The GLORY 4 and DREAM 18 combo card scheduled for Japan on December 31st is starting to come together. Featuring a high level kickboxing tournament, the card also will have several MMA matches well worth watching. The main event features Shinya Aoki taking on veteran Antonio McKee, and potentially explosive matches between Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai and Phil Baroni as well as Denis Kang facing Melvin Manhoef were recently announced. Let’s take a look at where the odds may fall on some of these fights….
The match between Aoki and McKee is interesting, as McKee is a veteran who has fought many big names and maintained an excellent 28-4 record throughout a career spanning more than 10 years. McKee is 42 years old but has not slowed down much, as his wrestler/grinder style has proven effective, if not crowd pleasing. Aoki will likely be favored and come out fast in the fight, but McKee has the potential to control Aoki and possibly get a decision.
In a classic striker versus grappler match at Middleweight, Denis Kang faces off against Melvin Manhoef. Kang is a tough veteran who will look to fight efficiently and get this fight to the ground, as Manhoef’s bludgeoning stand up is not something he is going to want to mess with. If he has trouble with the takedown, Manhoef will be dangerous throughout the fight.
The bout between Phil Baroni and Hayato Sakurai is great on paper. Baroni is in need of a win, and Sakurai, for all his faded skills, is still an efficient MMA artist who should be favored in the fight. Baroni will have the chance of a big puncher, but Sakurai is much too complete for the ‘New York Bad Ass’.
See here for my take on the GLORY 4 kickboxing tournament that is also featured on the card - http://blog.betdsi.com/mma-new-years-eve-card-in-japan-shaping-up/