DEEP 81 – 12/23/2017: Kazunori Yokota back in DEEP

Kazunori Yokota (left)

DEEP added two lightweight bouts for DEEP 81.

Former DEEP featherweight champion, Kazuonri Yokota, will be back in DEEP after two years of stint with ONE.

Yokota was on a 15-fight win streak prior to signing with a Singapore-based promotion. He relinquished DEEP 145 lbs title and went to ONE to fight Marat Gatturov but lost via rear naked choke.

ONE gave Yokota one more chance and matched him against Martin Nguyen but he was KO’d in the first round.

He is taking on Da Won Yoon from Korea.

According to the release from DEEP, a Korean fighter is 18-year old and he is originated from BJJ. And, Yoon has MMA record of 9-3 but according to Sherdog Yoon is 19 years old and his pro MMA record is 1-0.

The other lightweight bout added is Naoto Miyazaki vs Chang Hyun Jung from Korea.

Again, according to the release by DEEP, Jung is 29 years old and he began training MMA back in 2012. Jung made a pro MMA debut in GLADIATOR in 2012 but since then he only fought twice. Once more in 2012 and Road FC in 2014.

This happens all the time in Japan so this is not a big surprise but we are so used to see novice Koreans booked to fight Japanese veterans. Sure, this can be considered as opportunity for Korean fighters but its seems bit too lopsided when you see a guy like Yokota, who has pro MMA record of 25-7-3, is going to fight a 19-year old with pro MMA record of 1-0.

Almost all athletic commission in North America would never approve fight like this but again, this is Japan so its very common.

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017
At Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan
Doors Open – 14:00
Fight Starts – 14:30

Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):

DEEP Featherweight Title Bout 5 min / 3R
Hiroto Uesako (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai HEARTS) vs Takahiro Ashida (Japan / BRAVE)

Bantamweight Bout
Koichi Ishizuka (Japan / Independent) vs Roman Alvarez (USA / TRENCH – SPIKE 22)

Bantamweight Bout
Toshiaki Kitada (Japan / Pancrase-ism Yokohama) vs Taito Kubota (Japan / Independent)

Lightweight Bout
Kazunori Yokota (Japan / K-Clann) vs Da Won Yoon (Korea / MMA Story Gym)

Lightweight Bout
Naoto Miyazaki (Japan / Independent) vs Chang Hyun Jung (Korea / GEEK GYM)

Flyweight Bout
Chikara Shimabukuro (Japan / CORE Oujitoshima) vs Haruki Nakayama (Japan / K-Clann)

DEEP JEWELS Atomweight Bout
Mina Kurobe (Japan / Master Japan) vs Jeon Eun Park (Korre / Team Strong Wolf)


Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (