Rodolfo ready for Bibiano: “I trained plenty of ground defense; things will get rough”

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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, 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

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