by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
DEEP has announced several matches for its next event, DEEP 35, on May 19 at Korakuen Hall. The feature attraction will be the semi-final and final matches for its middleweight tournament to crown a new DEEP middleweight champion, which was vacated by former champion Ryo Chonan when he signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The match-ups for the semi-finals won’t be determined until the day of the event, but all four participants earned their spots by winning their first round match-ups on Feb. 22 at DEEP 34.
Riki Fukuda won a decision victory over former DEEP middleweight champion Ryuta Sakurai, while Daijiro Matsui won a decision over Korean fighter Young “Ryo” Choi. Yuichi Nakanishi won a close split decision over Pancrase veteran Eiji Ishikawa. And Yuya Shirai won a decision over Sojiro Orui.
DEEP featherweight champion Masakazu Imanari will defend his title against UFC veteran Dokonjonosuke Mishima. Imanari comes off a submission victory over Jean Silva at Cage Rage 25, while Mishima dropped two straight fights in the UFC, most recently being submitted by Kenny Florian at UFC Fight Night 9.
Kazunori Yokota will make the first defense of his lightweight championship when he faces Korean fighter Pang Sung Hwan. Yokota comes off a submission victory over Minoru Tavares at DEEP 31, while Hwan won a decision over Luiz Luiz at a recent Club DEEP event.
Also scheduled to participate are DEEP welterweight champion Hidehiko Hasegawa and women’s flyweight champion Satoko Shinashi. Pride veterans Jutaro Nakao and Seichi Ikemoto have also been tabbed to participate at the event.
DEEP Featherweight Championship Bout:
-Masakazu Imanari vs. Dokonjonosuke Mishima
DEEP Lightweight Championship Bout:
-Kazunori Yokota vs. Pang Sung Hwan
DEEP Middleweight Tournament:
DEEP Middleweight Tournament Reserve Fight:
-Ryuta Sakurai vs. Young Choi
-Hidehiko Hasegawa vs. Hiroki Nagaoka
-Koichiro Matsumoto vs. Yuki Ito
-Katsunori Kikuno vs. Seigo Inoue
Scheduled to Participate: