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07-12-2006, 23:33
Japan's leading mixed martial arts promoters Dream Stage Entertainment and Fight Entertainment Group have both added to their respective line-ups for New Year's Eve.

PRIDE parent company DSE has announced a 205-pound contest between 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix champion Mauricio Rua (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=5707) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Mauricio Rua)) and Japan's Kazuhiro Nakamura (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=6943) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Kazuhiro Nakamura)). Rua indicated earlier this week to the Brazilian fight media that it was a strong possibility he would face Hidehiko Yoshida (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=5920) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Hidehiko Yoshida))'s star pupil on December 31.

Both men are coming off of wins at PRIDE's American debut, where "Shogun" easily submitted Kevin Randleman (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=162) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Kevin Randleman)), and Nakamura knocked off Travis Galbraith (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=4240) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Travis Galbraith)).

DSE also announced a much-anticipated 160-pound contest between PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=425) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Takanori Gomi)) and Mitsuhiro Ishida (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=2225) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Mitsuhiro Ishida)). Gomi and Ishida have seemingly been on a collision course for months, as Ishida decisively defeated Marcus Aurelio (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=4833) (Marcus Aurelio (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@<a href=)' class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) in June, only two months after the Brazilian shocked the world by upsetting Gomi.

With Gomi having gained his revenge over Aurelio in November with a close decision victory, PRIDE's 160-pound king will look to fully redeem himself against the man many fans feel is the true champion of the division.

Meanwhile, FEG announced that its New Year's Eve offering will see Japanese superstar and 2003 K-1 World MAX Grand Prix champion Masato would return to the ring for the first time since his loss to Andy Souwer (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=9655) (Pictures (http://www.sherdog.com/news/[email protected]@Andy Souwer)) at this year's K-1 World MAX Grand Prix in June.

The wildly popular posterboy of MAX will take on 34-year-old former World Boxing Association 130-pound world champion Yong Soo Choi of South Korea. Choi converted to kickboxing earlier this year, and was successful in his first K-1 rules bout in September, knocking out Sweden's Driton Rama in only 42 seconds.