Prior to making his Strikeforce 2010 debut, K-1 wrecking machine and mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Melvin Manhoef (23-6-1) will do battle with Japanese superstar Kazuo Misaki (22-9-2) at the 2009 FieLDS Dynamite!! event on New Year's Eve.
The bout will be contested under MMA rules.
Manhoef looked "Marvelous" in the opening round of his DREAM 10 fight against Paulo Filho back in July, putting the Brazilian grappling stud on queer street with his trademark blitzkrieg of punches; however, Manhoef ultimately fell short after the fight hit the mat.
He's going to need to keep his ground game sharp if he plans to make it out of Japan a winner -- assuming the ex-Grabaka Hitman stays conscious long enough to make it a fight.
Misaki recently departed from the Grabaka gym where he was affiliated since his professional fighting debut in Pancrase in May 2001, citing his intent to "start from scratch."
In July, Misaki was suspended from competition by Sengoku following a brush with law. According to the police report, an officer on motorcycle attempted to pull him over for talking on a cell phone while driving. Misaki proceeded to speed away, hitting the officer in the arm. He entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to three years probation, plus unspecified public service.
Misaki was allowed to compete in Sengoku 9 where he defeated fellow Pride FC veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura; however, he did not receive pay and the suspension nullified his planned title shot against Jorge Santiago. His originally scheduled payment was also donated to the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention.
Defeating a name like Manhoef will go a long way in re-establishing Misaki as a major force in international (and stateside) competition.
For more on the upcoming FieLDS Dynamite!! event click here.