By Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
DEEP has announced the first couple of matches for DEEP 31, which is scheduled to take place at Korakuen Hall on August 5.

In the main event, DEEP Women’s Champion Hisae Watanabe will defend her title for the first time against DEEP veteran MIKU Matsumoto. Watanabe comes off a submission victory over Masako Yoshida at DEEP 29, her first fight since dropping a decision to newcomer Su Hi Ham at DEEP 28. Matsumoto recently submitted Misaki Takimoto at a Club DEEP event in June. Matsumoto also holds a submission victory over Su Hi Ham.

DEEP Featherweight Champion Masakazu Imanari returns to action as he takes on Korean fighter Kim Jong Man. Imanari come off an amazing submission victory over Robbie Oliver at Cage Rage 20 to become the Cage Rage Featherweight Champion. Kim Jong Man will be making his MMA debut.

In a intriguing match-up, Yoshihiro “Barbaro44” Tomioka will look to get back on the winning track as he meets Shooto veteran Makoto Ishikawa. Tomioka is coming off a submission loss to Shooto veteran Ryan Bow at DEEP 29; he previously dropped a decision to current DEEP Lightweight Champion Kazunori Yokota at DEEP 27. Ishikawa hasn’t seen action since dropping a decision to former Shooto Lightweight Champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue at Shooto “Victory of the Truth”.

Also scheduled to participate are two current DEEP Champions. DEEP Lightweight Champion Kazunori Yokota returns to action for the first time since beating Pride veteran Nobuhiro Obiya at DEEP 28. DEEP Welterweight Champion Hidehiko Hasegawa also returns to action since becoming champion at DEEP 28, beating Jutaro Nakao by decision.


Korakuen Hall

August 5, 2007

DEEP Women’s Championship: Hisae Watanabe vs. MIKU Matsumoto

Masakazu Imanari vs. Kim Jong Man

Yoshihiro “Barbaro44” Tomioka vs. Makoto Ishikawa

Takeshi Yamazaki vs. Toshiaki Kitada

Yusuke Kawaguchi vs. Iro Zeki

Also Scheduled to Participate:

Kazunori Yokota

Hidehiko Hasegawa

Soujirou Ohrui

Keigo Takamori