DREAM has finally found someone to face off against Mirko Crocop, and it’s none other than Yoshihiro ‘KISS’ Nakao, also known as “That guy Heath Herring knocked out for kissing him during a staredown.” But there’s actually a little bit more to Nakao than just that:
With his strong amateur wrestling credentials and all-around MMA skills, Nakao is widely regarded as the fighter with the most potential to be a successful Japanese heavyweight on the level of Kazuyuki Fujita, which has made him a burgeoning star in Japan and could make him a huge star in the future.
Of course, does that make him ‘worthy’ of fighting Crocop? Mmmm nah not really. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call Nakao a can, I don’t think Mirko is going to have much trouble defeating him. Between the fact that Nakao hasn’t fought in a year and only getting a week to prepare, I give him a snowball’s chance in hell. But at least he’ll probably be a bit more competitive than some dude wearing a luchador mask. And never underestimate how sweet it is to be known in Japan as the guy with the biggest pair of balls in the country.
On a side note, about that whole Herring kiss thing, have you ever wondered why that fight was ruled a No Contest instead of a loss for Herring? Here’s your answer:
The fight was initially announced as a disqualification win for Nakao due to Herring’s illegal pre-fight punch, but it was later changed to a no-contest when K-1 officials determined that kissing an opponent during the pre-fight staredown is also illegal.
Personally, I’d love to see where it says that in the fucking rule book. Oh, K1 just makes rules up on the fly? Big surprise.