This article was written by Ben Buchan and used with his permission.
August 30th sees ZST return with a double-header including their first MMA event since the COVID pandemic began, having kept themselves busy with the crowd-funded GTF.3 and 4 grappling shows in the meantime. Another pay-per-view event with limited seating available, ZST 68 comes on the back of two of their champions’ successful debuts in JMMA superpower RIZIN and features several contenders who will look to put themselves in and around the title picture, whilst Battle Hazard 07 continues ZST’s efforts to be at the forefront of the grappling scene in Japan.
The 11-fight ZST card includes an intriguing champions’ clash as Yuichi Miyagi, Gladiator’s light-fly king faces Fighting Nexus’ flyweight top dog Takahiro Komakine at 59kg, perhaps for a shot at ZST’s current champ Taksuki Saomoto who is riding high right now after his RIZIN victory versus Yusaku Nakamura. T-Grip Tokyo’s Yamato Hamamatsu attempts to bounce back from last year’s competitive decision loss to featherweight champion Tatsuya Seki in another high stakes outing against unbeaten prospect Shota Takasu. Jumping in at the deep end of the featherweight division comes AKZA’s grappling standout Yasuhiro Kawamura, climbing up a weight class to face Brave’s Akira Haraguchi in an interesting style matchup. The final line-up and order is still TBA.
Battle Hazard 07 promises some high-level grappling action, as the surging Igloo grappling team aims to continue their recent domination. The main event sees Daiki Yonekura take on Ryo Hatta, with the third match from the top featuring a tag-match pitting Igloo’s two other ZST No-Gi champions, Kenya Yamanaka and Kenta Iwamoto, against Shinji Morito and Yuki ‘Submission’ Takahashi. In between those contests is an MMA bout between Fusano Tetsuya and Masanori Hirata. Another card highlight is a bout between ex-UFC veteran Shinichi Shimizu and NAGA belt-holder Toshiyasu Sagae. Elsewhere on the card, former ZST lightweight champion, the ever-colorful Shinichi Taira faces Minoru Taniguchi in a match which for some reason will have the rules announced on the day, Igor Tanabe faces Reda Mebtouche and Yuki Sugiuchi takes on Seika Izawa in GT rules, with Daisuke Matsumoto and Yu Iizuki battling it out under Pro-wrestling rules.
Streaming links and PPV details are below.