by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
Arguably one of the top 3 Featherweights (145-pounds) in the UK, Danny Batten has just inked a three fight deal for the Pancrase organization in Japan. He will be fighting next weekend against the current King of Pancrase Featherweight Title Holder Yosihiro Maeda.

Batten was originally scheduled to fight on the Enter the Roughouse Cage Warriors show on the 28th of April, but withdrew due to lack of opposition. The move paid off and he now finds himself making a return to Japan, this time much more prepared and advanced skills-wise than his previous run there.

With a record of 11-4-3, Batten has been a key figure in the UK featherweight movement, but has always wanted to return to the land of the rising sun. His last fight against Shooto veteran Kyotaro Nakao on the Anger Management card proved his resilience and drive.

UK MMA legend Lee Hasdell has an offer on the table from Cage Rage to fight BTT leader, BJJ legend and Pride veteran Mario Sperry on the July 14, 2007. The contract will be inked by Hasdell on Monday and has been awaiting Sperry’s signature first.

This event marks a welcome return to active competition to one of the trailblazers of the UK scene, a fighter who debuted in 1996, held a 6-year fight contract in the Rings organization in Japan and has fought Top Flight competition in Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (kickboxing), Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Gilbert Yvel. This fight further adds excitement to a card featuring Herb Dean, Butterbean vs. Tengiz Tedoradze, Mustapha Al-Turk and Ross Pointon.