Heavyweights Fedor Emelianenko, Satoshi Ishii meet at DREAM year-end event
In an attempt to salvage a sub-par 2011 MMA campaign, the legendary Fedor Emelianenko compete one last time this year, facing Satoshi Ishii on December 31 at DREAM’s annual New Year’s show.
DREAM officials confirmed the bout today.
Emelianenko, once billed as the top fighter competing in mixed martial arts, gracing the top spot on many pound-for-pound lists, has been on the decline ever since he defeated Brett Rogers at the tail end of 2009 in Strikeforce. Seven months following the victory, “The Last Emperor” was stunned by Fabricio Werdum, as was the entire mixed martial arts world. Emelianenko looked to rebuild following the submission loss, but back-to-back technical knockout losses at the hands of Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson in February and July of this year, respectively, led to his release from the promotion.
While Emelianenko’s 2011 was not entirely void of success, as he defeated Jeff Monson in M-1 Global’s November event, the victory was hardly the statement he needed given his recent failures.
Meanwhile, Ishii prepares to compete for just the second time this year and just the sixth time total as a professional. He last fought against the troubled Paulo Filho at Amazon Forest Combat 1 this past September, but neither were able to secure the victory, as the fight ended in a draw. Prior to that result, he was on a four-fight winning streak.
While Emelianenko’s bout against Ishii was officially announced today, a second rumored heavyweight bout has yet to be.
A bout between former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and former Strikeforce heavyweight Brett Rogers was not included as part of the official announcement of the card. HeavyMMA.com first brought news of the fight booking last month. Rogers is scheduled to be released from jail Tuesday following a 60-day sentence in a domestic abuse case in Minnesota. Monday, sources close to Sylvia’s camp told Heavy the bout was still scheduled to take place on the card – even though it wasn’t part of the M-1/Dream official fight card release.
The year-end event takes place in Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena on December 31. It will broadcast on HDNet.