NEW CARD ANNOUNCMENT
ALPHA-1: Endo vs. Sriyanto – May 3rd,1998
With Ieoshi Yamashita’s win catapulting him – somewhat unexpectedly – to the second spot of Tier I in the Middleweight Division, its current champion Heiji Endo
has fallen to the third spot, under the man he won his title from. This is as good a time as it gets for Endo to make his first defence. This will be quite a test, as he is scheduled to face Bambang Sriyanto
, probably the best and most ferocious striker in the division (and that’s saying much when you have the legendary Sebastian Schiller on board). Sriyanto, with his 22-6-2 record and fearsome Tarung Derajat skills, is considered seventh among world’s middleweights, and has some of the most dangerous elbows martial arts have ever seen. However, Heiji Endo did not win his title nor his “The Immortal” nickname by a fluke. He’s 12-1 in professional MMA bouts, he is a wrestler of the highest caliber, his conditioning and chin are phenomenal – nobody has ever managed to put him out before the bell! – and his warrior spirit is legendary among the Japanese audience. Will this be enough to withstand the Indonesian’s fierce assault and prove his worth under the new regime?
The semi-main event is a battle of veterans in Tier I of Light Heavyweight Division. Robun Yamazaki
(37-12) is a seasoned veteran of both wrestling and MMA, with great warrior spirit and charisma. At 33, he’s starting to slow down however and many have questioned his 5th position in the Tier I, treating him as nothing more than a gatekeeper. He decided to have none of that and issued a challenge to the person one step higher in Tier I. Unfortunately for him that person is Sho Kitabatake
, Olympic judoka turned MMA fighter with an unbroken streak of 13 victories and, despite turning 30, one of the undoubtedly best Light Heavyweights in the division. Kitabatake’s relative weakness in striking might be the only hope for Yamazaki.
Aside from those two fights, the rest of the event will be comprised of a huge, 8-person Lightweight tournament. ALPHA-1 Management decided to rectify the unsatisfactory size of the division by putting all four Newcomers and four fighters with the lowest rank (from Tier II 4th to Tier III 2nd) in the tournament, with the winner potentially gaining enough renown and respect to break Tier I (as ALPHA-1 judges are known to favour tournaments as a superior way of demonstrating one’s warrior spirit and resilience). It is worth remembering that fighting two matches in a tournament is considered equivalent to fighting three separate matches when it comes to newcomers qualifying to be assigned a rank in the ALPHA-1 Ranking System.
, the lowest ranked fighter in Lightweight Division and a Kyukushin Karate adept with a 7-4 record, must be cursing his luck as he is facing Pralong Sangsomwong
, a living and kicking Muay Thai legend. Fujimaro Hidaka
, a promising kickboxer from the Wutang Academy, will be fighting Bernie Cohen
, an American import who combines Muay Thai, BJJ and a huge reach advantage into quite a well-rounded package. Shiko Taka
, a competent jujitsuka with a semi-respectable record, will be putting his weight advantage against a featherweight convert, Yagi Jokichi
, one of the most praised young fighters in modern karate. Finally, Korekiyo “Razor” Anzai
, young and sharp submission fighter who is yet to be defeated, faces Kei “Demon Eyes” Maki
, an elite kickboxer who was one of the best strikers among featherweights.
ALPHA-1: Endo vs. Sriyanto 3.05.1998 Prediction Card:
ME Middleweight Title Match: Heiji Endo (c) (12-1, I 3rd) vs. Bambang Sriyanto (22-6-2, I 1st)
SME Light Heavyweight: Robun Yamazaki (37-12, I 5th) vs. Sho Kitabatake (13-0, I 4th)
Lighweight Tournament Final
Lighweight Tournament Semi-Final: Winner of Match C vs. Winner of Match D
Lighweight Tournament Semi-Final: Winner of Match A vs. Winner of Match B
Lighweight Tournament Match D: Korekiyo Anzai (6-0, II 4th) vs. Kei Maki (3-0, N)
Lighweight Tournament Match C: Shiko Taka (6-2-1 NC, II 5th) vs. Yagi Jokichi (4-0, N)
Lighweight Tournament Match B: Fujimaro Hidaka (4-1, III 1st) vs. Bernie Cohen (12-4, N)
Lighweight Tournament Match A: Shinji Oiwa (7-4, III 2nd) vs. Pralong Sangsomwong (3-0, N)
You can find the prediction cards for previous two events at the end of the previous post.