HEAT 32 Welterweight title challenge is a rubber match between Sato and Takagi

HEAT 32 WW title: Yoichiro Sato vs Kenta Takagi
HEAT 32 WW title: Yoichiro Sato vs Kenta Takagi

HEAT 32 returns to Tokyo’s Differ Ariake on June 8, 2014. Kiichi “Strasser” Kunimoto’s vacated Welterweight title is up for grabs between Yoichiro Sato and Kenta Takagi.

In what is billed as a double title challenge event, the headliner will be Prince Ali defending his Kickboxing title against Alex Roberts, and Sato versus Takagi for the vacant Welterweight Championship, which was long held by Kiichi “Strasser” Kunimoto before his UFC signing. Kunimoto fights

This is also a rubber match between the two welterweights, who have met twice before in different promotions under different rules. In Cage Force with rules allowing elbows, Takagi first came out on top with a doctor’s stoppage for a cut. Sato got his revenge almost 3 years later in Shooto with a split decision.

Sato rides a 6-fight win streak that includes that revenge, as well as others in DEEP, Shooto, Pancrase and HEAT. While Takagi recently dropped a decision to up and comer Gota Yamashita, he credits two wins prior by KO. This will stylistically be an interesting match up, as both men favor the striking while having arguable defense on the ground.

Also on the card, Yuki Niimura gets a walk in the park against Anderson Sakamoto to get back in the win column, and Yusuke Sakashita versus Ryo Takigawa will also see two men fighting for much needed hand-raising. Journeymen Toru Harai and Masaya Doi also square off.

HEAT 32
June 8, 2014

Welterweight Championship 5×5
Yoichiro Sato (14-5-2) 佐藤洋一郎(グレイシーバッハ東京)
Kenta Takagi (10-8) 高木健太(リバーサルジム川口REDIPS)

Kickboxing Heavyweight Championship
Prince Ali プリンス・アリ(王者・イラン・志村道場)
Alex Roberts アレックス・ロバーツ(挑戦者・アメリカ・空術拳会館)

Kickboxing Super Heavyweight
楠ジャイロ(ブラジル・志村道場)
野尻一樹(レンジャー品川GYM)

Middleweight
Yuki Niimura (6-3) 新村優貴(TEAM CLIBM)
Anderson Sakamoto (1-2) アンデウソン・サカモト(TOKAI BJJ)

Middleweight
Yusuke Sakashita (9-5) 坂下祐介(フリー)
Ryo Takigawa (3-4) 瀧川リョウ(ドージョーチャクリキ ジャパン)

Bantamweight
Masahiro Oishi (23-17-9) 大石真丈(フリー)
Jun Jun (5-2) じゅん(総合格闘技道場reliable)

Featherweight
Toru Harai (8-6-1) 原井徹(フリー)
Masaya Doi (8-10-4) 土肥正也(SHINWA MMA ACADEMY)

Kickboxing Super Lightweight
Sonoda Akira Satoru 園田顕悟(園田道場)
Kyosuke Shiro 恭士郎(士魂村上塾)

Flyweight
Yoshiyuki Takano (3-7) 高野祥之(八景ジム)
Kazuya Tsuyusaki (0-0) 露崎一也(パラエストラ松戸)

Flyweight
Yuya Kaneuchi (4-11-5) 金内”サイダー”雄也(グレイシーバッハ東京)
Sadashi Hamamatsu (0-1) 濵松定司(ERUPT)