Pancrase Shifts Weight Classes, Announces 120-Pound Title Tourney


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit
Pancrase is soon to crown its lightest ever king.

Officials from the long-running Japanese promotion Monday announced plans to stage a four-man tournament to determine an inaugural 120-pound champion. The newly formed weight class will become Pancrase’s “flyweight” division, while the 125-pound class currently ruled by Kiyotaka Shimizu will be henceforth be known as “super flyweight.”

The flyweight title tournament will kick off during the eighth show of Pancrase’s 2011 “Impressive Tour,” Aug. 7 at Differ Ariake arena in Tokyo. Although opening-round matchups were not revealed Monday, all four participants in the field were announced: Mitsuhisa Sunabe (13-7-4), Hiroyuki Abe (7-3), Takuya Eizumi (8-7) and Yoshihiro Matsunaga (6-5-2).

Tournament semifinals will consist of two five-minute rounds, with the title bout scheduled for three. In the event of a draw, all tournament bouts will use the “must decision” judging system.

Sunabe (Pictured), 31, became Pancrase’s first 125-pound titleholder with a June 2009 knockout of Eizumi. The Okinawan notched one successful defense of his title before having it taken in a February 2010 majority decision loss to Shimizu. Two subsequent title rematches with Shimizu yielded a draw and, most recently, another majority decision defeat. A 10-year veteran of the sport, Sunabe’s record includes wins over Rambaa Somdet, Noboru Tahara and Russ Miura.

A former challenger to Shooto’s 115-pound throne, 34-year-old Abe made his Pancrase debut in April with a second-round submission of Takuma Ishii. Despite a strong opening against “M-16” Somdet, Abe’s July 2010 Shooto title bid was cut short by medical intervention after his eye was swollen shut by the Thai boxer’s strikes.

A participant in Sengoku’s 2010 Asia bantamweight grand prix, Eizumi reached that tournament’s quarterfinals before being eliminated by Shoko Sato. Of Eizumi’s eight victories, seven have come via some form of knockout, while five of his seven losses have come on the judges’ scorecards.

The most diminutive fighter in the field, the tiny-but-powerful Matsunaga stands just 5 feet tall. Nicknamed “Child,” the 25-year-old Zendokai representative is 3-1-1 in his last five starts, most recently coming out on top in a February unanimous decision against Eizumi.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 23 days ago
  • 43 views

Even if it costs him a division title shot.
At least he made up for it.
Not only did Cody Bollinger submit Pablo Alfonso this past weekend (Sat., July 5, 2014) in one round at World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 11: "Gaethje vs. Newell," he confirmed it would be his last fight in the bantamweight division -- even if a potential title shot against Marlon Moraes could be on the horizon.
The California-based fighter finished the Brazilian with a rear naked choke after showcasing some of his impressive more

  • 14 days ago
  • 32 views

In addition to a previously announced title fight, September’s Bellator 123 event has added some notable names to the fight card.Filed under: Bellator, News more

  • 14 days ago
  • 23 views

Bellator MMA is going all-in for its head-to-head showdown with the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Sept. 5. more

  • 14 days ago
  • 56 views

ONE FC will crown its inaugural flyweight champion at ONE FC 20 in September.Filed under: News more

  • 7 days ago
  • 11 views

UFC 177 will provide the lighter weight classes with another chance to showcase their skills, as title fights in the bantamweight and flyweight divisions headline the evening's main card. But the Aug. 30 event, to be held in Sacramento, California, is not exactly creating a buzz within the MMA world.
There's at least some intrigue about UFC 177's main event, a rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Renan Barao, with fans wanting to see if Barao can respond to the shellacking he took at UFC 173.
The more

  • a day ago
  • 18 views

Titan Fighting Championship is about to crown a featherweight champion.
Headlined by a 170-pound title fight between Ben Saunders and Matt Riddle, Titan FC 29 will define the first featherweight to feature an upcoming 145-pound title bout.
Titan FC president and CEO Jeff Aronson informed MMAFighting.com on Monday that Kurt Holobaugh will fight Lloyd Woodard on Aug. 22 in Fayetteville, N.C., in a title elimination bout.
Holobaugh (12-2) won three straight since leaving the UFC in April of 2013, w more

  • 28 days ago
  • 41 views

Rumor has it that former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has spent some of his time away from the cage adding some extra muscle.
St-Pierre first got the rumor-mill going when he posted this photo, captioned "Working on putting on some muscle mass," onto his Instagram profile: MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani later confirmed on Twitter. It turns out that current UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks doesn’t care—there’s no way he sees himself losing to St-Pierre, 200 pounds or not, for more

  • 28 days ago
  • 40 views

Dana White cleared up the UFC featherweight "title shot" picture, pretty much saying Cub Swanson is going to get it after defeating Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 44. Don't ask, and you shall receive.
After he defeated Jeremy Stephens in the main event of UFC Fight Night 44 last weekend (Sat., June 28, 2014) in San Antonio, Texas via unanimous decision (highlights), Cub Swanson declared he wouldn't go begging for a title shot during the post-fight press conference.
Luckily for him, he won't more

  • 28 days ago
  • 94 views

The UFC will crown the first strawweight champion with The Ultimate Fighter 20, but it won’t stop the promotion from matching other strawweight fights before the season.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk, unbeaten in MMA, will take on fellow UFC newcomer Juliana Lima at UFC on FOX 12 in San Jose, Calif., on July 26. Sources close to the situation confirmed the match-up to MMAFighting.com following a report from Groundandpound.
Jedrzejczyk (6-0) earns a shot in the Octagon after scoring a second-round knockout more