Pancrase kicked off their 2018 season with a spectacular event and in a new venue as well. Last year on February 3rd, it was brought to the fan’s attention that the longtime home of Pancrase and other promotions, Ariaki Differ, would be demolished to make room for Tokyo Olympic Park. With this news, Pancrase set their sights on finding a new venue to host their events starting in 2018. They finally signed a contract to host 10 events in 2018 at Studio Coast in Shinkiba.
The first event for 2018 was a star-studded and packed card for Pancrase 293. The main event of the evening was a battle for the Fly Weight King of Pancrase belt. It was the current champion’s first defense of the title against a much younger and up and coming MMA Star. The main event was Senzo Ikeda 12-6-1 (Win-Loss-Draw)
vs Yuya Wakamatsu 9-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw), and this fight will probably go down as one of the best fights in the Fly Weight division ever! If you were not there to see it live, you can see it on UFC Fightpass. It is worth checking out. It was an exciting fight and the only KO on the card with Wakamatsu leaving the cage on a stretcher.
In addition to the main event, there were other exciting matches. Most notably was the match between Glaico França 18-5-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) and Hiroyuki Tetsuka 4-3-0 (Win-Loss-Draw). Both fighters have enormous potential in the future. Their fight was a mix of heavy hands and very technical ground fighting. Franca came to Japan from Brazil after having several professional fights in other organizations. He even did a little time on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil. If he continues to fight in Japan and in Brazil, there is no doubt that he will make it to the UFC. Tetsuka will also have a chance to move to the UFC in the future. Ever since his first fights in Pancrase you have seen the power this fighter generates. In addition to taking on several top Japanese fighters, he has done some fight overseas as well as an amateur fighter.
Pancrase 293 also welcomed Brazilian fighter Bárbara Acioly 4-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) to the cage for the first time in Japan. She was to face Takayo Hashi 16-6-1 (Win-Loss-Draw) who is no stranger to the MMA Cage. Hashi trains out of Wajutsu Keishukai AKZA, a home for several famous fighters in Japan. She has fought in Invicta and in Deep Jewels. Bárbara Acioly who is the younger of the two put up an excellent fight but was ultimately submitted late in Round 2.
Senzo Ikeda Baets Yuya Wakamatsu KO/TKO, 2:18 R5
Akira Okada Beats Ricardo Tirloni Unanimous Dec
Ayaka Miura Beats Ye Dam Seo Split Dec
Shohei Masumizu Beats Toru Ogawa Unanimous Dec
Glaico França Beats Hiroyuki Tetsuka Split Dec
Takayo Hashi Beats Bárbara Acioly Sub, 3:20 R2
Akihiro Gono Beats Kyohei Wakimoto Split Dec
Masayuki Kikuiri Beats Yutaka Kobayashi Unanimous Dec
Toshiya Takashima Beats Takafumi Ato Unanimous Dec
Yasuhiro Kawamura Beats Daiki Gojima Sub, 2:25 R2
Taiyo Hayashi Beats Shuichi Kanda Unanimous Dec
Makoto Fukaya Beats Atsushi Ueda Split Dec
Kaneaki Watanabe Beats Takuya Saito Split Dec
Darani Date Beats Yuta Tezuka Unanimous Dec
Kazuki Hagiwara Beats Mizuki Sakamoto Sub, 1:14 R1
T. Nakamura Beats Keisuke Tachibana Unanimous Dec