PANCRASE 261 hits Tokyo this Sunday, October 5th, with the World Slam finals across several divisions. However, the barrel is still loaded for the rest of the year as King Shintaro Ishiwatari takes on TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins at 262, and Gota Yamashita faces his first challenger, former 2-division champ Yuki Kondo.
Pancrase 262 takes place on November 2 and Ishiwatari will be back in non-title action against UFC, Bellator, WEC, and Yoga vet Brookins. After dropping two straight to Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira after a stellar career at featherweight, Brookins “retired”, went to India to take up Yoga full time. The result was a drop a full 20 pounds to flyweight and a successful MMA return in Legacy.
Now Brookins is back up, to 135, and will face Ishiwatari in his home territory. The stellar Bantamweight King counts the best opponents on this side of the globe, as Brookins does on his. Ishiwatari’s only loss since Sengoku was to phenom Kyoji Horiguchi, and following that eh’s been on a defending tear of three in a row.
At Pancrase 263, newly minted King “Let’s Gota” Yamashita will take on his first challenger in the form of a warhorse, the previous Lightweight King Yuki Kondo. Yamashita has literally smashed and ground out a name for himself until he finally got the title shot for Takenori Sato’s vacant belt in August against Akihiro Murayama. He was definitive in his domination over the former Shooto Champ, and took home the belt.
Quickly he gets to defend it. Hunting him down will be none other than legend Yuki Kondo, who dropped a decision to the aforementioned Murayama and the set himself back in the spotlight with three impressive and brutal smashings. Kondo, a PRIDE and original UFC fighter, was also the Pancrase Light Heavyweight and Middleweight King. AT 39, he looks sharper than ever and poses a sincere threat to Gota’s newly possessed thrown.