Jose Canseco to Make MMA Debut in Japan Against Seven-Footer

Josh NasonSenior Analyst IMay 1, 2009

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JULY 12:  Referee Allan Huggins is hit with a can of beer as he stops the fight after former NFL player Via Sikahema knocked down former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco in the first round during their celebrity boxing match on July 12, 2008 at Bernie Robbins Stadium in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

First, it was thorough domination at the hands of Vai Sikahema as part of a "celebrity" boxing match. But now, former home run slugger and steroid era poster boy Jose Canseco is not only making his MMA debut in Japan—he is fighting a guy that is seven feet tall.

Oh boy.

On May 26, Canseco will be battling Choi Hong Man in the first round of the Super Hulk Grand Prix tournament for DREAM—a Japanese MMA promotion that also airs on HDNet.

Choi is 7'2", weighs 330 pounds, and is a former kickboxer with a 12-5 mark. He's fought a troupe of well-known guys including Bob Sapp, Sylvester Terkay, Akebono, Mighty Mo, and Badr Hari.

The 28-year-old is 1-2 in MMA, fighting once a year, every December, and has losses to former PRIDE champion Mirko Cro Cop and heavyweight force/WAMMA Champ Fedor Emelianenko.

Canseco? Not exactly a professional fighter. This is going to get very ugly, very quickly for the 44-year-old, who lost to the 5'9" Sikahema in the first round of their May '08 bout. The 6'4", 240-260 pounder then drew with Danny Bonaduce (of course!) in January, which apparently made him ready for a fight with a seven-foot kickboxer.

The fight is expected to be under the traditional DREAM rules with one 10-minute first round and a five-minute second round. Also in the tournament will be the aforementioned Sapp vs. Minowaman, Rameau Sokoudjou (former UFC/PRIDE fighter) vs. Jan Nortje, and Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt.

To see the bloodletting, tune to HDNet on May 29.

Josh Nason
josh [at] ropesringandcage [dot com]has published MMA, wrestling, and boxing blog Ropes, Ring and since 2007. He joined up with Bleacher Report in '08 and achieved Columnist status in '09.