Esther Lin spent NYE in Japan and she brought her l33t ph0t0gr4ph3r ski11z with her. We’ve got a few great photo selections from God Bless the Ring, Sportsnavi, and Sherdog, but the Esther pics from MMA Fighting make me want to barf, they’re so crisp and sexy. After the jump: Dynamite!!
Here’s a good crowd shot – 26,729 was the final figure and if it’s actually true (lying about attendance figures is as much of a tradition in Japan as the NYE shows themselves), then the country can take solace in the fact that they have an annual show that still draws more on a bad year than the UFC can do at it’s best. Then again, that has more to do with the size of our arenas than anything else. (Sportsnavi)
Lenne Hardt does her Screaming PRIDE lady thing. She’s as much a fixture in Japanese MMA as the yakuza. (Sportsnavi)
Josh Thomson was the only one smart enough to bring along a sponsorship banner. It looks like wrestling, striking, weight cutting, and gameplans aren’t the only thing Japanese fighters are behind on. (Sherdog)
Yuichiro Nagashima’s entrance was short and sweet, the only part of Dynamite that fits that description. 30 seconds of coordinated dancing followed by cosplay chicks stripping you down to your shorts. WIN! (Sportsnavi)
Speaking of WIN, WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!! Whatever gods or spirits or whatever the Japanese believe in bitchslapped Aoki karmically for what he did last year. (Sportsnavi)
Come on, hit me in the face Playboy! (Sportsnavi)
Pro wrestling godfather and fashion pimp Antonio Inoki did a whole show during the intermission. It was more entertaining than 70% of the event. It’s what would happen if halfway through a UFC they busted out a Smothers Brothers style variety show. (Sportsnavi)
The shot that took Todd Duffee out. Anyone suggesting Duffee took a dive obviously didn’t see the replay where his skull looked like it was trying to escape through the back of his head. (MMA Fighting)
Sakuraba was one of the few guys worth scraping some money together for pyro. The rest of the fireworks were replaced by Antonio Inoki shouting at the crowd. Few people noticed the difference. (Sportsnavi)
Sakuraba’s ear partially tears off. He is literally falling apart in the ring before our eyes.
look at it. look at it. look.
I don’t know who they had at ringside for doctors, but their job here didn’t exactly inspire confidence. The whole situation was extra ironic considering Saku dressed up as Rei from Evangelion for his entrance video, and then left the ring bandaged up in similar fashion. (MMA Fighting)
Gegard Mousasi punches another hole in the myth that K-1 striking is lightyears above MMA. The guys from FEG are starting to drool over the idea of just moving him into K-1 and having him make a run at this year’s World Grand Prix. This assumes of course that FEG doesn’t collapse financially. (MMA Fighting)
Hiroyuki Takaya locks his baby in the dreaded panther grip after taking the belt off Bibiano Fernandes. Takaya is so boring that the only angle FEG could find to promote him was the fact that he had a wife and baby. It is a cute baby, I guess. (God Bless the Ring)