujimoto, the elite kickboxer rightly nicknamed "Fujizilla" and considered one of the hardest strikers in the division, has challenged 3rd ranked Ikuhisa Tamura, a veteran wrestler. Again, a youngster's perfect record - 6-0 - is pitted against a much more ambivalent but way bigger one - 19-8. What makes this fight even more interesting is that both of the fighters train at the J-1 Circle camp, and with the hostility between ALPHA-1 and J-1 this fact can not be seen as a coincidence.
The new ALPHA-1 management seems very keen on giving young talent a chance, as at the top of the undercard we find a third youngster vs veteran fight. This time, however, it is the veteran that seeks to prove himself, as Naoki Itoh who is the best fighter in the Tier III of Light Heavyweight division with a 22-15 record and an unfortunate losing streak seeks to turn the tide by defeating the 5th ranked fighter of Tier II, the 5-0 Gekko Goto. Itoh is feared for his big left hand, but challenging "The Iron Wolverine" with his submission skills and Top Team Japan credentials might prove too much for him!
The last (though first chronologically) bout of this installment of Warriors of the Ring has much lesser difference in age, but still a big one in experience. Kafu Bunya, whose 9-0 record in local tournaments failed to give him anything more than a 4th place in Tier III of Welterweight Division, aims to correct this injustice by facing a veteran Jungo Futagawa, who with his 16-8 record and a recent winning streak tops the third Tier of the division. "The White Hope" is a T'ai Chi student trained at the Way Of The Crane's Beak, while the older "Spirit Of Ancients" is a Muay Thai specialist, so we can expect a very dynamic, strike-based fight!
Warriors of the Ring 8.02.1998 Prediction Card:
ME Lightweight: Naizen Hamacho (7-0, I 5th) v Shizuya Nakae (23-11, I 4th)
SME Heavyweight: Gyokusho Fujimoto (6-0, II 5th) v Ikuhisa Tamura (19-8, II 3rd)
Light Heavyweight: Naoki Itoh (22-15, III 1st) v Gekko Goto (5-0, II 5th)
Welterweight: Kafu Bunya (9-0, III 4th) v Jungo Futagawa (16-8, III 1st)
ALPHA-1: Miyagi vs. da Guia, March 1st, 1998
In three of ALPHA-1 weight divisions, the Ranking Committee has ranked the champion second in Tier I. One of such divisions was the Welterweight division, where Ichisake Miyagi was awarded the highest spot in the ranking. "The Devil in Blue", master of clinch fighting, certainly has ample credentials, with his 21-3 record, a #15 Pound for Pound and #3 Welterweight ranks in Blurcat's World Rankings, and with him having held the ALPHA-1 Welterweight and defended it 3 times. The semi-official ALPHA-1 PfP rating has this Dragon's Lair alumnus as the 5th best fighter in the whole company. All of this doesn't sit well, however, with the current champion who dethroned Miyagi, Carlos da Guia. An extremely dangerous Muay Thai fighter from the famous Brazilian Estrela Academy, he has amassed an incredible 15-0 pro record as well as one defence of his title, and while he's still not as widely recognised in Japan as in his home Brazil, the MMA community feels that he's without doubt one of the best prospects in the whole sport. The fact that the Committee, perhaps valuing experience over momentum or having a Japanese bias, rated him lower than a man he defeated has spurred him to demand a rematch to prove his dominance in the division.
The semi-main event seems to be another clash of titans. Hiro Arai, ranked 1st in Tier II of the Heavyweight Division, has a chance to break into Tier I with his fight against Kunimichi Kikuchi, the 2nd ranked fighter in Tier 1, who as a former champion was widely considered as a natural top contender for the ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Title (although with Tier I as stacked as this one, #1 contendership is hard to judge). Kikuchi, with his 25-3 record and 3rd rank in World Heavyweight Ranking (17th in World Pound 4 Pound), has to be considered as one of the top fighters in the company. However, perhaps due to his less entertaining style (grindy clinch and wrestling game) or to him having last fought in September, which is farther in the past than most other top Heavyweights, it was decided that the Dragon's Lair member would have to face this challenge before fighting for the championship. His opponent's 14-4 record and known cardio problems seem to not give him much chance against such an elite enemy, but the kickboxer trained at Dojo of Zi Quan has some fearsome striking and decent grappling at his disposal and should not be treated lightly, as evidenced by his 16th rating in World Heavyweight Ranking.
