Takenori Sato makes his second fight in the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 52 on September 20, 2014. The Pancrase Champ will meet the PXC Champ Lim Hyun-Gyu in a very obvious grappler vs striker match up.
But that’s not to say Sato can’t stand and bang. He’s gone the distance more times than you can count, and he says he’s working on his striking even more in order to get close to his rangy opponent.
Sato dropped his first UFC fight when he was dropped by a kick that broke his ribs. His first loss since 2010 weighs heavily on him, and his coach Ryo Chonan mounted a campaign to get him out of his funk and back into the gym. Granted a rapid shot at redemption on his own home soil, Sato is extremely motivated to show he deserves to be in MMA’s upper echelons.
On the feeling of his first loss since 2010,
“I haven’t felt that feeling for a long time. Not since I was young.”
On what kind of fight he expects to bring to his opponent,
“I’ve been training striking… The purpose of my striking training is to grapple.”
On the UFC in Japan,
“I think the promotion is very good. It makes me remember PRIDE.”
On the Pancrase rules changes and new cage,
“In only my opinion, I want to keep the Pancrase style.”