It is never to late in life to have a change of image. Ikuhisa Minowa turned 46 this year but had decided to rebrand himself ahead of his return to the ring at Rizin Landmark 4.
The Japanese legend made his pro debut in 1996 and was a huge star with Pancrase, Pride and Dream. He has faced the likes of Quinton Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Kazushi Sakuraba and Mirko Crocop.
Minowa has made a name for being wiling to face opponents who outweigh him by as much as 100lbs. This month he will be returning to the ring after a two year absence and the 46 year old says he has made some big changes ahead of this comeback,
“I have recently changed my name to Minowaman Z. I changed my name to bring hope to Japan and to the children.”
Watch Ikuhisa Minowa take out super heavyweight Chang Hee Kim at DEEP: 50 Impact from Oct. 24, 2010 in today's Moment of the Day. pic.twitter.com/gKkdKwZH5c
— Fight Network (@fightnet) November 1, 2017
He is taking on fellow veteran Kuwabara Kiyoshi in an heavyweight fight. Minowa says he has been bulking up as he looks to claim his first ever Rizin win,
“I’ve been fighting open weight fights all my career but now I’m going to fight at heavyweight. I’ve put on about 10kgs since my last fight. My goal is to reach up to 100kgs.”
Minowa tipped the scale at 82.7kgs ahead of his last fight. He was stopped by sumo star Tsuyoshi Sudario, who weighed nearly 115kgs, in the opening round at Rizin 26.
— Fight Network (@fightnet) November 30, 2020
Given that he stands at 5′9″ Minowa would probably be better off looking to lose weight and compete in a much lower division. But he has made a career out of facing much bigger opponents and after nearly two decades of fighting the former wrestler does not feel the need to assess his approach.
But he has made some changes ahead of Rizin Landmark 4. As well as changing his moniker the 46 year old has also promised to showcase a new hairstyle,
“This will be my debut as Minowaman Z so I will do my best and I will grow my hair.”
For fight fans feeling nostalgic the prospect of seeing Minowa take on a much bigger opponent will be a welcome one. He has been doing it for decades and it will be business as usual for the Pride veteran at Rizin Landmark 4 even if he does have a new look and a new image.