Stands Up Japan
TOKYO — Japan’s two most popular fighters, 2003 and 2008 K-1 WORLD MAX GP champion Masato and Japanese MMA legend Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto, joined forces on Saturday at the Roppongi Hills Arena to promote the “Stands Up Japan” charity fight event in aid of victims of the March 11 Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Masato stepped away from the ring in his prime in 2009, but he returned on Saturday to face two formidable opponents in one day in Shoot Boxing super welterweight champion and 2006 S-cup champion Kenichi Ogata and All Japan karate champion Kazuya Yasuhiro. With “KID” unable to fight due to injury, Shooto legend and former pacific rim champion Rumina Sato stepped up to take on on Jin Hirano, an Iwate-based figher who lost his home and gym in the tsunami.
Many other icons of the Japanese fight sport industry participated to support disaster victims, and MMA Fighting.com was ringside to capture the action.