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Jerome LeBanner returns to MMA at Rizin

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Rizin FF

One of the best kickboxers in K-1 history, Jerome LeBanner, will return to mixed martial arts later this month in Japan.

The French super heavyweight, who hasn’t fought since 2010, is slated to face sumo specialist Kaido Hoovelson at Rizin Fighting Federation’s event on Dec. 31, the promotion announced Monday.

LeBanner’s best days in MMA happened in 2005 and 2006, when he scored three straight knockout wins. He left the sport for four years, returning in 2010 and dropping to 3-2-1 with a decision loss to Satoshi Ishii. After that bout, LeBanner went back to kickboxing competition and racked up a 12-2-1 record with nine finishes.

Hoovelson, who makes his mixed martial arts debut on Dec. 31, is a 6-foot-6, 425-pound super heavyweight with a 431-213-102 record in sumo.

Rizin FF’s card on Dec. 31 will be headlined by heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko, but the promotion has yet to announce his opponent.