Continuing to lead the way in top level JMMA bringing in world class talent from overseas, PANCRASE puts on another stellar card this coming March 17th. The first year in the promotion’s new venue, Studio Coast in Shin Kiba, Tokyo, has seen some incredible bouts elevating fighters’ careers to higher levels. PANCRASE 303 is the first MMA card of the year following the inaugural PANCRASE REBELS Ring 1 in February showcasing the new promotional network and the REBELS kickboxing and Muay Thai dual rule sets.
PANCRASE 303 is headlined by the Bantamweight King of Pancrase title match between Brazilian, Rafael Silva (29-6) and Japan native, Kenta Takizawa (9-4).
Hugely experienced Silva, took the interim King of Pancrase title from a tough and grueling bout with Masakatsu Ueda, after being denied the belt by champion, Shintaro Ishiwatari.
An extremely persistent and grinding Silva will bring his brand of wrestle, grapple and strangle for the sixth time since leaving Bellator. He has lost only once in the last five years and holds wins over Shohei Masumizu and Victor Henry.
Homegrown young prospect, Kenta Takizawa, fights out of Reversal Gym Tokyo Standout, one of a network of gyms responsible for producing many MMA, Jiu-jitsu, and Kickboxing professionals like Yusuke Saruta (ONE Championship), Kenta Takagi (PANCRASE), and Strawweight KOP Mitsuhisa Sunabe (29-8-4).
Since his debut in the Tribe Tokyo Fight Challenge series, Takizawa has fought exclusively for PANCRASE taking seven of his nine wins with his razor sharp and whip speed hands. He has an excellent scramble which makes for a dangerous dynamic along with those hands, but he has his work cut out for him on Sunday, March 17th when he faces the smothering Rafael Silva.
The PANCRASE 303 card also features a Lightweight top of the division matchup between Russian, Salimkhan Sudolloev (6-3), and Hiroto Uesako (16-7).
Sudolloev stamped his name in the book with his Pancrase debut against number 2 ranked Akira Okada, taking him out with a clean hit spinning counter elbow sending Akira to the canvas and finishing up with solid ground & pound. He will be one of two Russians on the promotion’s 303 card.
Having stepped up a weight class to Lightweight, the former Featherweight DEEP Champion, Uesako of HEARTS gym, will have a slight height advantage and an equally dangerous striking game with over half of his wins by KO or TKO. This is not only an excellent matchup, but has serious implications for who faces the winner of the Lightweight King of Pancrase Championship match between current champ, Takasuke Kume, and challenger, and UFC experienced Finnish champion, Anton Kuivanen after they face in the main event of PANCRASE 304 on April 14th.
As for the coming 303 show, the young knock out artist, Yoshinori Horie is back in the PANCRASE decagon against the man with rocks for fists, Hanzo Tanaka. And, UFC vet, Michinori Tanaka will be fending off a young and hungry Russian, Vladimir Leontyev.
The fight order has yet to be set, but this is how it is looking to date:
Main Event – Bantamweight King of Pancrase Title Match
Rafael Silva (29-6-0) vs. Kenta Takizawa (9-4-0)
Ryuichi Miki (19-11-4) vs. Taiki Akiba (9-7-1)
Shohei Masumizu (9-3-0) vs. Rilley Dutro 13-4-0
Yusuke Ogikubo (10-8-0) vs. Tatsuyuki Nakamura (12-13-3)
Yoko Higashi (2-1-0) vs. Seo Yoon Jung (0-1-0)
Yuki Baba (11-8-0) vs. Chihaya Yoneyama (7-1-1)
Yutaka Kobayashi (11-21-4) vs. Ukyo Abe (7-6-1)
Salimkhan Sadulloev (7-3-0) vs. Hiroto Uesako (14-7-0)
Yoshinori Horie (7-1-0) vs. Hiroshige Tanaka (12-6-0)
Michinori Tanaka (12-3-0) vs. Vladimir Leontyev (2-1-0)