Pride FC legend and Ukrainian berzerker, Igor Vovchanchyn (47-9-1) will, reportedly make a return to mixed martial arts competition at the Fighting Mixed Combative, which is the upstart South Korean promotion’s sophomore event on Sept. 29, 2009, according to our friends over at Nightmare of Battle.
No possible opponent has been named at this time.
This comes as surprising news, seeing how one year ago Vovchanchyn seemed to be completely against the idea of a return to mixed martial arts:
"I’m a businessman now. I won’t come back. Sure I think about it every once in a while, but I’m 35, you know. The main problem is the injuries. I can’t even strike with my right hand. I got three screws in my right elbow and one in the left. I’m about to undergo an operation on my nose as I can’t breathe right. To sum things up, there is no sense in my comeback."
Has time has healed old wounds? Perhaps his return is purely financially motivated. Or maybe he just couldn’t resist one last swan song to go out on a high note.
Either way, it’s hard to imagine "Ice Cold" returning to the fighting form that once made him one of the most feared strikers in mixed martial arts. Besides the nagging injuries he’s complained of in the past, he's coming off a long layoff, having not competed since August of 2005, which was a unanimous decision loss to Judoka Kazuhiro Nakamura (13-9) at Pride: "Final Conflict 2005."
Also slated for the card is Russian-bred heavyweight Aleksander Emelianenko (15-3) who is set to battle 2008 Combat Sambo World Champion Blagoi Ivanov (0-0).
Ivanov is likely best known to mixed martial arts fans as the man who recently dispatched of Aleks’ famous older brother, Fedor Emelianenko (albeit in a Sambo competition), last year. Now he has his eyes set on dispatching of another Emelianenko in Aleks.
And there are some rumblings of another Emelianenko brother competing on the card, no not Fedor but the youngest of the siblings Ivan Emelianenko, whose mixed martial arts debut is possible for the show but has yet to be finalized.
With all the European flavor the card has to offer you’d think a more likely destination would be "The Motherland" and not South Korea. We’ll have to wait and see this September if the booking tactics pay off.
We'll also find out if the Sambo World Champion Ivanov is in over his head and if Vovchanchyn has anything left to offer.
Should be an interesting turn of events.