PANCRASE 12 UPDATE: WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCED

All eyes may be on Yuki Kondo, as the event is named, but making an impact in the Pancrase rankings will also be a Welterweight tournament.  Four players have been announced as the first “A Block” participants on the November 1oth card.

While fresh off a decision win at Pancrase 9, Yoshiaki “Bancho” Takahashi will still be eager to revenge a defeat against a foreign opponent on foreign soil when he was part of Team Japan in G1 Fights. He’s getting the chance as he’ll meet Edward Faaloloto, who was thrown in the deep end of the MMA pool when he signed with WEC after only two professional fights. When WEC was merged with UFC, Faaloloto went quickly to 0-3 against tough opponents and was released. This fight is guaranteed to be a flurry of flying fists and knees, and Falo needs to keep his cool or he’s in for another quick ending.

In the second pair of welterweights, Orui Sojiro will be getting a huge chance in the tournament and looking to use his top game to dominate Akihiro Yamazaki, however he’s no stranger to the ground himself.  Claiming a win will put either one of these guys back on track in their careers after a similarly seesawing couple of years.

Also added to the card, Shigeaki Kusayanagi will get the chance to rebound from two losses against a tough young Shootist-turned-Pancraseist “Let’s Gota” Yamashita, who himself took a beating from Yuki Okano in last year’s Shooto Rookie Final but looks to be making a name for himself with this opportunity.

Previously announced championship on the line, current Flyweight and former Super Flyweight KOP Mitsuhisa Sunabe will defend the belt against Masakazu Utsugi. Yuki Kondo, who’s faced almost every Welterweight there is, and now will meet Japanese MMA stalwart Kosei Kubota. Also possibly heralding the changing of the guard, in a pair of “old vs new” bouts, Atsushi Yamamoto will make his way back to the ring and face upstart Pancraseist Yasutaka Koga, and  Masaya “J-Taro” Takita will enter the ring carried by his sequined fundoshi-wrapped servants to take on 23-year old Taichi Nakajima.

Pancrase Progress Tour 12: All Eyes on Yuki Kondo
November 10, 2012
Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan

ウェルター級次期挑戦者決定トーナメント一回戦Aブロック 5分3R Welterweight tournament
大類宗次朗(TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A/6位)Orui Sojiro VS Akihiro Yamazaki 山崎昭博(SUBMIT静岡/7位)

ライト級 5分3R Welterweight tournament
高橋“Bancho”良明(パラエストラ八王子/9位)Yoshiaki Takahashi VS Edward Faaloloto FALO(米国/フリー)

ウェルター級 5分2R
レッツ豪太 (総合格闘技道場コブラ会) “Let’s Gota” Yamashita VS Shigeaki Kusayanagi 草・MAX(フリー)

Previously announced:

フライ級 キング・オブ・パンクラス・タイトルマッチ Flyweight King of Pancrase 5分3R
砂辺光久(TEAM reversaL/王者)Mitsuhisa Sunabe versus Masakazu Utsugi 宇津木正和(パラエストラ古河/1位)

フェザー級 5分3R
高藤正和(高田道場/3位)Masakazu Takafuji versus Harada Nobuyoshi 原田惟紘(パラエストラ北九州/2012年ネオブラッドトーナメント同級優勝)

バンタム級 5分3R
滝田J太郎(和術慧舟會東京道場/10位)Masaya Takita versus Taichi Nakajima 中島太一(パラエストラ東京/2012年ネオブラッドトーナメント同級優勝)

スーパーフライ級 5分3R
山本 篤(KRAZY BEE)Atsushi Yamamoto versus Yasutaka Koga 古賀靖隆(ロータス世田谷/2012年ネオブラッドトーナメント同級優勝)

フライ級 5分3R
阿部博之(ドラゴンテイルジム/2位)Abe Hiroyuki versus Takamasa Kiuchi 木内崇雅(和術慧舟會GODS/2012年ネオブラッドトーナメント同級優勝)

ウェルター級 5分2R
近藤有己(パンクラスism)YUKI KONDO versus KOSEI KUBOTA 窪田幸生(坂口道場 一族)

ライト級 5分2R
平山敬悟(パラエストラ八王子)Hirayama Kei Satoru versus TOSHI(マッハ道場)