Wednesday, April 4, 2018

K-1 PREMIUM Dynamite! 2005 12/31/2005

K-1 PREMIUM Dynamite! 2005
Osaka Dome, Osaka, Japan
12/31/2005 41,000 in Attendance

2005 is over, and its time for K-1's annual new year spectacle PREMIUM DYNAMITE! Originally promoted in Summer 2003 with the collaboration of PRIDE and New Japan Pro-Wrestling before it becoming K-1's NYE show, the event is now solely presented by K-1. Dynamite 2005 was meant to serve as a vehicle to promote K-1's HEROS brand as there are more MMA fights on this events card than kickboxing, and the headlining fight is the final to the HEROS Middleweight tournament.

DYNAMITE 2005 was held in the Osaka Dome to a nearly sell-out crowd of 41,000 in a place that seats around 43,000. However, the reported was MUCH higher (so much higher it was if they added an extra few thousand seats!) as explained by Dave Meltzer in his report on the rival PRIDE Shockwave 2005 show from the same night:

From a live standpoint, the Pride Otoko Matsuri show (called Shockwave in the U.S. since Otoko Matsuri translated means “Man Festival” and the US connotation of that doesn’t work so well) drew a legit sellout at the Saitama Super Arena. The new deal is that you have to announce a new record for every sold out major show. So after exaggerating crowds in one sellout after another for the past many years, Pride announced the crowd in a 35,000-seat arena was a ridiculous 49,801, which naturally makes it the all-time record in the building. Not to be outdone, K-1 announced setting the Osaka Dome live attendance record of a sellout of 53,025 (the building really holds 43,000). The actual crowd was about 41,000, as it was packed, except for the top few rows of the upper deck, and had far more seats crammed on the field than at least year’s show. It was noticeably up from last year show that drew about 35,000.

The copy of this I have is the English broadcast which features Ryan Bennett, founder of MMAWeekly, and Nobuaki Kakuda, a Seidokaikan Karateka and K-1 veteran, on commentary. Both are good throughout, and I especially liked Kakuda. The show begins with the fighter parade on this INCREDIBLE stage and screen set up that has been constructed here to celebrate this new year and violence! (WOOO!)

OH YEA! We are starting off DYNAMITE with a SHUNGO OYAMA FIGHT!! Our shiny silvery friend is back ONCE AGAIN, and he is going up against Peter Aerts. PLEASE PRAY FOR SHUNGO!

LOL Oyama opens this with a wild spinning back kick that doesn't do much and Aerts starts beating on him. OYAMA GOES DOWN, GETS THE LEG AND, AND WINS WITH A HEEL HOOK! This dude, he either loses horribly or wins spectacularly. There is no happy medium with him and that is why I love him!


Its the big Ossetian and 8 time World Arm-Wrestling champion Alan Karaev (I can not confirm or deny that info) going up against the kickboxer Jerome Le Banner!

Le Banner leg kicks Karaev to death here. After Karaev couldn't smother Le Banner with his body on the ground, he just got too gassed and was overwhelmed. Jerome Le Banner wins after a serious kick to Alan Karaev's body which made me cringe because it landed so hard. I would like to mention here that Kakuda has the best reactions on commentary throughout this entire event, and his “ooohhhhh.... ooohhh nooo...” when someone is getting pummeled resonates with me deeply (I feel ya man!).

SORRY FRIENDS, I am barely equipped to discuss MMA but kickboxing is just a no-go. I would like to mention that Sylvester Terkay aka The Predator (that bad bruiser brody gimmick) is here stinkin' it up! Some of these bouts are quite good though so do not skip out!!

This is the part where Heath Herring is supposed to fight Yoshihiro Nakao, but uhhhhh. Well. SO Nakao kissed Herring in the staredown (not the best thing to do) and Herring responded by clocking him in the jaw (I can only assume this was due to a crass homophobia) which prevented this fight from occurring since well.... Nakao was like dead.

Now that we are passed that terrible moment in MMA history, we can get back to the serious business of actually fighting! Our dancing Lithuanian friend Remigijus Morkevicius (RIP) will be facing the one and only Katsuhiko Nagata (6-7), silver medalist in the 2000 Olympics in 69kg Greco-Roman wrestling and brother to former IWGP Heavyeight champion Yuji Nagata (!!!!). This is Nagata's first MMA fight and marks his transition into the world of MMA. After having an OK start in the sport, he began losing often and has not fought since 2011.

Nagata immediately gets a single leg and picks Morkevicius up for a slam, and from here on out just puts pressure on and keeps Morkevicius down. He pummeled him when he could, but never puts enough force into anything to finish it off. Even when Morkevicius lands some strikes at the beginning of the second round, Nagata is able to bring him down regardless. After smothering him for most of the round, the ref brings them up, and again DESPITE a knee and a punch, Nagata closes in and scores with some greco-roman technique and throws Morkevivius. Remigijus Morkevicius is unable to ever set up a submission solidly, and ultimately loses by unanimous decision to Katsuhiko Nagata.

