Marcus “Lelo” Aurelio knows his way around a moat fight.
The Ganryujima veteran represented the promotion in fine fashion as he scored the most impressive win of Wednesday’s Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye x Ganryujima event in Tokyo. Aurelio — not to be confused with former PRIDE and UFC fighter Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio — scooped up opponent Hidenori Ebata and carried him to the edge of the fighting pit before driving him into the mist.
Watch the pro wrestling-style finish and the subsequent celebration here.
This was absolutely insane pic.twitter.com/mgPmHNlJPy— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) December 28, 2022
The surface beneath the mist appears to be lightly padded, but Ebata was unable to continue after the powerful slam.
This incredible win marked a successful return to action for Aurelio, who hasn’t fought since a loss to Katsunori Kikuno at a 2017 Ganryukima event.
Josh Barnett drops Shouma Shibisai with a knee to the gut and finishes on the ground pic.twitter.com/t6D8vq2kNO— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) December 28, 2022
Barnett has spent much of the past two years performing primarily in pro wrestling. He scores his first competitive sports victory since a bare-knuckle boxing win over Marcin Rozalski in 2020.
Lovato retired from MMA in 2019 and vacated his title after winning it off of Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 223. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert continued to compete in grappling competitions, but Wednesday was his official return to MMA and it was a triumphant one as he finished the previously undefeated Taiga Iwasaki with a kimura in the first round.
Manhoef, a veteran of over 50 MMA fights, announced his retirement just months ago, but returned for one last sendoff in Japan, a country where he created numerous memorable moments including knockouts of Kazushi Sakuraba and Mark Hunt. “No Mercy” won’t be going out on a win as he was on the wrong end of a first-round heel hook submission courtesy of Igor Tanabe.
See more oddities from Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye x Ganryujima, including the surprise return of veteran heavyweight Jimmy Ambriz under the guise of “Mr. X.”
THE MOAT MONSTERS LURK IN THE SMOKE, HUNGRY FOR THE FLESH OF THE VANQUISHED pic.twitter.com/WEJ9emajqN— Chungus Supreme (@FightsCameraPod) December 28, 2022