Fedor Emelianenko has long been a draw on the Japanese fight scene. Following his recent losses in Strikeforce, the once untouchable Russian has been on a rebuilding campaign and the latest stop will be a return to Japan.
M-1 Global and Dream officials on Monday announced that Fedor will return to the Land of the Rising Sun on Dec. 31 to face Olympic gold medalist in Judo Satoshi Ishii.
The bout headlines the Fields presents Fight for Japan Genkidesua!! Oomisoka!! 2011 event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, and airs in North America on HDNet.
“Fedor has been in great shape, and is ready for what we think will be a hard and competitive fight,” said M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan in announcing Fedor’s return to Japan after a three-year absence.
Fedor (32-4-1) is coming off of a victory over Jeff Monson on Nov. 20 in Moscow. The victory was the Russian’s first since losing three consecutive fights under the Strikeforce banner to Dan Henderson, Antonio Silva, and Fabricio Werdum.
A world-class athlete and a proven competitor, Ishii could prove a stern test for Fedor, although he’ll be giving up a tremendous amount of advantage to him in the experience department when it comes to MMA.
Ishii has only six bouts under his belt as a mixed martial artist, although he’s performed well en route to a 4-1-1 record. He holds victories over Jerome LeBanner and Ikuhisa Minowa, but neither is in the same league as Fedor. Ishii will have to rely upon is stellar experience as a Judoka to help make up ground in the fighting department.
Fedor vs. Ishii currently headlines a list of 11 bouts at Genkidesuka!! Oomisoka!! 2011 that features a card made up primarily of MMA bouts, but also includes mixed rules and pro wrestling bouts.