Toronto – Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 television channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, will be airing three live events on December 31, beginning with a live presentation of DREAM.18 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan at 2 a.m. ET.
Approximately one hour after the culmination of DREAM.18, the GLORY 4 Tokyo Heavyweight Grand Slam will emanate from the same venue, beginning at approximately 6 a.m. ET.
The live action continues later in the day at 4 p.m. ET, as a live broadcast of Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 51 emanates from The Helix in Dublin, Northern Ireland.
“After a major breakthrough year for Fight Network in which we treated our viewers to hundreds of hours of live content, there’s no better way to cap off 2012,” said Chad Midgley, VP of Programming & Production at Fight Network. “The DREAM and GLORY partnership ensures some of the best talent in both mixed martial arts and kickboxing will be on display come New Year’s Eve. In addition to crowning the world’s best heavyweight kickboxer in a star-studded one-night tournament, we’ll also see the return of one of Japan’s most respected organizations. We expect more of the same from Cage Warriors later in the day as some of Europe’s top talent will be on display. We’re proud to broadcast all the international action live as we plan to keep the momentum going in 2013.”
The card for DREAM.18 features a slew of world-class Japanese fighters such as Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hiroyuki Takaya, Satoru Kitaoka and Hayato Sakurai, plus a blend of international prospects and veterans, including Canadian standouts Denis Kang and Bibiano Fernandes, and powerhouses Phil Baroni, Melvin Manhoef and Antonio McKee. The full line-up for DREAM.18 includes:
-Shinya Aoki (31-6) vs. Antonio McKee (28-4-2)
-Bibiano Fernandes (12-3) vs. Yoshiro Maeda (30-11-4)
-Tatsuya Kawajiri (31-7-2) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-12-1)
-Melvin Manhoef (26-9-1) vs. Denis Kang (35-15-2)
-Phil Baroni (15-15) vs. Hayato Sakurai (36-12-2)
-Hiroyuki Takaya (17-9-1) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (19-3-1)
-Satoru Kitaoka (30-11-9) vs. Will Brooks (7-0)
Meanwhile, the GLORY 4 Tokyo Heavyweight Grand Slam tournament, which begins at 6 a.m. ET, will feature eight of the best heavyweight kickboxers on the planet in a one-night tournament reminiscent of the glory days of K-1. Among the standouts featured in the tourney are four-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion Semmy Schilt, mixed martial arts standout Sergei Kharitonov, former GLORY heavyweight tournament champion Gokhan Saki, the resurgent “Flying Gentleman” Remy Bonjasky, former SuperKombat heavyweight tournament champion Errol Zimmerman, 32-year-old kickboxing pioneer Peter Aerts and reigning It’s Showtime! heavyweight champion Daniel Ghita.
The finalized opening round matchups include:
-Semmy Schilt (39-6, 18 KOs) vs. Brice Guidon (28-7, 4 KOs)
-Gokhan Saki (77-15, 53 KOs) vs. Raomoru
-Daniel Ghita (44-7, 34 KOs) vs. Jhonata Diniz (7-2)
-Remy Bonjasky (77-14, 40 KOs) vs. Filip Verlinden (38-6, 17 KOs)
-Peter Aerts (104-30-1, 78 KOs) vs. Mourad Bouzidi (73-19, 33 KOs)
-Errol Zimmerman (76-16-1, 41 KOs) vs. Jamal Ben Saddik (22-0, 19 KOs)
-Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva (32-8-1, 22 KOs) vs. Igor Jurkovic (44-5, 29 KOs)
-Sergei Kharitonov (22-7, 12 KOs) vs. Rico Verhoeven (37-6-1, 8 KOs)