Following a week of rumours, DEEP has officially confirmed that Japanese star Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa will compete at DEEP: 50th Impact on October 24th. As usual, Minowa will face a much larger opponent when he takes on 300-pound South Korean super heavyweight Chang Hee Kim.
Minowa has won five of his last six fights, while Kim dropped his pro debut in March. Also announced for the Tokyo card was a bout between Laughter7 representative Katsuyori “The Mad Dog Wrestler” Shibata and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, while veteran Akira Shoji will compete in an exhibition match.
Minowa (46-31-8), a massive fan favourite in Japan, has recently enjoyed a resurgence in his career and picked up big wins over Bob Sapp, Hong Man Choi and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in 2009 to win the DREAM Super Hulk Tournament. He won two more bouts in 2010 before his five-fight winning streak was halted on September 25th when he was defeated by Judo gold medallist Satoshi Ishii at Dream.16.
Known for his leglocks and unorthodox style, Minowa remains one of the top draws in Japan even as MMA faces struggles in the country. Against Kim (0-1-0), Minowa should have little trouble securing another crowd-pleasing submission. Kim was stopped with strikes in just 91 seconds at an M-1 Selection event on March 5th. He has not fought since then and will now serve as the latest in a long line of super heavyweight opponents for Minowa.
In other action, Shibata (4-8-1) and Nakanishi (8-1-0) will square off in a bout that would appear to be a mismatch on paper. Shibata picked up the biggest victory of his career last year when he defeated Minowa at Dream.8, but he has dropped two straight decisions and once again finds himself well below the .500 mark. Nakanishi, meanwhile, has won five straight fights since his lone defeat in July 2008. This April, Nakanishi became DEEP Light Heavyweight Champion and he will look to follow up on that success when he takes on the pro wrestler, Shibata.
DEEP: 50th Impact takes place on October 24th at JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)