AFTER THAT SORTA BORING BOUT, ITS TIME FOR THE BEST MATCH ON THE CARD. Royce Gracie was originally scheduled to fight Sexyama in a classic Judo vs BJJ affair, but a back injury to Akiyama forced him to withdraw. Who would be his replacement in such a huge match? HIDEO TOKORO, THE WORKING CLASS HERO OF HEROS THATS WHO! You might be saying “But isn't Gracie between 190 and 200 pounds at this time, and Tokoro is like 155 at his biggest?” You would be correct but that shit doesn't matter in HEROS! By the demands of Royce, this match is full vale tudo rules (knees and kicks to the head of a grounded opponent is allowed) and there are NO JUDGES so if this goes both of the 10 MINUTE ROUNDS, it will be a draw. Most people on MMA forums in 2005 were absolutely sure that Tokoro would be crushed by the larger Royce Gracie, and this bout was derided in the build up to it. Also, Royce is wearing only gi-pants and you know that means this is gonna get crazy.

GUESS WHAT? Hideo Tokoro survives both rounds, beats the piss out of Royce Gracie (breaks his nose!), slams him multiple times (literally just picks him way the fuck up), and ingeniously escapes a serious attempt at choke from Gracie in the second round despite being caught in a figure four around his waist. My words cannot do this bout justice. The balance between brutally patient ground work and explosive moments of violence and force is perfect here. Hideo Tokoro is utterly spent at the end while appearing to emotionally break down as Royce Gracie embraces him, and you can feel the importance of this moment to Tokoro. I think this is what makes Tokoro so compelling as a fighter, its not some macho shouting or playboy bourgeois fun-time, but a serious endeavor of overcoming everything material. This is one of the greatest draws in MMA history bar none. There is something just so utterly fulfilling in knowing that Tokoro owned all the Gracie defenders/fanboyz in 2005 so hard that you can still feel it today...

Knees from Tokoro broke Gracie's nose early in the first round

Tfw you realize vale tudo rules were a bad idea

THE ULTIMATE MOMENT IS HERE! ITS THE FINAL OF THE MIDDLEWEIGHT TOURNAMENT! The Killer Bee KID Yamamoto comes out to his typical reggaton and he is dancing as he enters the ring. This all pales in comparison though to Genki Sudo's entrance which is truly something else. The feeling from it is euphoric and joyful, something so often lost in real fighting (this is why it, in the final analysis, sucks hard), and when Sudo reveals himself to the crowd and begins marching down the ramp with his entourage of dancers the crowd LOSES it. Sudo dances all the way to the ring and when he enters, Yamamoto and Sudo dance together before this starts. A moment of happiness before the violence.

“The way of Genki” notes our commentator Kakuda as this one starts with both fighters dancing and feeling out the situation. Sudo is an imaginative striker, but he has to keep his distance because Yamamoto packs so much power in his much smaller yet denser body. Sudo lands a midsection kick but Yamamoto catches it and knocks Sudo down, but Sudo upkicks wildly to keep the KID at bay so he can scramble back up. Yamamoto begins landing SOLID leg kicks before scoring the first takedown. I would like to note that both of these guys are rocking wrestling shoes which means this is some serious bizness. Sudo is working his leg up the body for a triangle choke but the ref brings them up as they tangle in the ropes. Sudo hits with a kick and a nice follow up jab, but fails to score with a trip attempt as Yamamoto scrambles away. OH NO KID Yamamoto lands with a right hook under the ear and punches Genki Sudo until the ref stops it, but it seems Sudo wasn't fully out!! Controversy!!!!! Sudo is understandably upset, and leaves completely dejected.

KID Yamamoto celebrates with his children in the ring (one of them has spider braids lol) and announces “its time for HEROS to shine!” This HEROS belt is sikk and so is the extremely RINGS-esque tournament trophy that Yamamoto receives with his 10 million yen check. We only catch a few brief glimpses of our main man and President of HEROS AKIRA MAEDA sadly (check his serious power stance) but am sure he was very proud of his small boys! KID Yamamoto poses for the cameras as we see his square move up on the tournament bracket. The finish was controversial and left an air of uncertainty for an event that was supposed to definitely declare who the next HERO was (maybe that was why Maeda seemed a bit stern while standing in the back?), but the journey here was worth it and filled with great fights throughout.


2005 is over but 2006 has just begun for HEROS! BIG TALENT ACQUISITIONS, CONTROVERSY, INTERNATIONAL SHOWS, AND TOURNAMENTS LAY ON THE HORIZON FOR US as we continue on with our journey into the HEROS Fighting Network. I am excited and I hope you are as well! There surely will be more dancing fighters in the new year.