Japanese promoter FEG announced the official addition of Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem, as well as a match-up between two masters of opposing disciplines, to the ever-expanding card expected to take place in Saitama, Japan on December 31 at “Dynamite: The Power of Courage”.
Though no opponent was named for Overeem, the two individuals set to square off create an intriguing pairing from a stylistic standpoint, as judoka Satoshi Ishii, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, will take on famed French kickboxer Jerome LeBanner.
While LeBanner has never won a K-1 World Grand Prix he holds an overall record of 76-19 and wins over most of the sport’s top competitors. He is 3-1-1 in Mixed Martial Arts with victories in his last three bouts, including a knockout of Yoshishiro Akiyama in 2005, but has focused on kickboxing for the last four years rather than jumping between the two athletic endeavors.
Counting Ishii vs. LeBanner, FEG’s annual showcase of talent now looks to feature fifteen total fights. Other announced match-ups include former Strikeforce lightweight title-holder Josh Thomson fighting 26-6-2 Tatsuya Kawajiri, as well as a scrap between featherweight champs Bibiano Fernandes and Hiroyuki Takaya and appearances by event-regulars Shinya Aoki, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Ikuhisa Minowa.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE