Isao Kobayashi usurp the old guard? | Photo: Taro Irei
Kobayashi will have the chance to avenge the lone loss on his
ledger come April when he challenges Koji Oishi for
the mantle of lightweight King of Pancrase.
officials confirmed Sunday that the title bout will take place
April 1 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, the fourth stop on the Japanese
“Progress Tour.” Also added to the card was a 155-pound tilt
between ex-welterweight ace Kengo Ura and
Ito, as well as a minimumweight affair between Naoko Omuro
and “Happy” Fukuko
Kobayashi, 23, came up on the short end of a narrow unanimous
decision against Oishi in their April 2010 No. 1 contender’s bout.
Since then, the Sakaguchi Dojo prospect has gone 4-0-1 with an
impressive throttling of former Cage Force champ Artur
Oumakhanov and three straight wins to run the table in
Pancrase’s 2011 lightweight grand prix.
A two-time UFC veteran best known for his 2005 knockout loss at the
hands of Nick Diaz,
34-year-old Oishi has not tasted defeat since December 2008,
posting a record of 4-0-4 in his last eight starts. Oishi captured
Pancrase gold with a May 2011 decision win over Daisuke
Hanazawa and has subsequently drawn in two non-title bouts.
Meanwhile, Pancrase rival Shooto
announced Saturday that it will send veteran grappler Tetsu “Hadairo”
Suzuki up against 21-year-old Krazy Bee slugger Kyoji
Horiguchi in a March 10 bantamweight affair at Tokyo’s Korakuen
Both men will look to rebound from recent setbacks: Suzuki was
outpointed by Hiromasa
Ogikubo in his Jan. 8 bid for the Shooto Pacific Rim 132-pound
belt, while Horiguchi suffered the first defeat of his young career
when he was edged by former world champ Masakatsu
Ueda on the same card.
Other additions to Shooto’s March 10 event will see onetime No. 1
“B.J.” Kojima tangle with South Korean youngster Nam Jin Jo
and 2011 rookie champion Michinori
Tanaka in a tune-up fight against Jong Hoon