(Shaolin’s fateful match against JZ, K-1 Hero’s Tournament Final, 9/17/07)
Former top ten lightweight Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro hasn’t competed since September 2007, when he suffered a detached retina during a fight against Gesias Cavalcante. ("It seemed like my eye was inside my head," he told Sherdog. "The pain was unbearable.") And though rumors of his return have swirled since last year, it looks like it’s finally happening — for real this time. DREAM has added a bout between Ribeiro and Olympic silver medalist Katsuhiko Nagata to Sunday’s DREAM 8 card, bolstering that event’s weak-sauce lineup.
Ribeiro, who holds notable career victories over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Joachim Hansen, and Mitsuhiro Ishida, spent his time off opening a gym in New York City called Modern Martial Arts. Unless his skills have deteriorated significantly in his hiatus, he should have no problem dispatching Nagata, who has gone 1-3-1 in his last five fights. Video of Ribeiro kicking Ryuki Ueyama’s ass in March 2007 is after the jump.