(What? Was Zuluzinho not ready for a rematch?)
Fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Jeff Monson that snapped the only multiple fight losing streak of his career, word has just broke that Fedor Emelianenko will be fighting in Japan for the first time since his armbar victory over Hong Man Choi at Yarennoka – New Years Eve 2007. As luck would have it, “The Last Emperor” will be fighting on New Years Eve once again, this time under the DREAM banner and against 2008 Olympic gold medal winning Judo practitioner Satoshi Ishii.
Not exactly the freak show bout that Japan (and Fedor) have been known to dabble in, but to call it a mismatch would be somewhat of an understatement. After winning the gold medal in Beijing, China over three years ago, Ishii has built up a 4-1-1 MMA record, with wins over the likes of Ikuhisa Minowa and former K1 great Jerome Le Banner, but has not fought since his draw with pill popper and occasional fighter Paulo Filho back in September. Ishii’s lone loss came in his MMA debut at the hands of fellow Judoka gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida.
Emelianenko, on the other hand, is no stranger to the kind of offense Ishii will bring; he has not only medaled in the Russian National Judo Championships, but is a four time World Combat Sambo champion as well. And along with an experience advantage over Ishii that borders on brobdingnagian, Fedor can also fall back on the fact that he has a pair of Phantasm-esque murderballs for hands and an arsenal of submissions that would give any member of the Gracie family an erection. So yeah, Fedor should be able to take this one with relative ease.
DREAM “Genki Desu Ka! New Year! 2011 will also conclude (finally) DREAM’s bantamweight tournament, featuring the semifinals and final match-ups of the four remaining participants: Antonio Banuelos, Masakazu Imanari, Bibiano Fernandes and Rodolfo Marques.
Genki Desu Ka! is set to transpire December 31st from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.