Road FC recently announced their 2018 Openweight Grand Prix, which will kick off this May in Beijing, China. The previously confirmed competitors included a mix of some pretty wild heavyweights and super heavyweights in “Huggy Bear” Chris Barnett, “Kung Fu Panda” Aorigele, 6’5 Sanda champ Wu Lahan, Alexandru Lungu, and Jae-Hoon Kim.
Three established veterans from K-1, PRIDE and the UFC have since been added to officially round out the 8-man roster.
Perhaps the most well known of these additions is Jerome Le Banner. The kickboxing legend has multiple K-1 Grand Prix championships, and has over a hundred professional bouts. He also is 6-0 boxing and 3-3-1 in MMA. His decorated career saw him pick up wins over dozens of the top fighters in the last two decades such as Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Tyrone Spong, Remy Bonjasky, Mark Hunt, Don Frye, Rick Roufus, Gary Goodridge, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and others.
After years of being inactive in MMA, Le Banner returned to competition last October in Rizin, and will look to continue in the sport as he tries to get through Road FC’s 8-man field of heavyweights.
The second addition is Gilbert Yvel, who is a UFC and PRIDE veteran known for his willingness to slug it out with just about anyone. The former RINGS openweight champ has compiled a 39–16–1 (1 NC) record in MMA, with wins over Semmy Schilt, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, Cheick Kongo and Gary Goodridge. He also has losses to former champions in Junior dos Santos, Josh Barnett, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson, along with a no contest against Wanderlei Silva in PRIDE.
He hasn’t been very active in MMA as of late, but is currently on a three-fight win streak with his last victory coming against former UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez on November 2016.
Lastly, Mighty Mo’s inclusion has also been made official. His addition to the tournament comes as no surprise as he is Road FC’s reigning openweight title holder. The former K-1 GP champion has had a career resurgence in Road FC, winning all six bouts in the promotion, including their first openweight tournament back in 2016.
The opening round starts at Road FC 47, which happens on May 12th in Beijing. The official match ups will be announced on a later date.
Road FC 8-man Openweight Grand Prix Roster:
Jerome Le Banner