by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
It’s been nearly eight months since Norwegian lightweight Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen has stepped into mixed martial arts competition, but he confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that he is set to return in November.
With the selling of Pride Fighting Championships to the owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier this year, he has been one of many fighters under contract to the old Dream Stage Entertainment regime that has been in limbo as the company transitioned to the new American-based ownership.
After spending much of the year keeping his skills sharp with kickboxing, Hansen said that he has signed a one-fight deal to return to make his return in Japan.
“I’ve signed to fight in Shooto on Nov. 8 against Eiji (Mitsuoka),” he stated. “I have been training hard and I feel in good shape. I will bring mayhem with me to Japan.
“I want to thank the faithful fans who supported me through this time of oblivion. Even though I turned down the UFC offer, I will be thinking of you people when I’m going into the fight on Nov. 8. Now I can’t promise you victory, but I can promise you this … Dark Norwegian Wrath!”
Despite his confidence, Hansen’s return to MMA may not be an easy one, as Mitsuoka is currently riding a three-fight winning streak with his most recent win coming over ShoXC’s Brian Cobb in March.
Hansen, however, won his most recent match as well, a submission victory over Jason Ireland at Pride’s final event this past February in Las Vegas.
His fight with Mitsuoka is part of one of Shooto’s biggest cards of the year, to be held at the Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gym in Tokyo.
Also scheduled to appear on the show is current Shooto 123-pound champion Shinichi Kojima, undefeated top women’s 115-pound fighter Megumi Fuji, and former Shooto 143-pound champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue.