A longstanding tradition of the MMA world continues on New Year’s Eve as Japanese promotion Dream holds it’s fourth and final event of the year.

Although the promotion has held the fewest number of events in a year in its existence, the annual end-of-year extravaganza will feature a number of big names and important fights.

Most notably, former Pride heavyweight champion and staple of past New Year’s Eve events, Fedor Emelianenko makes his return to the land of the rising sun for the first time since 2007. Across the ring from the Russian legend will be Japanese gold medalist Judoka Satoshi Ishii.

Also on tap for the event are two title bouts, in the lightweight and featherweight divisions. Lightweight kingpin Shinya Aoki puts his belt on the line against former Sengoku champ Satoru Kitaoka. Hiroyuki Takaya will look to make his second defense of his featherweight strap as he takes on multi-time Shooto champion Takeshi “Lion” Inoue.

Rounding out the MMA portion of the event will be the completion of the promotion’s bantamweight tournament. The four competitors vying for the 135-pound title include WEC veteran Antonio Banuelos, longtime Japanese competitor Masakazu Imanari, former Dream featherweight champ Bibiano Fernandes, and rising Brazilian Rodolfo Marques.

In addition to the MMA bouts, the card will also feature kickboxing, professional wrestling and mixed rules bouts. Former UFC heavyweight champions Josh Barnett and Tim Sylvia are expected to compete, as well as K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner and Japanese MMA icon Kazushi Sakuraba. The entire event airs live on HDNet beginning at 1 a.m. ET on Dec. 31.

The MMA Corner’s panel of Josh Davis, Bryan Henderson and Rob Tatum break down the MMA bouts in this edition of the Round Table.

115-pound Women’s: Megumi Fujii (24-1) vs. Karla Benitez (6-1)

Henderson: This looks like a huge mismatch to me. Don’t get me wrong, Benitez has a good record and could emerge as a top 115-pounder. But she’s facing an opponent who ranks No. 1 in the world in the weight class, has more than three times the experience and could still be undefeated if not for emerging on the losing end of a controversial split decision against Zoila Gurgel under the Bellator banner.

“Mega Megu” versus just about anyone, including Gurgel, can look like a huge mismatch on paper. And, as Gurgel proved, anything can happen inside a cage or ring. In this case though, I don’t think Benitez can follow in Gurgel’s footsteps. She hasn’t proven to be a dominant finisher on the feet, is definitely outclassed on the ground, and recently lost to an undefeated fighter of similar experience. In other words, she’s just not on the same level as Fujii.

Megumi Fujii (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

Fujii will seek takedowns from the onset, and once she grounds Benitez, it’ll only be a matter of time before she locks in a submission for the win.

Davis: I have to agree with Bryan, on paper this fight looks like a huge mismatch. However, this is why they fight. Since losing to Gurgel, Fujii has rebounded nicely with two straight victories and she looks to make Benitez her third.

Though she is giving up a wealth of skill and experience, Benitez will certainly be a game opponent. What she lacks in skill Benitez will make up for with heart and determination. Benitez does not have the skills that Fujii does, but this is the fight game and anything can happen.

Fujii is just to much for anybody at this weight class. She will be able to use here striking to set up the takedowns and, like Bryan said above, once Fujii gets this fight to the ground it will be a matter of time before she gets the finish. Fujii wins this fight by second-round TKO.

Tatum: I have to echo the sentiments of Bryan and Josh in that Benitez is nothing more than cannon fodder for Fujii.

Benitez’s only path to victory is on the feet, but as Bryan alluded, she’s not the most accomplished striker by any means.

While Fujii isn’t going to do much damage with her strikes, her ground game is vicious. Once she gets the fight to the ground, it’s not if she’ll get a finish, it’s when.

Fujii is simply going to outclass Benitez, scoring an early takedown, moving to mount and locking in a fight-ending armbar in the first round.

BW GP Reserve: Hideo Tokoro (30-24-1) vs. Yusup Saadulaev (8-1-1)

Davis: This fight is the old lion against the young lion. Tokoro has been in the MMA game for over a decade and he has a wealth of experience. With 55 professional bouts, there are not many things that he has not seen. In addition to experience, Tokoro is a very skilled jiu-jitsu practitioner and he will need to take advantage of this if he is going to come out victorious.

Saadulaev, on the other hand, does not have near the experience of Tokoro, but what he gives up in experience he makes up for in talent. Saadulaev is not excellent in any one particular area, but he is solid in all aspects of the fighting game. Saadulaev has solid hands that he uses well to set up his takedowns. The Russian native has good wrestling skills and in 2009 he won the gold medal for jiu-jitsu in the Pan American games blue belt division. Saadulaev can be a very dangerous opponent for anyone.

Hideo Tokoro (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

Saadulaev is the more well-rounded fighter in this match-up and I look for him to exploit the weaknesses of Tokoro. Saadulaev will win this fight by first-round submission.

Tatum: I have to disagree with Josh on this one. It’s easy to be fooled by Tokoro’s lackluster record. While his chin has failed him in the past, his grappling prowess is high level. He holds wins over Royler Gracie, Brad Pickett and Darren Uyenoyama, as well as a draw with MMA legend Royce Gracie.

In his recent career resurrection, Tokoro has won four of five, defeating fellow Japanese stalwarts Yoshihiro Maeda and Masakazu Imanari along the way. Although he fell short against Banuelos in the opening round of the GP, he’s still a very dangerous, experienced fighter.

Across the ring will stand rising Russian fighter Saadulaev. The grappling specialist’s only loss of his career came in the opening round of the GP. While his ground game is his strongest asset, it won’t be his path to victory against the well-versed Tokoro.

Saadulaev would be wise to keep the fight standing and test Tokoro’s chin, but the two will likely engage in a back-and-forth ground battle, with the Japanese fighter, Tokoro, getting the decision win.

Henderson: One thing that Rob covered that really stands out to me in this match-up is the difference in the level of competition Tokoro and Saadulaev have faced. While Tokoro has a lengthy resume featuring top fighters and even some legends, Saadulaev’s only significant foe was Rodolfo Marques Diniz…and he lost that outing.

Even more interesting, Saadulaev’s only win over an opponent with a winning record and more than five fights’ worth of experience came against Jared McMahan, who submitted just 16 seconds in from a leg injury. Outside of that fight, Saadulaev has defeated opponents with very little experience or extreme losing records. His last two wins have come against opponents with a combined record of 8-21 (the last win of which came against 0-10 fighter, Chris Clark).

While Saadulaev’s 8-1 mark makes him seem like a formidable nemesis for Tokoro, the reality is that this is Tokoro’s fight to lose. He should competely outclass “Maestro” before locking in a fight-ending submission. Tokoro finishes this one early.

BW GP Semifinal: Antonio Banuelos (19-7) vs. Masakazu Imanari (24-9-2)

Tatum: The first semifinal of the bantamweight grand prix will feature a battle of veterans as recent Zuffa castoff Banuelos locks horns with Japanese submission ace Imanari.

Banuelos was let go from the UFC after dropping a fight to Miguel Torres in February. Despite his 9-5 record under the Zuffa banner, the hard-nosed fighter found himself unemployed. Banuelos quickly found work in Dream, defeating Hideo Tokoro in the opening round of the tournament. The Pit-trained fighter has relied on his striking and wrestling in his past bouts and I would expect nothing less in this fight with Imanari.

For Imanari, this will be the 35-year-old’s sixth fight in 2011. Bouncing between Dream and fellow Japanese promotion Deep (where he hold the bantamweight belt), Imanari has gone 8-2 in his last ten fights. However, his most recent loss was to the man Banuelos defeated in the opening round, Tokoro. Imanari has the ground game to submit nearly anyone in the division, but has a propensity for coming out on the wrong end of decisions. That could spell disaster in this match-up.

Antonio Banuelos (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

I expect Imanari to frustrate Banuelos early in this fight with his unorthodox striking, but Banuelos will figure it out and avoid the Japanese fighter’s lethal ground game en route to another decision win and a trip to the tournament final.

Henderson: “Hard-nosed” is one way to describe Banuelos. He’s definitely a guy who will always be tough to defeat, but will never find himself at the top of anyone’s MMA rankings. But he definitely has the skills to be competitive in this grand prix, and especially against a foe like Imanari.

I love watching slick grapplers, guys who can pull submissions off from out of nowhere. Imanari definitely fits that category. However, it’s also hard to watch these guys at times, as they’re biggest strength can be overshadowed by their lack of an all-around game to back it up. While Imanari might have unorthodox striking, it’s not something Banuelos will find difficulty with. Additionally, Banuelos’ only worry in regards to takedowns will come in the form of Imanari’s shooting attempts for a submission rather than an actual takedown.

Unless Banuelos gets careless, this fight should definitely tilt in his favor. He can outstrike Imanari, while his wrestling skills should allow him to avoid any traditional takedown attempts from Imanari. That leaves Imanari with only the possibility of getting lucky and snagging one of Banuelos’ limbs. I don’t think that happens though, as Banuelos rides out a decision win and earns a berth in the grand prix finals.

Davis: I have to agree with both of my colleagues on this one. Imanari’s unorthodox striking will give anyone fits for a few minutes, but it will not take Banuelos long to figure it out. Once he does, he will be able to stand back and pick his shots and dictate the pace of the fight. Banuelos is a grinder and it is very tough to break his will.

If Imanari is going to win this fight, he is going to have to frustrate Banuelos and get Banuelos to make a mistake that will allow him to get this fight to the ground where he can use his submission game. If Imanari can not get this fight to the ground, it could be a long night for him.

This fight could be very exciting with some technical grappling or it could be a three-round snooze fest. Either way, I see Banuelos coming away with the victory. Banuelos wins this fight by decision.

BW GP Semifinal: Rodolfo Marques Diniz (14-1) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (9-3)

Davis: On paper, this is one of the most intriguing fights for me. These two fighters match up very well against each other and I expect this to be one of the better fights of the night.

Diniz is a very well-rounded fighter and he can hold his own anywhere the fight may go. Diniz is not really known as a finisher, winning nine of his 14 victories by decision. Though he might not finish all of his fights, he does of have excellent cardio. In addition to his cardio, Diniz does have excellent submission skills and he will want to get this fight to the ground to look for a finish.

Fernandes is one of the best fighters in the world that most people have not heard of. A former featherweight champion for Dream, Fernandes now looks to make a run at the bantamweight division, and with his size and skills he should be dominant. Fernandes also possesses world-class submission skills and he will look to take advantage of this against Diniz.

Bibiano Fernandes (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

Both of these fighters are submission fighters and both hope to get the fight to the ground and work for the submission. Fernandes though, I believe, has the better submission skills and he will be able to take advantage of the mistakes made by Diniz. Fernandes will win this fight by third-round submission.

Henderson: Fernandes is known as “The Flash,” and after first seeing highlights of him in grappling and MMA competition, I immediately understood why. This guy is lightning fast in his transitions. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another fighter move from one position to another with the same speed as Fernandes. That alone makes him a tough opponent.

Fernandes has dropped three fights in his career, but two of those defeats came at the hands of Urijah Faber and “Kid” Yamamoto while both men were still in their prime.

Diniz might have submission skills, but I doubt they match those of Fernandes. When Diniz has finished his opponents, it tends to be via strikes. He’ll make this into a good fight, but I just don’t think he can hang with Fernandes once this fight hits the mat. After a fairly even back-and-forth stand-up battle, Fernandes finishes this fight on the ground via submission.

Tatum: As both of my fellow panelists have pointed out, in this battle of Brazilians, the edge undoubtedly goes to Fernandes.

The former featherweight champ has showed off a strong skill set throughout his 12-fight career, and Diniz is likely to be only a minor speed bump to the bantamweight final. As Bryan pointed out, two of his losses came to the upper echelon of the division, Faber and Yamamoto, in only his second and third fights. Since then, his ground game has evolved along with his striking.

Diniz really has nothing to lose in this fight. While he’s had more fights than his fellow countryman, his level of competition is nowhere near the same. In reality, taking this fight to a decision would be a victory in itself.

Although Diniz is a Nova Uniao product, he won’t be able to hang with the Gracie black belt. Look for Fernandes to cash his ticket to the final with a second-round rear-naked choke.

FW: Tatsuya Kawajiri (29-7-2) vs. Kazuyuki Miyata (11-8)

Henderson: Tatsuya Kawajiri was long considered among the best lightweights in the world. He’s always come up a bit short though, losing to Shinya Aoki, Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez. That’s a who’s-who of the 155-pound division, so when Kawajiri dropped to featherweight recently, it wasn’t hard to get excited about an instant top dog newcomer to the division.

Kawajiri has already posted a submission win over Joachim Hansen since his arrival at 145, and now he’s set to fight Miyata. It might appear more like a showcase bout for Kawajiri, as Miyata sports a middling record, but Miyata has competed against some solid competition lately and has often come out on top. That makes this less of a showcase bout for Kawajiri, and more of a legitimate test. Can “Crusher” succeed where Caol Uno, Takeshi “Lion” Inoue and Daiki Hata have failed?

Tatsuya Kawajiri (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

Given that Kawajiri has hung with competition of a higher level at 155, I believe the answer to that question is a definite yes. Kawajiri will have to rely on the same submission skills that led him to the Hansen win, as the ground game tends to be Miyata’s biggest weakness. Kawajiri wins this one either via submission or unanimous decision.

Tatum: As Bryan pointed out, “Crusher” has been in the ring with some of the biggest names in the lightweight division and has held his ground. While I was initially surprised to hear that he was dropping to the 145-pound weight class, his performance against Hansen was more than enough to convince me that it was the right move.

Miyata is known as “Little Hercules” for his chiseled physique and his seemingly limitless strength. Although he may be known for being on the wrong end of the fastest knockout in Hero’s history (Four seconds against “Kid” Yamamoto), Miyata has had a career resurgence over the past few years. The freestyle wrestling expert had rattled off six straight wins before dropping a title bout to Hiroyuki Takaya in July. But, as Bryan alluded to, he has struggled against top-level competition and fighters with submission skills.

While Kawajiri earned the nickname “Crusher” for his ground-and-pound skills, the name may have a second meaning after he wins his second straight featherweight bout by arm-triangle choke and crushes Miyata’s hopes of contending in the future.

Davis: Bryan and Rob hit the nail on the head. Both of these fighters have fought some of the best competition that their divisions had to offer and done very well. Now with Kawajiri making the drop to featherweight, I look for him to be more dominant than he was at lightweight.

Miyata is as tough as they come and he is certainly not a fighter that you want to overlook. With that being said, he does not match up well with Kawajiri. Like Rob stated, Miyata does have solid wrestling and he has found a resurgence to his career, but it likely will not be enough in this fight.
Kawajiri will prove that he is too good for Miyata and that he is going to be a significant force at featherweight. Kawajiri wins this fight by second-round submission.

FW Championship: Hiroyuki Takaya (16-9-1) vs. Takeshi “Lion” Inoue (21-5)

Tatum: In a bout that is sure to produce fireworks, Dream featherweight champ Takaya puts his belt on the line against former Shooto champ Inoue. The two striking specialists have a combined 21 knockout wins.

Takaya has been around the world and back in the sport. The veteran has wins over the likes of Hatsu Hioki, Joachim Hansen and Bibiano Fernandes (whom he took the belt from last December). However, Takaya has struggled against tougher competition outside of Japan. His stint in the WEC was short, dropping fights to Leonard Garcia and Cub Swanson. Recently, he lost to Robbie Peralta in Strikeforce. His tendency to stand and trade has produced some highlight-reel finishes, but has left him unconscious as well.

Inoue has been a consistent force in Japanese MMA, but has never ventured out from his homeland. He holds wins over current UFC fighters Cole Miller and Antonio Carvalho. Perhaps the biggest weapon in his arsenal is the fact that he’s never been finished in 26 career fights.

Takeshi "Lion" Inoue (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

Based on the match-up, this is essentially a coin flip. Takaya has faced tougher competition, but Inoue has never been finished. I believe we’ll see a new champion crowned as Inoue puts Takaya out with a head kick late in the second round.

Davis: As Rob stated above, this fight should produce fireworks for the fans. Both of these guys love to strike and neither one will be afraid to stand in the pocket and trade with each other. With that being said, this is a title fight so look for both fighters to fight smart and exercise some caution.

On paper they match up very well against each other, but I too believe that we will see a new champion. Inoue wins this fight by TKO in the third round.

Henderson: It’s great to finally see Inoue in a major promotion. He’s been a force in Japan for years, but most of his accomplishments have come in circles not quite as familiar to American MMA fans, the Shooto ring. Since coming to Dream, he has posted three wins to one defeat.

Inoue has a better record and has shown more consistency than Takaya. Takaya has not only struggled against tough competition outside of Japan, he has even had his struggles in his homeland. He has lost to Fernandes, Michihiro Omigawa, “JZ” Cavalcante, Gilbert Melendez and Andre Amado.

