Rampant on an 11-fight win streak, team Nova União’s Rodolfo Marques has his work cut out for him this Saturday at Japan’s traditional New Year’s event at the Saitama Super Arena. At the temple of the now-defunct Pride FC promotion, Rodolfo will take on the dangerous Bibiano Fernandes (Carlson) in one of the Dream bantamweight GP semifinals. The winner will go through to the final on the same night.
Focused, the Nova União athlete expects a barn burner against the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship winner: “I expect the best. I’m very focused for this fight, I trained a lot, and it’ll be a show,” he told GRACIEMAG.com, direct from Japan. (Watch Rodolfo in action at the April IFC show.)
Undefeated since March of 2009, Rodolfo guarantees that he is as prepared for the GP finals as he has ever been for a fight. “I trained lots of wrestling and ground defense. My boxing is sharp, and I’m in great physical shape—that’ll be one of my strengths in the fight,” he said assuredly. “Anything can happen in the fight but I feel sticking with the standup is the way to beat him. You can expect one of the best fights of the event. Things will get rough,” said Marques in closing.
The other GP semifinal has Antonio Banuelos squaring off with Masakazu Imanari.
This Saturday’s Dream 17 show has other enticing match-ups in store for Saitama, like Fedor Emelianenko’s showdown with Olympic gold medal-winning judoka Satoshi Ishii, choreographed pro-wrestling matches between Tim Sylvia and Jerome LeBanner, Josh Barnett and Hideki Suzuki, Peter Aerts and Kazutuki Fujita, and a tag-team match featuring Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata against Shinichi Suzukawa and Atsushi Sawada. Check out the complete card:
Dream “Genki Desu Ka”
Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
December 31, 2011
Hiroyuki Takaya vs Takeshi Inoue
Antonio Banuelos vs Masakazu Imanari
Bibiano Fernandes vs Rodolfo Marques
Fedor Emilianenki vs Satoshi Ishii
Shinya Aoki vs Satoru Kitaoka
Tatsuya Kawajari vs Kazuyuki Miyata
Megumi Fujii vs Karla Benitez
Hayato Sakurai vs Ryo Chonan
Hideo Tokoro vs Yusup Saadulaev
Tim Sylvia vs Jerome Le Banner
Josh Barnett vs Hideki Suzuki
Peter Aerts vs Kazutuki Fujita
Kazushi Sakuraba e Katsuyori Shibata vs Shinichi Suzukawa e Atsushi Sawada