In just a little over four hours from now, the DREAM MMA group in Japan will present DREAM 9, featuring the continuation of its featherweight grand prix tournament and, more notably stateside, the first round of its Super Hulk Tournament, an eight-man single-elimination freak show tournament featuring multiple 300+ pound fighters, a 7’2 kickboxer, and most importantly, for our purposes, disgraced MLB slugger Jose Canseco.
The first round draw will include fights between 320-pound Bob Sapp and 196-pound Ikuhisa Minowa, 286-pound Mark Hunt and 218 Gegard Mousasi, 353-pound Jan Nortje and 225-pound Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and, the aforementioned 7’2 kickboxer, 330-pound Hong Man Choi and Canseco, who weighed in at 253.5 pounds.
Yes, despite his extremely limited experience in combat sports, and the experience he’s had has not been particularly encouraging — he fought to a majority draw with 5’6, 165-pound Danny Bonaduce in a celebrity boxing match and prior to that was KTFO’d by 5’9, 205 pound ex-Eagles kick returner Vai Sikahema — Canseco has decided to try his hand at mixed martial arts, and presumably figures the implementation of a ground attack will help him against a man who should, by all rights, murder him with his bare hands. (Actually, he’s publicly backed away from this claim and is just hoping to catch Choi and knock him out, which is probably a far dumber idea.)
And while the predominant thinking would almost have to be “what the fuck is going through this guy’s mind?” (the likely answer is “I need the money”), there are two other distinct possibilities. First, Canseco may honestly believe that he can follow the path of UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and kick off his mixed martial arts career with a win over Choi. Alternately, he may be under the impression that he’s fighting South Korea’s greatest entertainer:
Regardless, Canseco didn’t seem all that worried prior to the weigh-ins today, even going so far as to issue a grandstand challenge to Choi via Twitter (we’re just going to assume this is a legit account and not someone with the desire to impersonate Jose Canseco in 2009) while the 1988 AL MVP was chomping on sushi over the weekend:
I’ve arrived in Japan. Where’s the sushi??1:49 PM May 24th from web
Sushi is great. Where’s Choi??6:50 PM May 24th from web
Bring me Hong Man Choi. I’m at Ginza Hokake tonight until 11:00pm. Why wait until Tuesday let’s get it on.9:49 PM May 24th from web
The only thing more awesome than the actual image of these two fighting in a ring later tonight/this morning is the thought of a livid Choi lumbering into the dining room of a Japanese restaurant, finding Canseco, Canseco calmly rising from his seat, placing his chopsticks on the table and excusing himself to the parking lot, where the two throw down Rocky V style.
And you know, it wouldn’t even be that much more ridiculous than what we have in store in a few hours.