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Japan’s NYE event is starting to come together

Glory Sports International’s big Saitama Super Arena NYE show has a poster and an appropriately Japanese long ass name: “DREAM.18 & GLORY 4 New Years Eve Special 2012!” We’re one month away from the event and it looks like another tradition Zombie DREAM has in common with its former self is leaving the lineup until the last minute. Here’s what we know about the card thus far:

MMA Rules:
– Tatsuya Kawajiri
– Hiroyuki Takaya [DREAM FW Championship]
-Bibiano Fernandez
– Satoru Kitaoka
– Phil Baroni vs. Hayato Sakurai
– Shinya Aoki vs. Will Brooks

GLORY Grand Slam Tournament:
– Semmy Schilt vs. Brice Guidon
– Sergei Kharitonov vs. Rico Verhoeven
– Gokhan Saki vs. Raomoru
– Anderson “Braddock” Silva vs. Igor Jurkovic
– Remy Bonjasky Filip Verlinden
– Errol Zimmerman Jamal Ben Saddick
– Peter Aerts vs. Mourad Bouzidi
– Daniel Ghita vs. Fabiano Aoki

Fernandez and Aoki vs Some Guy comes care of a fighter exchange partnership between GLORY and Singapore promotion ONE FC, while the GLORY Grand Slam will be a crazy one night heavyweight tournament. The only downside: quarter- and semi-final bouts will be two 2 minute rounds with a third 2 minute tiebreaker round if required. I have a bit of a problem with fights that are shorter than the walkouts and announcements, but the theory is shorter rounds should encourage fighters to fight harder so we’ll see how that works out. It could be worse – half the NYE event could be Japanese pro wrasslin again.

Still not booked: the kind of freakshow fights that have been the lifeblood of NYE events for as long as I can remember. A rumor going around has Minowaman taking on former World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski, but that just sounds too good to be true. Maybe Megumi Fujii vs a dude? Sakuraba vs James Thompson? If GLORY wants to prove they’re serious about this Japanese market thing, they better get silly fast.