Olympic silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi's MMA debut will take top billing at Sengoku 10 on Sept. 23 in Tokyo, Japan, World Victory Road said Wednesday.
The 27-year-old is World Victory Road's second major Olympic medalist judoka acquisition this year. 2008 gold medalist Satoshi Ishii signed in June and Izumi followed suit a month after. Ishii is expected to make his MMA debut at Sengoku 11 on Nov. 7.
In addition to his medal at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Izumi has also collected gold medals at the 2005 World Judo Championship Games, the 2007 East Asian Judo Championships and the 2008 Asian Judo Championships.
Izumi's opponent for his debut is to be announced.
Izumi's placement on the card is above Antonio Silva, which means Josh Barnett can essentially be ruled out as Silva's yet to be announced opponent on Sept. 23. Barnett, who expressed interest this past weekend in a return to Pancrase to defend his King of Pancrase open-weight title, has a contract with Sengoku and could still be a potential opponent for Silva later in December.
Also announced Wednesday are four additional bouts for Sengoku 10. Tetsuya Yamada (3-1) will be moving up from featherweight in a fight against Lightweight King of Pancrase Maximo Blanco (3-2-1) and three opening bouts will match winners from the Sengoku Japan and South Korea Gold Cup tournaments.
Here is how the card is shaping up for Sengoku 10:
- Kazunori Yokota vs. Ryan Schultz
- Maximo Blanco vs. Tetsuya Yamada
- Hiroshi Izumi vs. TBA
- Antonio Silva vs. TBA
- Joe Doerksen vs. TBA
- Makoto Takimoto vs. TBA
- Ikuo Usuda vs. Baek Woo Hyun
- Shigeki Osawa vs. Kim Ki Hyun
- Ryosuke Komori vs. So Jee Hyun