The Rizin Fighting Federation, Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s new mixed martial arts promotion based out of Japan, has announced the signing of another fighter to its roster. Sakakibara and General Manager Nobuhiko Takada held a press conference to announce that RFF has signed former sumo wrestler Kaido Hoovelson.
Hoovelson, who was known by the name "Baruto" in the sumo world, should draw plenty of eyeballs in Japan. The two executives also revealed that "Baruto" will make his MMA debut at the Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2015, which is slated for the Saitama Super Arena December 29-31.
“A long awaited man from the Professional Sumo world who has the potential to be the top fighter has made his decision to participate for Rizin,” said Sakakibara. “His home country is Estonia, but is a fighter who has the Japanese spirit.”
“He is still 30 years old,” continued Takada. “He suffered some injuries in the past, but he’s healed up and has been training hard. He has outstanding talent with the potential to lead the future of MMA.”
“It’s been two years since I stepped away from the Sumo world, but I was given an opportunity to compete again and that is why I have decided to fight," Hoovelson added. "I will give it all to become the top fighter with Peter Aerts and Akira Shoji’s supervision. Please keep an eye out for me.”