In the undercard of the event we find one of the most, so to say, preposterous bouts of recent months. Bakin Sakamoto, a veteran kickboxer with 19-9 record whose recent loss and general mediocrity put him at the last spot in Tier II of Welterweight division, decided to utilise the rules to his advantage and put forward a challenge to Chew Chua, the Singaporean Muay Thai fighter ranked 20 in the world, who holds the last spot in Tier I. This bold challenge is probably a desperate attempt by Sakamoto to stay relevant, so we can expect him to fight with great passion with so much on the line.
In the Middleweight division, the veteran Ieyoshi Yamashita holding the 5th place in Tier I looks like an easy gatekeeper to the top due to his less than stellar 22-10 record that has a fresh loss on it. Kojuro Kudo, the holder of 2nd rank in Tier II, looks to capitalise on this fact and his 10-2-1 NC record suggests he has what it takes. The younger striker shouldn’t underestimate his opponent, however – Yamashita, another Dragon’s Lair member, might be 32, but he is a former ALPHA-1 Champion and his takedowns and ground control are still top notch, as is his strategic ability.
Another bout in Middleweight division sees Tadao Miyazaki, 22-year-old Karate prodigy with an impressive 7-0 record (yet classified as the leader of Tier III, due to the low quality of the opponents he bested) facing “The Warrior” Dokuohtei Kuroki, a veteran with 41 years of age and a record of 33-13, whose experience, jujitsu and persistence earned him the top spot in Tier II.
The lowest match on the card is a Light Heavyweight Tier III fight, as Eisaku Nozaki (2nd rank) and Osamu Dan (3rd rank), both 23 years old and with a decent record (6-2 in case of Nozaki, 5-1 for Dan) yet with opposite styles (Eisaku is a pure brawler while Osamu is a wrestler nicknamed “Decision Dan”), try to break into higher Tiers.
ALPHA-1: Miyagi vs. da Guia 1.03.1998 Prediction Card:
ME Welterweight Title Match: Ichisake Miyagi (21-3, I 1st) v Carlos da Guia (c) (15-0, I 2nd)
SME Heavyweight: Hiro Arai (14-4, II 1st) v Kunimichi Kikuchi (25-3, I 2nd)
Welterweight: Bakin Sakamoto (19-9, II 5th) v Chew Chua (17-4, I 5th)
Middleweight: Ieyoshi Yamashita (22-10, I 5th) v Kojuro Kudo (10-2-1 NC, II 2nd)
Middleweight: Tadao Miyazaki (7-0, III 1st) v Dokuohtei Kuroki (33-13, II 1st)
Light Heavyweight: Eisaku Nozaki (6-2, III 2nd) v Osamu Dan (5-1, III 3rd)
ALPHA-1: Hayashi vs. Hojo, April 5th, 1998
The main event for April is hyped quite intensely by the ALPHA-1 marketing, and for a good reason. Fumiaki Hayashi is one of the greatest MMA stars of the early nineties, a great kickboxer whose insane creativity in striking earned him a respectable 16-4 record, the second place in the Tier I in Lightweight division and the ALPHA-1 Lightweight Title which he defended twice since winning it in June 1996; however, he is considered by many to be a bit one-dimensional and has turned 30 this year. His opponent, ranked directly above him at the top of Tier I, is Motoki Hojo, “The Wing Chun Superstar” whom many consider to be a younger version of Hayashi, with innovative striking offense, natural charisma and flair, and a lack of wrestling/ground game. They both belong to the prestigious Dojo Of Zui Quan, both are highly ranked in World Lightweight charts (Hayashi at 10th, Hojo at 7th), and even Hojo’s record is similar, at 15-3. This will no doubt be a highly entertaining bout, regardless of who wins in the end.