While Takaya has a penchant for striking, he’s also shown a weak chin of his own. That’s not a good thing going against someone with the recent trend of knockouts and TKO’s that Inoue has posted. It’s an interesting battle, but I have to agree with my fellow panelists in saying Inoue wins via some form of knockout.

LW Championship: Shinya Aoki (29-5) vs. Satoru Kitaoka (29-10-9)

Henderson: Satoru Kitaoka has never been submitted. That might be the only edge he can claim going into this title tilt with Aoki.

The former Sengoku champ likes submissions himself, and while his wrestling might allow him to put Aoki on his back throughout this contest, Aoki is just fine with being in that position. Kitaoka’s chance in this fight is to keep it standing. He might have a chance to outpoint “Tobikan Judan” in a striking affair.

However, it’s often easier said than done when it comes to keeping Aoki out of his element. I can’t imagine many of his opponents went into their bouts with him thinking they’d find themselves on the mat with the submission specialist, but a few taps later, there they were.

Shinya Aoki (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

With Kitaoka preferring to grapple, it might be hard for him not to accept Aoki’s invite to the ground. I see Kitaoka getting the better of Aoki on the feet, but eventually falling back on his instinct and shooting in for a takedown. From there, Aoki will snag a limb or Kitaoka’s neck and make it a relatively short night of work. Aoki via submission.

Davis: Both of these fighters are world class when it comes to submissions. With that in mind, a fight like this will usually go to the fighter that can gain an advantage in another area, such as striking. I agree with Bryan in the fact that Kitaoka will probably earn the advantage in the striking department, but I also think that at some point this fight will go to the ground.

Aoki makes his living on the ground and he does not care if he is in top position or fighting off of his back. I believe that Aoki will have the advantage on the ground and once the fight gets to the ground, Aoki will find a way to get the submission. Aoki wins by second-round submission.

Tatum: I’m going to go against the grain with this fight. While Aoki has largely dominated everyone he has faced in his native Japan, he’s never faced a teammate.

Like Aoki, Kitaoka is a Yuki Nakai black belt and the two have trained together in the past. That insight is an advantage that few hold against the crafty submission ace. Like Bryan mentioned, he’s never been submitted and I don’t expect that to change against someone he is closely familiar with like Aoki.

For Aoki, he’ll put his belt on the line for the first time in 18 months. Although he’s riding a six-fight win streak, including three straight neck crank submissions, his last true challenger was Tatsuya Kawajiri last July. And prior to that, Aoki was completely dominated by Gilbert Melendez under the Strikeforce banner. Kitaoka marks the most significant foe since that bout.

The bottom line will be whether Aoki’s slowly evolving stand-up game can score enough points in the eyes of the judges. Neither fighter has a strong chin, nor is it likely that Aoki will do much to test Kitaoka’s. All in all, this is a bad match-up for Aoki, and I believe Kitaoka will shock the world by dethroning Aoki by taking home a narrow decision.

WW: Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (35-12-2) vs. Ryo Chonan (20-12)

Davis: Sakurai is currently riding a four-fight losing streak and he must defeat Chonan if he is going to stay relevant in the sport. With 49 fights behind him, Sakurai has a wealth of experience, but his age has showed in his last four fights. He is no longer the dominant fighter that he once was. He is a step slower and a step softer than when he was in his prime and he is going to have to fight the perfect fight if he expects to defeat Chonan.

Once a widely feared fighter, Chonan’s reputation as a killer has since fallen. Chonan wants to get back to being the competitor that he once was and in order to do that he must be victorious against Sakurai. At this point in their careers, Chonan will be the younger and more active fighter and should be able to take advantage of Sakurai’s weaknesses.

Ryo Chonan (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

This is a must-win fight for both, but at this point in time Chonan has more life left in him. Chonan wins this fight by decision.

Tatum: It’s hard to believe that it has been over eight years since these two Japanese veterans first crossed paths. Since that fight in the Deep promotion, which Chonan won due to a cut, both became staples of the Pride organization. However, as Josh pointed out, age has caught up with both fighters in recent years.

Sakurai will have the experience advantage and is certainly the more well-rounded fighter. His recent performances and past losses to high-level competition (Anderson Silva, Matt Hughes, Takanori Gomi) certainly suggest that while he’s still got the heart to compete, his best days are far beyond him.

