Opening statement from Owner Rei
On the 12th May 2016, Bushido, the newest fight promotion in Tokyo are set to host their very first event - Bushido 1: Jones vs. Seung-Jin. The event is to take place at Wild Bob's Bar in the heart of the bustling city, as some the brightest new talents from across the globe will battle it out on their first step to Championship glory. We hope that this momentous occasion will be remembered for years to come, and that we leave our business partners, supporters and fighters with some positive memories.
Alex "Rock" Zakkara (0-1-0, Debut) vs. Thomas "Hilltop" Stephans (0-1-0, Debut)
Bushido's very first fight will be between two men that made their MMA debuts last month, with each finding no luck. In the red corner will stand Alex Zakkara, a young Italian freestyle fighter who will be looking to showcase his abilities that he failed to do so in his first career appearance. In the blue corner you'll find an equally varied fighter as America's Thomas Stephans, who like his opponent, must be looking to bounce back from defeat by any means necessary. Due to being taken down and finished within one round on his career debut, there is no way of knowing how Zakkara likes to fight and what game-plan he aims to employ. Stephans on the other hand has shown that he likes to grapple with his opponent, often shooting for takedowns. One man will earn a win for the first time in their career, and what a better event to do it on than Bushido 1.
"The Adopted Diaz" Nelson Jimenez (1-0-0, Debut) vs. Derrik "Firestorm" Kurtwood (0-1-0, Debut)
The second fight of the evening will see loud-mouth Stockton native Nelson Jimenez, as he aims to earn his second career victory with a win over fellow countryman Derrik Kurtwood. The young submission specialist has caught the attention of many people after his social media outbursts, reportedly claiming "this organisation isn't ready for what I am about to throw down", on top of insulting his upcoming opponent and even the organisation owner. His opponent stayed quiet however, and the trash-talking remained one-sided. With Jimenez coming into the fight hoping to quickly takedown and submit Kurtwood, we are curious as to what Kurtwood will do to avoid this as he has already suffered a submission defeat of his own. Will "The Adopted Diaz" back up his claims of greatness, and become the youngest man to earn a victory this evening, or will "Firestorm" act as an early setback in the 16 year olds' career?
Joker Leto (0-1-0, Debut) vs. Billy "Mr Handsome" Bird (Debut, Debut)
The first and only Lightweight bout of the evening will welcome two young prospects to the organisation as American Boxer Joker Leto takes on Japanese brawler Billy Bird. After suffering a loss on his MMA debut nearly two months ago, Leto will return to the octagon eager to prove that he has the skills to put away an opponent and earn a victory. As Billy Bird has yet to step into the cage, we have no way of gauging how he plans to fight this evening although due to his background in Boxing, we can presume that he will keep the fight standing, where can then fight from a distance instead of opting for a takedown or possibly even clinching. Both these men are only 18 years old, and even if they were to lose this evening they have a lot of space left to grow and develop as fighters.
Gunnar Westerberg (0-1-0, Debut) vs. Ivan "Snake" Johnson (0-1-0, Debut)
The fourth fight of the card will welcome Sweden's Gunnar Westerberg as he takes on his neighbour, Finnish Ivan Johnson. They say that styles make fights, and this one is set to be between two very different fighters indeed as Boxer meets Wrestler. A striker who fell to the abilities of a grappler on his debut, Westerberg will be looking to stay away from the ground and instead keep the fight on the feet where he can work his opponent over with his vastly superior striking skills. Johnson will aim to do the opposite, as he's a seasoned grappler through and through, with serious advantages in Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu compared to the Swede. These men are a good few years older than some of the younger fighters so a journey to the gold belt could be a shorter one, as they have the advantage when it comes to experience.
Ivan "Drago" Dragov (1-0-0, Debut) vs. Carlton Landford (1-0-0, Debut)
Next up, two youngsters with varied skill-sets will battle it out to earn the first victory in the Middleweight division as Russia's Ivan dragov takes on London-born Carlton Landford. Dragov suffered a defeat when he made his debut late last month in the opening round of a tournament, and he will no doubt be looking to do all he can to not repeat history this evening. Landford unlike his opponent, found success on his MMA debut, and he may aim to use his Muay Thai advantages to overwhelm the Russian, and come home with a victory. It has been rumoured that Dragov has appeared quite large as of late, and may not make weight for this fight meaning that it will be cancelled and billed as a no-contest.
