New Japan and DDT star Kota Ibushi was recently announced to compete at the upcoming shoot boxing S-Cup World Championships on November 30th. Shoot boxing is a standing-only martial art that allows striking, throws, and submissions.
The S-Cup World Championship is an 8-man shoot box tournament, but luckily for Ibushi, he’s not entered in the actual competition. He’s been slated to have an exhibition contest to introduce pro wrestling fans to shoot boxing and shoot boxing fans to pro wrestling. An opponent hasn’t officially been named yet, but shoot boxing founder Caesar Takeshi really wants it to be MMA and pro wrestling legend Kazushi Sakuraba, which would also bring in mixed martial arts fans.
Ibushi won’t be completely out of depth regardless of who he faces, since he did win a K-2 karate tournament in 2003 and would have made his K-1 MAX kickboxing debut in 2006, but the bout was scrapped after his scheduled opponent got injured. Of course, he’ll have an advantage if he faces Sakuraba, since Kazushi is 45 and his body is held together by the hopes and dreams of the Japanese people. Whoever Ibushi faces, I just hope this leads to the return of the Brawl For All