By billy hull
Big mahalo to Norman Kaui at MMAHawaii.com for the photo from Tuesday’s press conference.
42-year-old Egan Inoue, who became a huge fan favorite in Hawaii during a seven-fight winning streak in Super Brawl (now Icon Sport), announced on Tuesday he has signed a deal to compete for X-1 World Events. Inoue will will return to the ring after four-plus years away from the sport as the headliner for the May 16th Legends show at the Blaisdell Arena.
Inoue’s opponent has yet to be determined. He will be joined on the card by Ray Cooper, Marcelo Tigre, Niko Vitale and Tyson Nam.
Egan hasn’t fought since Dec. 2003 when he lost to Jason “Mayhem” Miller after injuring his ribs in the second round. Inoue was sprawled out in the middle of the ring at the end of the round and couldn’t continue. While the win served as a springboard for “Mayhem” to become a big name in the MMA world, it was the last we saw of Egan in a ring.
After battling injuries and personal problems, Egan says he’s refreshed and ready to see how he can match up with the fighters of today.
“What I’m trying to get at for the first fight is I just want to see where I am,” Inoue said. “I didn’t make any decisions on how many fights. I want to do this fight and it will tell me what I do after it.”
Following the Miller fight, Egan has spent most of his time running two gyms-The Studio and Grappling Unlimited-n Manoa Marketplace. He has spent countless hours training men and women of all ages and has watched the sport blow up worldwide at an amazing rate. It’s something he always hoped for, but he never expected it to get quite this big.
“I always hoped it would get like this,” Inoue said. “I am kind of surprised at how big it’s getting. This sport really is probably the best sport I have ever been in. A lot of people view it as brutality. If you don’t understand wrestling and boxing and jiu-jitsu and how they mix together and how hard they are to pit together, then you don’t understand. If you try to learn about it, then you’ll realize it isn’t just guys trying to kill each other. Everyone is highly trained.”
Inoue went on to say that he thought fighters were becoming much more well-rounded in their skills when he left the sport, but recently he’s starting to see more fighters become one-dimensional. Egan says ending his career with two loses is something that has always bothered him, and he’s back to go out the right way.
With a win.