PANCRASE 246 – 3/17/2013: King of Pancrase vs Shooto Champ

Takenori Sato (left) joined Ryo Chonan's TOKYO TRIBE M.M.A. and he is going to face Akihiro Murayama from team GUTSMAN in a non-title bout this Sunday in Pancrase

Takenori Sato (left) joined Ryo Chonan's TOKYO TRIBE M.M.A. and he is going to face Akihiro Murayama from team GUTSMAN in a non-title bout this Sunday in PancraseAnother interesting fight in the Pancrase show on this Sunday is, a non-title bout between Takenori Sato, a current King of Pancrase at welterweight division, and Akihiro Murayama, a current Shooto's Pacific Rim champ at 170 lbs.

Yes its a fight between two champs from two different promotions.

If this was ten years ago it would have been a huge news in the Japanese MMA because Shooto fighter signing with Pancrase was just not possible but in year 2013 this is not a surprise at all.

In fact, this looks more like fighters from team GUTSMAN are not treated fairly in Shooto and that is the reason why not only Murayama, his team mates, like Guy Delumeau, and Masato Sannai are also fighting in Pancrase.

Unfortunately for Murayama, this fight is a non-title fight, because, I am assuming, Sato is already confirmed to defend his title against Shingo Suzuki later in the year. Therefore I really can't figure out the reason for Pancrase to do this fight but its a big opportunity for Murayama. Obviously, a win over Sato would secure his place in the Pancrase. Meaning, if he wins this fight, Murayama will get a title shot after Sato faces Suzuki.

However, Sato is a tough fighter. In fact, besides ISAO, he may be the most consistent champion in Pancrase today. Sato captured this belt back in February 2011and since then he has successfully defended the title for four times.

In addition, after his home gym Laughter 7 closed, Sato joined TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A. one of the best MMA teams founded by Ryo Chonan.

So, this is going to be a fresh new start for Sato. And after his confirmed fight against Phil Baroni in Glory was abruptly cancelled without a real formal public explanation Sato must have went through a little bit of frustrating period but he should be fully ready to fight.

PANCRASE 246
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
At Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan
Doors Open – 14:30
Fight Starts – 15:15

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):

Featherweight King of Pancrase Title Bout 5 min / 3R
TAKUMI (Japan / Paraestra Osaka) vs. Koji Oishi (Japan / Pancrase-ism)

Welterweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Takenori Sato (Japan / TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A.) vs Akihiro Murayama (Japan / GUTSMAN)

Featherweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Jon "Killer" Shores (USA / Rodeo Style) vs. Yojiro Uchimura (Japan / Ingram)

Super-flyweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Daichi Kitaka (Japan / Pancrase Inagaki-gumi) vs. Atsushi Yamamoto (Japan / KRAZY BEE)

Welterweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Eiji Ishikawa (Japan / GRABAKA) vs. Kenji Nagaki (Japan / WRESTLE-WIN)

Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
AB (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai Suruga Dojo) vs. Kota Okazawa (Japa / Nova Uniao Japan)

Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Shintaro Ishiwatari (Japan / CAVE) vs Nobuhito Yoshitake (Japan / Pancrase Inagaki-gumi)

Flyweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Tiger Ishii (Japan / Paraestra Kichijouji) vs. Takamasa Kiuchi (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai GODS)

PANCRASE VS WAND FIGHT TEAM 3 vs 3 Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Yoshiaki "Bancho" Takahashi (Japan / Paraestra Hachiouji) vs Michael Costa (Brazil / WAND FIGHT TEAM)

PANCRASE VS WAND FIGHT TEAM 3 vs 3 Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
ISAO (Japan / Sakaguchi Dojo) vs Dave Mazany (USA / WAND FIGHT TEAM)

Lightweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Juntaro Ami (Japa / Wajiutsu Keishu-kai AKZA) vs AKIRA (Japan / Kugeyama Rascal Gym)

REBLES Presents – Kick Boxing Rules 70 kg & Under Bout 3 min / 3R
HINATA (Japan / Cross Point Kichijouji) vs Masakazu Yasukouchi (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai)

Ticket Prices:
VIP – 12,000 yen
SS – 10,000 yen
A – 8,000 yen
B – 6,000 yen
*500 yen more at the door.

Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)