DEEP surprised everyone in Japan with this one.
Third title defense of DEEP welterweight champion Yuya Shirai is going to be against Dan Hornbuckle from USA.
For the Japanese fans Hornbuckle is a familiar name because he used to fight in Sengoku, and most fans remember him from knocking out Akihito Gono with a high kick to the chin.
However, he never fought for DEEP yet Hornbuckle is getting an immediate title shot.
At the press conference held in Tokyo, DEEP head Shigeru Saeki explained to the reporters about reasons for booking Hornbuckle for a championship bout, "There may be fighters out there that would like to complain about this but right now, in DEEP's 170 lbs division, these fighters that are doing well, are not quite up there in the same level as Shirai. Since Shirai has been our champion for a while now, I feel we needed to bring in a strongest challenger possible."
Shirai was also at this press conference, "In the back stage, Saeki was talking with an assumption that I am going to lose this fight so I am looking to betray his expectation and defend this title."
Apparently Shirai just lost his father due to a cancer and he is super motivated to win this fight, however, Saeki said, "Well, in a real world things don't go that easily."
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)
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 eFight (efight.jp)