After being controversially released by Titan FC after refusing to fight an opponent who missed weight, Yoshiyuki Yoshida returns to Japan to challenge Satoru Kitaoka for his lightweight belt at Deep: Dream Impact on New Year’s Eve.
The event is set for the Saitama Super Arena and will see Kitaoka (34-13-9) look to defend the Deep 155-pound title he won last year against UFC, Bellator and ONE FC veteran Yoshida (17-6), who is riding a six fight winning streak.
The event will also feature a featherweight match-up between two of the top Japanese fighters in the division, as current lightweight King of Pancrase Isao Kobayashi (16-1-4) takes on reigning Deep 145-pound champion Kazunori Yokota (21-5-3).
The once-beaten Kobayashi dropped down to 145 pounds earlier this year and scored a unanimous decision win over Takeshi Inoue, while Yokota has won nine straight fights, meaning that both men have a lot of momentum heading into this featherweight bout.
Takafumi Otsuka was in danger of being reduced to journeyman status after a spell in which he lost seven times in nine fights, but the 27-year-old has enjoyed a recent resurgence winning six out of his last seven.
Otsuka (18-12-1) is set to represent Deep against Bantamweight King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari (18-6-4) in one of five bouts currently confirmed for the card, which pits fighters representing the two rival organizations together.
Deep: Dream Impact
Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo
December 31, 2014
Satoru Kitaoka vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Kazunori Yokota vs. Isao Kobayashi
Takafumi Otsuka vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari
Yuya Shibata vs. Kiyotaka Shimizu
Toshiaki Kitada vs. Taichi Nakajima
Yasuaki Kishimoto vs. Yoshiaki Takahashi
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Haruo Ochi
Yuki Motoya vs. TBA
Tatsunao Nagakura vs. TBA
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