Chonan, meanwhile, met a similar fate to his fellow countryman while competing in the UFC. He never established himself and was cut after going just 1-3 in the promotion. His grind it out style has never been a fan favorite, but it has been responsible for Chonan’s career longevity.

This fight really comes down to who wants it more. If “Mach” is motivated to avenge his loss from 2003, he could come out and blast Chonan quickly and violently. However, if Chonan survives that initial onslaught, he’ll grind his way to a decision win. I believe Sakurai won’t let his losing streak get to five, and he’ll score an emphatic KO just minutes into the fight.

Henderson: It’s hard to get out of a funk like Sakurai has found himself in. Four losses, all against opponents of roughly the same caliber as his next foe, does not bode well for “Mach” entering this fight.

If Sakurai is going to succeed, it will be in the stand-up department. Chonan has fallen victim to four knockout losses in his career, but overall he’s proven to be a tough out, with 18 of his 32 fights making it to the judges’ scorecards.

Considering Sakurai’s recent set of losses, I think we will see Chonan survive any initial onslaught. Then he will move on to his typical grinding style. This fight will probably be close, but it also could turn into one of the more tedious affairs of the night. In a less than spectacular fight, Chonan earns a razor thin decision.

HW: Fedor Emelianenko (32-4) vs. Satoshi Ishii (4-1-1)

Tatum: It has been four years since “The Last Emperor” last competed on New Year’s Eve and the Russian will look to make it a triumphant return as he takes on the less experienced Ishii.

Emelianenko’s struggles under the Strikeforce banner left many doubting the MMA legend’s ability to stay relevant in the sport. In November, the heavyweight took a lopsided decision over former UFC title challenger Jeff Monson, a win that halted a three-fight skid. However, if Emelianenko wants to erase memories of his struggles, this may not be the fight that does it.

The gold medal-winning Judoka Ishii has been training in the United States at Reign Training Center in California. The fighter recently made his 205-pound debut, fighting to a draw with former WEC champ Paulo Filho. Now, he makes the move back to heavyweight to face one of the most decorated fighters in the entire sport.

Emelianenko’s sambo skills are likely to neutralize Ishii’s world-class judo. The Russian battered Tsuyoshi Kosaka and submitted Naoya Ogawa under the Pride banner, so Ishii’s weapons are unlikely to pose much of threat.

Satoshi Ishii (Dream)

While the Japanese fans in attendance would love to see their fighter score the upset, I look for Emelianenko to batter Ishii on the feet from the opening bell. I’d be surprised if this fight sees a second round as Emelianenko scores a vicious KO win.

Henderson: Fedor has to be thinking, “Home sweet home!” After all, Japan is where he rose to legend’s status and now he take refuge there again following an underwhelming showing on US soil. And, big surprise, the Japanese promoters have served up a game opponent that one could make an argument for as a legitimate threat to Emelianenko.

However, when you really get down to it, Ishii is not much different than a lot of Fedor’s more recent previous opponent’s in Japan. He’s a decorated Judoka with a limited amount of experience in the MMA ring. He’s put up wins over opponents he should beat, but failed against the likes of Hidehiko Yoshida and Paulo Filho. His performances against those two should be reason enough for concern against Emelianenko.

Fedor might not be invincible anymore, but if Yoshida and Filho could give Ishii tourble, there’s no doubt in my mind that Fedor will destroy him. I second Rob’s opinion: This fight ends early and in a bad way for Ishii.

Davis: It seems fitting that Fedor finds himself fighting in Japan on New Year’s Eve once again. Like Bryan and Rob stated, Japan is where the legend of “The Last Emperor” began. Fedor will always be remembered for his dominant days fighting in Pride and, after a very lackluster stint with Strikeforce in the United States, Fedor returns to Japan hoping to rebuild the legend.

Make no mistake about it though, Ishii is a game opponent and will not lay down for Fedor. With that being said, I think that Ishii and his judo will struggle against Fedor and his Sambo. I agree with Rob and think that these two skills will cancel each other out and this fight will be won by the fighter who can dominate on the feet.

I believe that fighter will be Fedor. Fedor is still on the tail end of his career, but he should be able to come away with a highlight reel knockout in this fight. Fedor wins by first-round KO.

Top Photo: Fedor Emelianenko (Esther Lin/Strikeforce)