Yamamoto's injury makes it unlikely, but the potential bout is right out of Japanese matchmaking:
Henry Cejudo, the only American to capture a gold medal in wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, recently negotiated with Japanese promoters for a match on that country’s biggest event of the year, the annual New Year’s Eve event on network television that has become almost a cultural institution.
Promoters wanted to throw Cejudo, 21, into the deep end, as they wanted him to face Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Japan’s most popular MMA fighter. The match would have a storyline where Yamamoto would be fighting for national pride, since Cejudo defeated a fellow Japanese wrestler, Tomohiro Matsunaga, in the gold medal match in the 121-pound weight class.
However, Yamamoto, coming off knee surgery, at this point doesn’t look like he’ll be ready.
Rick Bassman, who represents Cejudo, said talks are still ongoing but with Yamamoto out, it makes it less likely Cejudo would be brought in to debut on such a high profile show.
I suppose it's good we're not losing Cejudo to boxing, but let's hope he's given an opponent with wrestling skills bad enough for Cejudo to grind out a decision. Overall, though, we need to foster the development of athletes this talented and accomplished. Eschewing Japanese matchmaking that leads to treating phenomenal but green athletes like sacrificial lambs for storyline and hype is paramount, ratings on Tokyo Broadcasting Systems be damned.