DEEP flyweight title contender Yuya “MONKEY” Shibata is going down to 115 lbs division and will challenge Haruo Ochi for the DEEP men’s strawweight title.
The promotion announced this match-up on Friday.
Shibata challenged Tatsumitsu Wada’s DEEP flyweight title back in June 2016 but lost via unanimous decision. About four months after this fight, Shibata got a come back fight but he was submitted by a 19-year old Naoki Inoue.
After about a 10-month lay off, “MONKEY” fought for the team DEEP in the Pancrase show and defeated Yuki Yasunaga by unanimous decision. And most recently, he edged out Tomohiro Adaniya in a three-round battle.
With two wins in a row at 125 lbs, Shibata was in a position to shoot for the title again and this probably is the reason why he is getting an immediate title shot at 115 lbs & under.
Ochi is a 34-year old veteran. In September of last year, he submitted ex-champion Kenta Sato by guillotine choke to capture this title.
Ochi made a pro MMA debut back in February 2008. After 13 fights in Shooto, Ochi signed with DEEP in 2013. Ochi had a rough start in DEEP because he fought the current DEEP flyweight champ Tatsumitsu Wada, PRIDE veteran Masakazu Imanari, and WEC veteran Yoshiro Maeda. But after 10 fights in DEEP and one win in MGL-1 in Mongolia, Ochi finally got the title fight opportunity last year.
Ochi is currently on a four-fight win streak and he should be motivated to keep the belt he finally won after 9-year pro MMA career.
DEEP CAGE IMPACT OSAKA
Sunday, April 8th, 2018
At Joto KADO-YA Gamoyon Hall, Osaka, Japan
Doors Open –
Fight Starts –
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
DEEP Men’s Strawweight Title Fight 5 min / 3R
Haruo Ochi (Japan / Paraestra Ehime) vs Yuya “MONKEY” Shibata (Japan / SHOOTO Gym BLOWS)
Featherweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Koji Nakamura (Japan / Pancrase Osaka Inagaki-gumi) vs Kazuto Murokawa (Japan / Gonzui’s Gym)
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)