IGF (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.
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