A New Year’s Eve bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Satoshi Ishii has been rumored for weeks now.

Today, it became official. M-1 Global and DREAM have announced that Fedor will in fact face Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii at DREAM New Year! 2011 in Japan.

M-1Global and DREAM officials announced today that legendary heavyweight Fedor “ The Last Emperor” Emelianenko will be facing Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo Satoshi Ishii on December 31, 2011 as part of  FIELDS presents FIGHT FOR JAPAN “Genkidesuka!! Oomisoka!! 2011! The event, which takes place from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, will be broadcast in North America on HDNet.

The event marks the return of Fedor Emelianenko to Japan after a 3-year absence.

“M-1 Global in cooperation with Dream is very pleased to announce the bout which will bring the world’s attention to Japan on December 31” – said M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan, “Fedor has been in great shape, and is ready for what we think will be a hard and competitive fight.”

The fight may be on, but it remains to be seen if it will in fact be competitive. Ishii entered the MMA world with a lot of hype and fanfare and was even courted by the UFC despite not having a single professional fight under his belt, but has largely been a disappointment. After losing to Hidehiko Yoshida in his pro debut, Ishii managed to pick up wins against Tafa Misipati, Ikuhisa Minowa, Katsuyori Shibata and Jerome Le Banner, but hasn’t fought anyone even close to Fedor’s level. If he were to somehow win, it would likely be the biggest upset of the year.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime