When Sokoudjou got the axe by the UFC, we assumed he’d end up in Japan in time to say “Happy New Year!” Instead, word is now that he’s going to be fighting Babalu Sobral at Affliction’s January 24th event. But that’s not to say the Japanese didn’t try to land the Cameroon native:
Sokoudjou was also courted by K-1, which offered him an MMA-rules bout against kickboxing champion Semmy Schilt at “Premium Dynamite 2008” on New Year’s Eve in Saitama, Japan, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Interest was also said to have come from World Victory Road’s Sengoku outlet, which will host its next event on Jan. 4 at the Saitama Super Arena, but specifics were not available.
I’d say that choosing Affliction over Dynamite probably has more to do with avoiding Semmy Schilt than it does anything else. And I don’t blame Sok … if you have a choice between fighting Babalu or Schilt, I’d pick Babalu in a heartbeat. I’m smart enough to recognize when I’d be on the wrong side of a freakshow fight equation.
Of course, I’m still waiting for Affliction to fall apart at the seams in the next two weeks, so maybe we’ll still get to see Sokoudjou in Japan.