With seven wins in 13 months, Satoshi Ishii is on a roll. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii and UFC veteran Philip De Fries are set to square off April 5 in Tokyo.
The heavyweight clash will headline Inoki Genome Fight 1, the first in a new series of MMA events from Japanese pro-wrestling promotion Inoki Genome Federation. The IGF will continue to run pro-wrestling events under its numbered “Genome” series, while both wrestling and MMA will be featured on annual “Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye” New Year’s Eve cards.
No other bouts have been announced for Inoki Genome Fight 1, which takes place at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan and is expected to air on terrestrial television in Japan.
In the two years since his loss to Fedor Emelianenko, Ishii has run up a seven-fight winning streak, topping the likes of Pedro Rizzo, Tim Sylvia and Jeff Monson. The 27-year-old judoka last competed on Jan. 31, when he earned a unanimous decision against Kazuyuki Fujita to capture the IGF MMA heavyweight title. Ishii’s newly won belt will not be on the line come April 5.
De Fries, also 27, will make his return to Japan after choking out Brett Rogers on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo. The win halted a two-fight skid for the Englishman, who was released by the UFC following back-to-back losses against Matt Mitrione and Todd Duffee.