Pancrase’s first event of the year continues to get bigger. The promotion announced a third title fight for the card last week, also unveiling that the start of a four-man featherweight tournament will happen at the show.
The new fights join a show that is expected to take place at the Belle Salle Takadanobaba in Tokyo, Japan on March 21st.
Newly crowned Flyweight King of Pancrase Toru Ogawa will fight to defend his belt for the first time when he faces Satoru Enomoto.
Ogawa was promoted to main champion recently, as the previous titleholder Senzo Ikeda vacated his belt. Ikeda has been busy in recent years, fighting in Singapore-based promotion ONE Championship.
Ogawa was already the interim flyweight champ. He earned this belt last year, defeating Masatatsu Ueda via decision in October. That win was his third consecutive victory as a pro.
Enomoto will be competing in his first-ever title fight as a pro fighter. This comes following a strong climb up the division, attaining six consecutive wins from 2018 to 2021.
His last victory saw him sneak past veteran Masatatsu Ueda via split decision.
Pancrase Unveils Four-Man Featherweight Tournament
Pancrase has announced a four-man tournament to find their next featherweight title challenger. The bracket is scheduled to kick off on this March card, with the final taking place a month later at Pancrase’s April 29th show. The winner of the tournament will get a title shot against Isao Kobayashi at a later date.
In the first of two tournament fights, Hirotaka Nakada and Shinsuke Kamei will meet.
Nakada had a three-fight winning streak broken in November, as he lost to former UFC fighter Yoshinori Horie on a RIZIN card.
Kamei broke a two-fight skid in his last appearance, defeating Kisa Miyake via split decision in September.
On the other side of the bracket, Tatsuhiko Iwamoto and Ryo Asami have been matched up.
Iwamoto is coming off a front choke submission win he scored over Raiki Endo in September. On the other hand, Asami had a four-fight winning streak broken last year.
Featherweights Tokitaka Nakanishi and Yohei Nada are also scheduled to meet in a reserve bout for the tournament.
Pancrase 326 now has eight bouts in total set for it. At the top of the lineup is a trio of title fights, including the return of Emi Fujino and a battle to crown the new middleweight champion.
Here’s the lineup:
Bout 8: Emi Fujino (25-12) vs. KAREN (4-0) (Strawweight Queen of Pancrase Championship)
Bout 7: Rocky Kawamura (19-10-4) vs. Yura Naito (4-0) (Vacant Middleweight King of Pancrase Championship)
Bout 6: Toru Ogawa (14-8) vs. Satoru Enomoto (7-3) (Flyweight King of Pancrase Championship)
Bout 5: Hirotaka Nakada (4-2) vs. Shinsuke Kamei (4-2) (Featherweight Tournament Semi-Final)
Bout 4: Tatsuhiko Iwamoto (11-7-1) vs. Ryo Asami (10-9) (Featherweight Tournament Semi-Final)
Bout 3: Tokitaka Nakanishi (6-3) vs. Yohei Nada (12-5-2) (Featherweight Tournament Reserve Botu)
Bout 2: Yojiro Uchimura (17-15-3) vs. Raiki Endo (13-7-3) (Featherweight)
Bout 1: Kazuki Kasai (7-1) vs. Koshi Matsumoto (22-10-2) (Lightweight)