Spike TV is helping MMA fans ring out 2015 with a special late morning broadcast of the highly anticipated return of “The Last Emperor,” Fedor Emeliananko, to mixed martial arts on New Year’s Eve from Tokyo, Japan. Spike will begin its three-hour coverage of the Rizin World Fighting Grand-Prix at Thursday, December 31 at a special time of 10:00am ET/PT with the main event featuring the worldwide legend, Emelianenko. His opponent will be announced shortly.
“Fedor’s return is receiving global attention, and we want to give our fans the chance to see it New Year’s Eve morning with minimal delay,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports and Specials, Spike. “What better way to end the year than waking up with Fedor.”
Emanating from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, the MMA mega-event marks the debut of a Rizin World Fighting, a new global MMA promotion run by former Pride Founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The Grand-Prix includes a tournament and fights on December 29 and December 31.
Bellator MMA will be among the worldwide combat sports organizations partnering with Rizin World Fighting for the Grand-Prix.
Bellator superstar King Mo will be part of the eight-man tournament that will begin on December 29. Details on the other participating fighters will be announced at a later date.
The MMA extravaganza also includes a catch-weight fight between Shinya Aoki and Kazushi Sakuraba along with Brazilian superstar Gabrielle Garcia, a jiu jitsu world champion, making her long-awaited MMA debut against pro wrestler “Queen of Rings” Lei’d Tapa.
The other organizations participating include BAMMA, KSW, Bushido, Jungle Fight, and Desert Force. Spike will be the U.S. broadcast home of the Rizin World Fighting Grand Prix and the event will be produced by Fuji Television Network. The announce team of Jimmy Smith and Sean Grande will call the action for the Spike broadcast.
Fedor Emelianenko last fought in June, 2012 and scored a first round KO over Pedro Rizzo. The Russian MMA superstar will look to repeat history on Dec 31 in Tokyo. In 2011, on New Year’s Eve, Fedor thrilled the Tokyo crowd with a punishing first round KO over Satoshi Ishii.