by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
Joachim Hansen and his management confirmed to MMAWeekly.com at the recent Cage Rage 24 event that he will be fighting on the Dec. 31 mixed martial arts event, Yarennoka!, to be held in Japan against an unconfirmed opponent.

Hansen’s career has effectively been on hold for the better part of 2007 due to contractual reasons and the uncertain environment faced by many of Pride’s former superstars. During that time he competed in several kickboxing matches in his native Norway.

Having dropped a decision to Eiji Mitsuoka on the Nov. 8 Shooto event, he now faces a challenge to get back into the world lightweight rankings and refocus his sights on his future in 2008.

Yarennoka! is a combined effort spearheaded by former employees of Dream Stage Entertainment (the former parent company of Pride). Other promotions involved include K-1, DEEP, and the newly formed M-1 Global.

The event is already slated to feature bouts between Gesias “JZ” Calvancante versus Shinya Aoki and Hidehiko Hasegawa versus Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, as well as fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko, Aleksander Emelianenko, and Roman Zentsov.