The semi-main event is also a hotly contested match. Syed Tan, holding the 4th spot in Tier I of the Welterweight division, defends his Tier I spot against Fukusaburu Hirano, the best fighter of Tier II. Syed, a Malaysian kickboxer with a great 13-2-1 record and 16th place in the World Ranking, has arguably the hardest chin and elbows among all the world’s Welterweights. His opponent is no slouch, either – only 22 years old, he’s already got an almost flawless 10-0-1 record and his training in Top Team Japan and other places made him one of the most versatile fighters around, combining world class boxing with educated legs, a good ground game and some dangerous submissions. This is definitely a match to watch!
Another match sees the MMA debut of Oleg Dorosklov, Ukrainian Olympic gold medallist in Judo, a former trainer of Kunimichi Kikuchi and probably the most dangerous submission fighter among the Middleweights. Due to the Middleweight division not having a Tier IV, as a newcomer he will face the lowest (3rd) ranked fighter of Tier III. While this doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, Genki Shinashi should at least put up a show, with some decent wrestling, a 6-1 record and a “wild man” persona and theatrical entrance that should hype the crow up for the debut of Dorosklov.
Back to Tier I action, this time in the Heavyweight division, as Ari Peltonen, the 5th fighter of Tier I, is challenged by Gerson Mauricio, holder of the 4th place in Tier II. Peltonen, notorious Finnish practitioner of Sambo, is a veteran with a 23-7 record, considered 11th Heavyweight in the world according to BlurCat’s World Ranking and credited with pioneering the “Anti Ju Jistsu” style of ground defence. This particular fact should not trouble Mauricio too match, though, as he’s a Brazilian kickboxer known for great knockout potential, whose record sits at a respectable 8-0.
In Light Heavyweight division we have a fight that, on paper, is probably the closest one on the card – between Inejiro Chiba, ranked 3rd in Tier II, and Ebizo Fujishima, ranked one place below him. Chiba is a 15-5 striker of a fearsome reputation who however recently broke his winning streak, and Fujishima, a submission wrestler and veteran with a mixed 24-12 record, will want to capitalise on this gap in Chiba’s armour and find himself a second win in a row after he recently broke a losing streak.
In another Heavyweight bout, two Tier III fighters, Felipe Luiz Rosa (ranked second) and Eien Kawano (ranked fourth) are fighting for a break into Tier II. Rosa, a Brazilian boxer with a 11-5 record, will probably find the crowd is against him, as Kawano is a popular ex-sumo wrestler who only recently got into MMA, winning his 3 first fights.
Finally, in Welterweight division we have the wrestler Chikafusa Abukara , leader of the only Tier IV currently in the company, trying to improve his 16-5 record and his ranking position by challenging the 2nd placed fighter in Tier III, Chojiro Goto, a Muay Thai adept with a 8-2 record.
ALPHA-1: Hayashi vs. Hojo, 5.04.1998 Prediction Card:
ME Lightweight Title Match: Fumiaki Hayashi (c) (16-4, I 2nd) v Motoki Hojo (15-3, I 1st)
SME Welterweight: Syed Tan (13-2-1, I 4th) v Fukusaburu Hirano (10-0-1, II 1st)
Middleweight: Oleg Dorosklov (0-0, Newcomer) v Genki Shinashi (6-1, III 3rd)
Heavyweight: Ari Peltonen (23-7, I 5th) v Gerson Mauricio (8-0, II 4th)
Light Heavyweight: Inejiro Chiba (15-5, II 3rd) v Ebizo Fujishima (24-12, II 4th)
Heavyweight: Felipe Luiz Rosa (11-5, III 2nd) v Eien Kawano (3-0, III 4th)
Welterweight: Chikafusa Abukara (16-5, IV 1st) v Chojiro Goto (8-2, III 2nd)
Last edited by Ufnal : 12-24-2016 at 05:03 PM.