10:15PM EDT UPDATE: Article has been updated with a press release statement from Pancrase.
Last Sunday’s Pancrase event “Pancrase 317” was cancelled on short notice following an athlete testing positive for COVID-19. The card, which was set to have 17 bouts on it, was cancelled moments before it’s Youtube live stream was set to go begin.
The event was set to happen at Pancrase’s frequent venue, Studio Coast in Tokyo, Japan.
“Today an athlete tested positive on the 3rd of 3 tests. The sudden decision to cancel was made 10 minutes before opening to ensure the safety of everyone,” announced the promotion on their official Twitter account on Monday (Japan time).
“The situation was explained to public health officials present at the venue, and Pancrase was informed that since there was no contact with audience members, those waiting in the foyer would not be subject to testing … Pancrase extends its most humble apologies for causing concern to those who arrived at the venue waiting to be admitted,” said Pancrase via press release on Monday.
Pancrase resumed operations in July following the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, holding “Pancrase 316” on July 24th. The promotion has held another event since then, having “Pancrase Osaka” on August 9th.
The promotion’s response to COVID-19 is a more precautious one than most. Promotions like UFC, Bellator and more have removed COVID-19 positive fighters from cards as opposed to cancelling the card as a whole.
Sunday night’s main event was set to be between Pancrase veteran Taichi Nakajima and former UFC fighter Yoshinori Horie.