Remember yesterday when we found that amazing drawing of Ikuhisa Minowa fighting Godzilla, and used it as an excuse to run a relatively pointless post confirming that Minowaman would not, in fact, be fighting Brian Stann at UFC 144? Man, the crazy antics we get up to when nobody’s watching.
The thing is, we actually have some legit news to pass along about DREAM’s reigning Super Hluk [sic] champion. MMAFighting is reporting that Minowa will make his U.S. MMA debut at ProElite 3 (January 21st, Honolulu) where he’ll face rangy UFC veteran Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove. Okay, so it’s not the kind of freak-show matchup we’re used to seeing from Minowaman — but at least Grove is really tall for a middleweight.
After being released by the UFC earlier this year following back-to-back decision losses to Demian Maia and Tim Boetsch, Grove rebounded at Pro Elite 1 in August, choking out Joe Riggs in 59 seconds. Meanwhile, Minowa has won his last four fights in Japan against opponents who had a combined record of 4-4-1 and a combined weight of 869 pounds.
Minowa has reportedly signed a three-fight North American exclusive deal with ProElite. His debut appearance at ProElite 3 will be just the third time that Minowa has competed outside of Asia in his 91-fight career, and his first fight in the United States. And here’s another fun fact that I just learned on his Wikipedia page: Ikuhisa Minowa put together a record of 1-8-1 in his first ten fights. And now he’s a minor MMA legend. The moral of the story? Don’t give up, Lionheart.