ProElite on Wednesday announced the return of Olympic silver medalist wrestler Sara McMann. She will square off with highly regarded Japanese fighter Hitomi Akano at the promotion Jan. 21 event at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
McMann (4-0) submitted Racquel Pa’aluhi at ProElite’s last event in Hawaii on Aug. 27. That moved her professional record to 4-0, but she knows that Akano will be the toughest test she’s been handed in her mixed martial arts career.
“This will be my biggest test since the Olympic Games, so I’m very excited to be competing against Hitomi,” said McMann. “I’m confident I belong in the top 5 in the world and beating her soundly should put me there.”
Akano (18-8) far outstrips McMann in MMA experience, having competed against the top women in the world. After losing a unanimous decision to Miesha Tate at Strikeforce, Akano rebounded with back-to-back victories, including a win over highly regarded Roxanne Modafferi in July.
“I’m as excited for this WMMA fight as I am for the Main Event,” said ProElite Head of Fight Operations T.Jay Thompson. “Two Top 10 ranked fighters putting all on the line. That’s what ProElite is all about!”
The main event features UFC vet Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove facing off against Japanese star Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa.
The main card also includes the semifinals of ProElite’s Heavyweight Grand Prix: Ryan Martinez vs. Cody Griffin and Jake Heun vs. Richard Odoms, as well as a bout pitting Brent Schermerhorn against Kaleo Gambill.
The ProElite: Da Spyder vs. Minowaman main card airs live at 10 p.m. ET on Jan. 21 on HDNet.