The good news for K-1 MAX and Jienotsu fans is that the Genkidesuka NYE 2011 event being promoted by Real Entertainment (co-promoters of DREAM) and IGF (Inoki's pro wrestling organization) has finally announced a K-1 bout for fans. The bad news is if you remember last year's Jienotsu vs. Shinya Aoki fight, we are in for more of the same with the same Mixed Rules. This means R1 is K-1 rules for the first round, which is three minutes long and a second round that lasts five minutes and is full MMA rules. If there is no winner after those two rounds the bout is ruled a draw, there are no judges. The biggest catch is that they do not switch gloves in between rounds, instead MMA gloves are used throughout the bout. For a fighter like Jienotsu this proves to be a tactical disadvantage and an offensive advantage.
Jienotsu's opponent for this fight will be Katsunori Kikuno, a fighter who DREAM fans will recognize. What is interesting is that unlike in the fight last year, Kikuno is not a submission ace like Aoki. Kikuno only holds one professional submission victory and is known more for his rather unorthodox striking style. I actually took a look at this fighting style and his crescent kick, to be exact, last year on Bloody Elbow.
I think that it is safe to say that both men have a desire to keep this fight standing up, but Kikuno would feel a lot less like a fish out of water if this fight does go to the ground in the second round. Personally, I am not a fan of these rules as someone like Jienotsu should be fighting in full K-1 rules against other top competition in 70kg. Of course, part of the problem is that Jienotsu has bulked up for pro wrestling this year and hasn't had to make 70kg, in his lone Kickboxing fight this year he weighed in at a whopping 78kg. If you aren't that familiar with KG, he went from 154lbs to 172lbs. That is nearly twenty pounds.