In the next installment of DEEP Impact, the rivalry between DEEP and Pancrase will finally manifest in the ring to prove who is the master of Japanese MMA. Also, a Light Heavyweight Championship title defense is on the card, along with a card stacked with major JMMA names.
After top tier promotion DREAM ceased to hold events, feeder organization DEEP’s Shigeru Saeki and stalwart Pancrase’s Masakazu Sakai sat down and shook hands, ushering in a new era of inter-promotional cooperation and sportsmanship. Or could it be rivalry is at the heart of it? With DEEP 60th Impact, the culmination of this rivalry/partnership sees both teams battle each other, with the first fight to be DEEP Lightweight Champion Daisuke Nakamura making a title defense against Pancrase legend Takafumi Ito. Why Ito? Because almost exactly ten years ago, Ito first represented Pancrase in DEEP. He was submitted in short order, and now, under this auspicious event, both he and Pancrase feel that he is the man to take this title shot.
Also featured on the Main Event, the Light Heavyweight belt is being defended by Yoshiyuki Nakanishi against HEAT prospect Yuki Niimura. Nakanishi got his belt by kicking people in the head, then it was an unfortunate clash of shins with Melvin Manhoef to a No Contest in ONE FC that set him back for a short bit. Niimura was snapped up by Legend FC as an uber-prospect but saw a three-round decision loss to Sam Brown after a grueling smash and bang affair.
This card gets even more stacked. Former DEEP Middleweight champ and promotion warhorse Ryuta Sakurai welcomes PRIDE veteran (17 fights in that promotion alone) Kazuhiro Nakamura to his first appearance in the DEEP ring. One of DEEP’s – and Japan’s – elite, karateka Katsunori Kikuno will return after a recent loss to Satoru Kitaoka at DEEP 58, before which Kitaoka said “I entered this fight believing it was ‘kill or be killed.” Across from him will be starting Yasuaki Kishimoto, who went on an 8-win tear through the division, and then lost the title shot to Daisuke Nakamura. You could say it’s a classic striker versus grappler match up, but that wouldn’t be doing these mainstays justice.
Elsewhere on the card, Choi DooHo has had a string of bad luck punctuated with a car accident not even one week before the fight, so Shoji Maruyama‘s opponent is TBD. DJ. taiki takes on Toshiaki Kitada in what promises to be a blistering bantamweight battle. Takafumi Otsuka continues to prove he didn’t mean he was ‘really’ retiring when he comes back against Shooto‘s Naohiro “Chokugeki Gamon” Mizuno. And congratulations to Ken Hamamura in coming back to the ring in his first bout since recovering from ACL replacement surgery.
DEEP 60 Impact
Friday, October 19th
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
#12 – 第12試合 メインイベント ミドル級(83.9kg以下) 5分3R – Middleweight Main Event 5 min / 3R
桜井隆多(R-BLOOD) Ryuta Sakurai versus Kazuhiro Nakamura 中村和裕(吉田道場)
#11 – DEEPライトヘビー級タイトルマッチ – Light-heavyweight Title Match – 5 min / 3R
中西良行(TRIBE TOKYO MMA) Yoshiyuki Nakanishi versus Yuki Niimura 悠羽輝(フリー)
#10 – ライト級(70.3kg以下) 5分3R – Middleweight Bout 5 min / 3R
菊野克紀(ALIANCE) Katsunori Kikuno versus Yasuaki Kishimoto 岸本泰昭(総合格闘技道場コブラ会)
#9 – フェザー級(65.8kg以下) 5分3R
昇侍(KIBAマーシャルアーツクラブ) Shoji Maruyama versus Choi DooHo – injured – now TBD 調整中
#8 – バンタム級(62kg以下) 5分3R – Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
DJ.taiki(フリー) Daiki Hata versus Toshiaki Kitada 北田俊亮(パラエストラ千葉)
#7 – DEEPVSパンクラス – DEEP vs Pancrase Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
中村大介(U-FILE CAMP) Daisuke Nakamura versus Takafumi Ito 伊藤崇文(パンクラスism)
#6 – バンタム級(62kg以下) 5分2R – Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
大塚隆史(AACC) Takafumi Otsuka versus Naohiro “Chokugeki Gamon” Mizuno 直撃我聞(フリー)
#5 – ウェルター級(77.1kg以下) 5分2R – Welterweight Bout 5 min / 2R
長谷川秀彦(アカデミア・アーザ) Hidehiko Hasegawa versus Takahiro Kawanaka 川中孝浩(BRAVE)
#4 – ウェルター級(77.1kg以下) 5分2R – Welterweight bout
寒川直喜(バンゲリングベイ) Naoki Samukawa versus Hiroki Sato 飛鷺輝(フリー)
#3 – ライト級(70.3kg以下) 5分2R – Lightweight bout
川崎泰裕(R-BLOOD) Yasuhiro Kawasaki versus Ken Hamamura 濱村健(Honey Trap)
#2 – ライト級(70.3kg以下) 5分2R – Lightweight bout
大原樹里(KIBAマーシャルアーツクラブ) Juri Ohara versus Dari Rokuku ロクク・ダリ(Honey Trap)
#1 – バンタム級(62kg以下) 5分2R – Bantamweight bout
石司晃一 (Brigthness門馬道場) Koichi Ishizuka versus Katsuya Ishida 石田ガリット勝也(NEX)
■フューチャーファイト Opening Ceremony
Prelim #2 – Bantamweight Bout
青山祐大(ALLIANCE) Yudai Aoyama versus Takahiro Ashida 芦田崇宏(BRAVE)
Prelim #1 – Bantamweight bout
風間弘太郎(GRABAKA) Kotaro Kazama versus Hayato Suzuki 鈴木隼人(BRAVE)