Not much in the world of MMA could get me as excited as the idea of Akira Maeda re-starting the legendary RINGS promotion. Of course I expect it to be nothing like the original RINGS, which began as a pro wrestling promotion ala UWF, which he ran previously, but quickly added real fights to the mix. That being said, RINGS had some of the absolute best mix in talent of any promotion imaginable, and a lot of that had to do with taking an unorthodox view of booking fights. Lots of European and Eastern European fighters, like Fedor Emelianenko, got their start thanks to Maeda's RINGS, at least when it came to being big worldwide stars. So when it was announced today that Maeda was booking British fighter Ben Abbott agains former K-1 MAX Japan champion Taishin Kohiruimaki, that definitely caught my attention.
Kohi made an unexpected departure from Kickboxing due to an injury in 2010 and hasn't fought since 2009. It will be interesting to see him in a MMA ring, especially one being led by Akira Maeda. [source]