Like the New Year’s Eves of yesteryear there are two events in Tokyo now that once again IGF Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye runs the same night as Dream/Glory. The main difference is the IGF show only has four MMA fights while the rest is devoted to pro wrestling as opposed to Dream/Glory running kickboxing with MMA. The other major difference is while Dream/Glory features respected Japanese talent with some relevant foreign competition the IGF event’s MMA fights are largely based on stars from years gone by. IGF-Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2012 takes place December 31st in Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan.
Mirko “Cro-Cop” Filipovic was a big name back in the days of Pride but he never really adapted to the UFC, going 4-6 over two runs that ended in October 2011. Now coming off three losses to Frank Mir, Brendan Schaub, and most recently Roy Nelson the Croatian hero now looks to draw his career to a close with a win, on this night facing Shinichi Suzukawa. Suzukawa was a good sumo wrestler until he was arrested for possession of cannabis and dismissed from the sport. Suzukawa moved on to pro wrestling where he is known for his “worked” match against Mark Coleman but his wrestling bouts against Bob Sapp and Kimbo Slice both fell through. This fight against 27-10-2 Filipovic will mark the MMA debut of Suzukawa.
In the co-main event former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia faces 2008 Olympic gold medalist in judo Satoshi Ishii. In MMA Ishii is 4-2-1 coming off a loss to Fedor Emelianenko last New Year’s Eve while holding a win over Jerome Le Banner and a draw to Paulo Filho. 31-7 Sylvia of course is much more experienced at MMA and is coming off three wins and a “no contest”, the later being against fellow former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski. The real difference here is Ishii is known for fighting at light heavyweight and is nine inches shorter than Sylvia who is known for making good use of that reach advantage. Sylvia has the boxing skills but if Ishii can get past the reach and get the fight to the ground this could be Ishii’s biggest win to date.
Also in MMA fights 54-34-8 Ikuhisa Minowa takes on 6-2 Bor Bratovz and 13-5 Yusuke Kawaguchi fights 7-1 Rolles Gracie.
Yusuke Kawaguchi vs.Rolles Gracie
Ikuhisa Minowa vs.Bor Bratovz
Tim Sylvia vs.Satoshi Ishii
Mirko Filipovic vs.Shinichi Suzukawa