If Jose Canseco thought Danny Bonaduce and Vai Sikahema were tough, he's in big trouble on Tuesday morning. The former major league baseball slugger is on a suicide mission in his first professional mixed martial arts fight against 7-foot-2, 330 pound kickboxer Hong Man Choi in Yokohama, Japan. Canseco will face Choi as part of DREAM's Super Hulk Tournament on HDNet at 5 a.m. ET.
The Japanese put on entertaining shows but this is exactly the sort of thing that ruins the sport's image in the eyes of casual fans. The eight-man tourney features a first round where the average weight difference is 87.6 pounds. Canseco played in the majors around the 240 pounds. The 44-year-old is 253 1/2 for this fight against the giant Korean. Keep in mind, Japan does not test for steroids.
Canseco isn't exactly brimming with confidence:
"I'm not gonna lie to you, I'm scared. This guy is huge," Canseco said Monday at a press conference to promote the fight. "I'm a 44-year-old rookie and have had a lot of challenges in my baseball career and hopefully, I can do well tomorrow."
Here's hoping Canseco doesn't suffer a serious injury. This is exactly the kind of fight that nearly ended MMA's run as a professional sport in the late 90's when John McCain called it "Human Cockfighting."
Jan Nortje is the heaviest participant. The 6-11 South African is 352 pounds. He's facing a blown up light heavyweight in Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Former NFL offensive lineman Bob Sapp is also part of the tourney. He normally fights around 350 pounds. He is a trim 319 for his fight against 196-pound Ikuhisa Minowa. Sapp is scheduled to fight again in four weeks against former WWE star Bobby Lashley in Biloxi, Miss. on June 27.
The event does feature some of the best featherweights in the world in the quarterfinals of a tournament at 138 pounds. There's also a good lightweight fight between Tatsuya Kawajiri and J.Z. Cavalcante. Kawajiri is No. 11 in the recent USA Today/SB Nation lightweight rankings while Cavalcante sits at No. 7. Middleweights Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Jason Miller also battle. Miller has gained recent fame for his role as the host of MTV's Bully Beatdown.
DREAM 9 WEIGH-IN RESULTS:
Ronaldo Jacare (184.5) vs. Jason Miller (185.2)
Tatsuya Kawajiri (154.3) vs. J.Z. Cavalcante (154.3)
Super Hulk Tournament:
Gegard Mousasi (218.3) vs. Mark Hunt (286.6)
Jan Nortje (352.7) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (224.9)
Hong Man Choi (330.7) vs. Jose Canseco (253.5)
Ikuhisa Minowa (196.1) vs. Bob Sapp (319.7)
Featherweight Grand Prix:
Kid Yamamoto (137.1) vs. Joe Warren (138)
Masakazu Imanari (138.9) vs. Bibiano Fernandes (138.5)
Yoshiro Maeda (138.5) vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (138.9)
Abel Cullum (138.2) vs. Hideo Tokoro (138.2)
Weigh-in stats via MMAConvert
Posted Jun 28 2012
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