Heavyweights Satoshi Ishii, Pedro Rizzo to Battle in Japan’s Inoki Genome Federation


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Olympic champion judoka Satoshi Ishii will lock horns with former UFC heavyweight title contender Pedro Rizzo on May 26 at IGF “Genome 26.”

Inoki Genome Federation officials Tuesday announced the bout, which takes place at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo. A professional wrestling organization founded in 2007 by Japanese grappling icon Antonio Inoki, IGF occasionally holds MMA bouts in addition to its pro-wrestling matches.

Ishii, 26, made his MMA debut in 2009 after winning a gold medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics. The Japanese grappler has won his last three fights, all of which were held under the IGF banner. Following a knockout loss to Fedor Emelianenko to close out 2011, Ishii outpointed former UFC champion Tim Sylvia this past December and followed that triumph with submissions of Sean McCorkle and Kerry Schall to kick off 2013.

Rizzo, 38, returned to competition in June following two years on the shelf, when he saw a three-fight winning streak snapped by Emelianenko in the M-1 Global ring. Now in the twilight of his career, Rizzo previously contended for the UFC heavyweight title on three occasions, coming up short against Kevin Randleman and Randy Couture (twice). More recently, “The Rock” bested fellow veterans Jeff Monson, Gary Goodridge and Ken Shamrock before falling to Emelianenko last year.

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