While the MMA world is gearing up for a No. 1 contenders bout between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, the next day, two former UFC champions will go pro wrestling to ring in the New Year.
Dream officials recently announced that former UFC champion and current Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finalist Josh Barnett will fight for the promotion under IGF pro wrestling rules on New Year’s Eve. Barnett steps in to wrestle Hideki Suzuki at Fields presents Fight for Japan “Genkidesuka!! Oomisoka!! 2011,? while he waits for Daniel Cormier to heal up so they can determine the winner of the Strikeforce tournament.
Another former UFC champion, Tim Sylvia, is also expected to try his hand at pro wrestling in Japan on the New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Sylvia and Jerome LeBanner have long been trying to put a fight against one another together in mixed martial arts, but will instead go the IGF rules wrestling route, according to a report by Heavy.com.
Sylvia was initially expected to face Brett Rogers under MMA rules on Dec. 31, but Rogers ran into complications stemming from an arrest over an alleged domestic dispute, causing the fight to be cancelled.
Fields presents Fight for Japan “Genkidesuka!! Oomisoka!! 2011” features a mixed card with bouts ranging from MMA, mixed rules alternating between MMA and kickboxing rules, and IGF rules pro wrestling matches. Fedor Emelianenko heads the card in an MMA bout against Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii.