Shinya Aoki and Satoru Kitaoka Added to IGF’s New Year’s Eve Fight Card in Tokyo

December 10, 2013

Shinya Aoki at Dream 6IGF (Inoki Genome Federation) is following in the footsteps of Japanese promotion’s Pride and Dream by hosting a New Year’s Eve Show in Tokyo. A heavyweight match-up between Satoshi Ishii and Kazuyuki Fujita headlines the card and lightweights Shinya Aoki and Satoru Kitaoka will also be in action.x

Ishii (10-2-1) is on a six-fight winning streak and has not lost a fight since being stopped by Fedor Emelianenko on Dec. 31, 2011 in what turned out to be the penultimate Dream show. Fujita (15-9) hasn’t fought since 2009 and is making his return to the ring at the age of 43.

Both heavyweights have a fan following in Japan, as Ishi was an Olympic gold medal winner in Judo and Fujita is a former pro wrestler. Their fight has been booked for a while, but more match-ups were announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

Satoru Kitaoka (32-12-9) is another veteran of the Dream NYE shows. The Japanese veteran will be looking to extend his two-fight winning streak when he takes on Russian Ramazan Esenbaev (5-1).

The other fight currently confirmed sees Ikuhisa Minowa (57-35-8), who recently reached the milestone of his 100th MMA fight, takes on debutant Atsushi Sawada, who despite being a pro wrestler does come from a Judo background.

IGF has also come to an arrangement with ONE FC and will borrow reigning lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (34-6-1) for the night. He will be facing an as yet unnamed opponent. It will be his first fight in Japan for exactly a year after he knocked out Antonio McKee at Dream 18.

IGF is a pro wrestling organization that was founded by politician and retired wrestler Antonio Inoki in 2007 and got into the MMA business last New Year’s Eve with a card that featured the likes of Ishii, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, and Tim Sylvia.

This year’s Dec. 31 event will take place at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, a venue that is traditionally used for Sumo wrestling.

(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)

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