Rizin Fight Federation has announced the return of kickboxing great Jerome LeBanner in a super heavyweight matchup with former sumo wrestling star Kaido “Baruto Kaido” Hoovelson.

FOr LeBanner (3-2 MMA; 81-22-2 kickboxing) this marks his first appearance under in an MMA bout since 2010 when he lost a unanimous decision to Judo medalist Satoshi Ishii. Prior to the defeat, LeBanner had scored three consecutive knockouts, all under the K-1 promotion.

The 42-year-old has faced and defeated every major rival of his generation in the kickboxing ring over the course of his 20-plus year professional career. Ih his most recent bouts, LeBanner emerged victorious with second round knockout over Claudiu Istrate, retaining his I.S.K.A. world super heavyweight in the process, and a unanimous decision over Karl Roberson.

Hoovelson (0-0 MMA, 431-213-102 sumo), who stands 6-foot-6, 425 pounds, is a monstrous specimen who competed as a professional sumo in Japan between 2004 and 2013. The bout with LeBanner marks Hoovelson’s MMA rules debut.

Just two years into his career, Hoovelson reached the top division in the sport, eventually winning a championship in 2012 and earning five awards for fighting spirit.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.