New Year's Eve may have a familiar feel for longtime fight fans.
Former Pride star Fedor Emelianenko is slated to fight Satoshi Ishii on DREAM's year-end card "DREAM: New Year! 2011", according to reports from Sherdog. The bout will mark "The Last Emperor's" return to Japan for the first time since 2007.
Emelianenko (32-4, 1 NC), long considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, recently snapped a three-fight slump by defeating former UFC contender Jeff Monson via unanimous decision at M-1 Global: Emelianenko vs. Monson. Previously the 35-year-old suffered defeat at the hands of Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, and Dan Henderson.
An Olympic gold medalist judoka, Ishii (4-1-1) has competed sporadically in MMA with a majority of his fights taking place in Japan. The 24-year-old last fought to a draw against former WEC champion Paulo Filho in September.
"DREAM: Fight for Japan. How are you! New Year! 2011" takes place on December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The card will air on HDNet.
"DREAM: Fight for Japan. How are you! New Year! 2011" fight card:
Bantamweight Grand Prix:
Bantamweight Semifinal: Masakazu Imanari vs. Antonio Banuelos
Bantamweight Semifinal: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Rodolfo Marques
Bantamweight Final: Winner of Imanari/Banuelos vs. Winner of Fernandes/Marques
Bantamweight Tourney-Reserve: Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev
Featherweight Championship: Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi Inoue
Lightweight Championship: Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka
Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
Heavyweight: Tim Sylvia vs. Brett Rogers
Featherweight: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Welterweight: Hayato Sakurai vs. Ryo Chonan
Women's Flyweight: Karla Benitez vs. Megumi Fujii