Masanori Kanehara, the winner of Sengoku featherweight GP in 2009, is going to face Wade Choate.
Obviously, Kanehara is now only interested in fighting fighters from overseas. Not Japanese fighters. He probably thinks wins over fighters from North America would help him to get an offers from, perhaps UFC or Bellator.
Also, according to the source close to DEEP, Kanehara actually sells tons of tickets and that is why, for him, the promoter is willing to spend money to fly in fighters from outside Japan.
However, DEEP is a promotion that may do bunch of shows every year but most of them were held at venues that holds at 2,000 at most. The budget is limited therefore the purse DEEP can pay for Kanehara's opponent can't be so high.
Which means, it won't be so easy for DEEP to find an appropriate fighter for this spot, and that, probably is the reason why, Kanehara's past three opponents ended up being less than mediocre fighters.
This time, DEEP found someone interesting.
Choate has mediocre record of 14-14 with three local titles in his resume – at Cage Rage Indiana, United Cage Fighting and World Fighting Championships. All local shows around states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. But that doesn't matter. The Japanese fight media and the fans loves title holders.
Also, Choate fought Jens Pulver and Eddie Wineland. He lost both of them but he took them to a decision.
Which means, on paper, he is a good opponent for Kanehara to beat.
Well, that is from Kanehara's point of view.
For Choate, who is a 33-year old, this is an golden opportunity.
The money he will be making may not be so good but its a chance to fight in Japan and on top of this, Choate could change his career if he beats Kanehara. If this happens then his stock should go up and he would have a new market called Japan because if he beats Kanehara DEEP would have to bring him back in the mix.
So, this is the fight Kanehara can't afford to lose but Choate should have a tons of motivation to win.
DEEP 62nd Impact
Friday, April 26th, 2013
At Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
DEEP Lightweight Title Bout 5 min / 3R
Daisuke Nakamura (Japan / U-FILE CAMP) vs Satoru Kitaoka (Japan / LOTUS)
DEEP Welterweight Title Bout 5 min / 3R
Yuya Shirai (Japan / TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A.) vs Dan Hornbuckle (USA / ATT)
DEEP Bantamweight Title Bout 5 min / 3R
Yoshiro Maeda (Japan / Pancrase Inagaki-gumi) vs DJ taiki (Japan / Freelance)
Welterweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Akihiro Gono (Japan / Freelance) vs Taisuke "Goten" Okuno (Japan / Cave)
Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Masanori Kanehara (Japan / Paraestra Hachiouji) vs Wade Choate (USA / Central Illinois Combat Club)
VIP – 20,000 yen
SRS – 10,000 yen
Arena – 8,000 yen
Panorama (First Balcony) – 10,000 yen
S (Second Balcony) – 8,000 yen
A (Third Balcony) – 6,000 yen
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Wade Choate