Most mixed martial arts fans of present day would shrug their shoulders when asked the question, “Do you know who Volk Han is?” An understandable answer for most as Han’s stardom was achieved not only in the 1990′s, but was mainly one of Japanese origin.
Han made his name in Akira Maeda’s RINGS promotion before the inception of PrideFC. As one of Russia’s first dominant mixed martial artists, Han was a submission wizard in the ring. Accumulating nearly all of his wins by way of submission, Han defeated early talents such as Kiyoshi Tamura and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. In perhaps what was a changing of the guard, he took Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria to a decision in their 2001 RINGS bout. The loss was the beginning of the end of Han’s MMA career as he tallied up two more wins before calling it a wrap.
The competitive bug that athletes are driven by apparently bit Volk Han this fall when he signed to fight Pancrase legend Masakatsu Funaki, at an event entitled “Volk Han’s Retirement Match” by the RINGS promotion, the fighters long time home. We announced the match back in October, if you recall.
It will be quite interesting to see the man, 11 years removed from his last fight, competing in the ring against a fighter that helped build the sport alongside himself.
The event takes place in Yokohama, Japan on December 16th, 2012.