Richard "XM25" Audette (0-1-0, Debut) vs. Mohammed Jafar (Debut, Debut)
The sixth fight of the night takes place between two Muay Thai fighters from the Middle-East as Iraq's Richard Audette is set to face off against his neighbour, the Saudi Arabia native Mohammed Jafar. We've seen that Audette isn't the best when it comes to grappling after his quick loss last month, where he fell to a submission in the first round, but this is not something he has to worry about when he steps into the Bushido octagon this evening. Jafar's greatest aspect is reportedly his Muay Thai, although we have yet to see him perform so the details of his skill-set is still largely a mystery. Will these two similar fighters go for kicks, elbows or knees? Will they aim to fight up close and dirty, or opt to strike from a distance? We may not have the answers now, but we will after tomorrow!
John "Liska" Anderson (2-0-0, Debut) vs. "Judge Dreadlock" Benson Whyte (Debut, Debut)
The second and final Middleweight bout of the evening will be between the #7 p4p ranked John Anderson as he takes on the yet to debut Jamaican, Benson Whyte. "Liska" has made a name for himself in his short career, having submitted both men he has come up against inside the cage, and he must be looking to replicate these successes as he makes his company debut this evening. Whyte is a pro Boxer who has been making the transition into Mixed Martial Arts, so one can imagine that he will want to keep the fight standing, where he has the serious striking advantage over his opponent. It will be interesting to see if "Judge Dreadlock" can neutralise the takedowns that his opponent is sure to pressure him with, or if he will succumb to the grappling prowess of Anderson. With Anderson becoming 3-0-0 if he wins this evening, he may also climb the p4p ladder and could set himself up for a title shot.
Wayne "Pefection" Izen (2-0-0, Debut) vs. Lukasz "Fanek" Fankulewski (1-1-0, Debut)
Next up, undefeated American Wayne Izen faces meets the not-so-fortunate German, Lukasz Fankulewski. Izen is a pure grappler who boats a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as some Wrestling skills to accompany it. Although not very skilled on the feet, "Perfection" should have little problems getting his opponent to the mat as his advantages when it comes to grappling are quite dramatic. A free-style fighter with a varied set of abilities and no clear specialty is the best way to describe Fankulewski, as he appears to be quite the jack of all trades. "Fanek" suffered defeat after eating an incredible number of strikes from his opponent on the ground, but showed his toughness as he managed to survive without as much as being rocked. As Fanek's only victory came from a submission, and both of Izen's did too, we can only imagine that their fight will take place on the mat with both men searching to trap their opponent. This leads me to believe that Izen will leave with his hand raised as he again, posses the big advantages when it comes to the ground.
Logan Ecklar (2-0-0, Debut) vs. Lei "Payday" Zhang (0-1-0, Debut)
The Co-Main event of the evening is set to be a barn-burner as big American Knockout artist Logan Ecklar is takes on the yet to debut Chinese Muay Thai specialist, Lei Zhang. Ecklar has earned two victories in his career thus far with both of them being Knockouts, due to his wonderful Boxing and striking abilities. Zhang on the other hand did not get to show off the extent of his skills as he was quickly taken down and submitted, only managing to hit a single elbow. We are expecting this fight to take place entirely on the feet, with both men aiming to strike with the other, and we are also looking to see if Ecklar will still employ his game-plan of clinching with his opponent as he is up against someone who appears to be superior in that regard. With seven years between these two when it comes to age, we are curious to see if Ecklar will use his age and experience advantages, or if "Payday" can earn himself one by giving Ecklar the first loss of his career.
Jon "Bones" Jones (3-1-0, Debut) vs. Bailey "Beast of Busan" Seung-Jin (1-0-0, Debut)
The Main Event of the evening will be between the two heaviest on the card, as 3-1 Filipino Boxer Jon Jones meets the very young Korean brawler, Bailey Seung-Jin. "Bones" began his career with a three fight win streak in the QFC, finishing all of his opponents in the first round, one even as quick as 17 seconds. However, he suffered a setback in his last appearance where the tables were turned and he was Knocked out rather quickly. "Beast of Busan" made his career debut early last month at the tender age of 16, as he earned a victory on King of the Beach 39, with the quick dispatching of his opponent Tyr Hymirson. Both of these men have proven to pack a powerful punch, and the victor of this bout may just be the one who manages to connect cleanly first. A win on his company debut will put the already ranked #6 Jon Jones in a good spot, and he would most definitely keep his place at the top of the division. Likewise, a win for the fresh youngster Seung-Jin will be a big step in his career as he is taking on a step up in competition in comparison to his last fight.
Thank you for reading, and thank you to everyone involved for allowing this momentous event to take place!