Pancrase 265 takes place on March 15, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. The World Slam Lightweight Tournament Finale between Satoru Kitaoka and Akira Okada is the main event.
While there are no titles on the line in this event, the smell of platinum is in the air. Current DEEP Champ Kitaoka and Okada will be fighting for a shot at King ISAO’s belt. Also, Yoshiro Koyama and Kazuki Tokudome are setting themselves up to be the heirs-apparent.
Kitaoka finished Dom O’Grady and decisioned Richie Whitson to become a finalist in Pancrase’s first World Slam Tournament which features foreign opponents coming over to challenge the Japanese. Okada got a bump into the semifinals where he defeated Okuno Taisuke by a narrow split decision. While Kitaoka is far and away the front runner here, Okada’s 2-year undefeated run is impressive, and it will be interesting to see how much trouble he gives the powerful grappler.
Former Pancrase lightweight contender Tokudome spent his last two years fighting in the UFC, where he went 1-3 in hotly contested, exciting bouts. But the misfortune of being submitted by Johnny Case in the last UFC Japan put him on the chopping block and now he’s back in Pancrase. Tokudome will face former Shooto Pacific Rim Champ Koyama, who joined Pancrase specifically to fight in the cage. Koyama is a warhorse so this should be a bloody battle as two very experienced vets vie for contender status.
American prospect Andy Main returns to Japan to face Japanese prospect Hulk Oshiro. Main has starched the hopes of two Japanese opponents already, namely the very experienced Hiroki Aoki and Akitoshi Tamura. 2013 Neo Blood Champ Hulk stumbled against top opponents shortly after, but has climbed back into prospect status with a win over Koji Nakamura. Main will be a litmus test for his development, because Main’s already passed his own with flying colors.
Also on the card, former Flyweight King Mitsuhisa Sunabe faces Seiji Ozuka in a climb to return for a shot at Kiyotaka Shimizu’s strap. Top ten rankers “Shian” and Yusuke Ogikubo will meet to climb up the ladder. The indomitable Yuki Baba is back to take on Lenny Wheeler, his fourth foreigner in a row.
At Pancrase 265, the 21st Neo-Blood Tournament will begin. 2014 Neo-Blood Tournament winner Juntaro Ushiku faces top ten ranked Takashi Matsuoka. The first ever Neo-Blood Tournament winner – from 1995 – Takafumi Itoh faces Koji Takeuchi, and both fighters are in their 40s!
CORO Terashima is back against Masato Sannai. Yuki Kondo is still in the mix delivering KO madness and this time he’ll face former King Shingo Suzuki.
A special three match series featuring Canadian fighters will take place as part of the television series Fight Xchange on Canada’s Super Channel.
March 15, 2015
21st Featherweight Neo Blood Tournament (after the main event)
21st Bantamweight Neo Blood Tournament (after the main event)
21st Superflyweight Neo Blood Tournament (after the main event)