King of the Cage Announces First Japanese Show

One of the United States' longest-running and most prolific MMA promotions will head to Japan for the very first time in 2010.

Southern California-based King of the Cage (KOTC) - which celebrated its tenth anniversary in October - announced plans this week for "King of the Cage: Toryumon" at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan, Japan, on January 30th. "Toryumon" is a Japanese word which translates to "gateway to success."

MMA Weekly reports:

The event will be available on American pay-per-view, featuring veteran Shooto fighter Mamoru Yamaguchi versus Frank Baca for the vacant KOTC world junior flyweight championship.

Toryumon also features former KOTC lightweight champion Tony Hervey facing Kotetsu Boku, Bellator fighter Toby Imada versus Pancrase veteran Kiichi ["Strasser"] Kunimoto, and Shigeki Matsuda making his professional debut against Tatsuya Sou [sic].

No word yet on whether KOTC plans to import more American fighters or utilize local talent, but the line-up thus far looks extremely promising. Former high school wrestling coach Baca has made a big impact on the Southwestern bantamweight division in just over a year, but he'll be facing one of the best flyweights of all time in Mamoru. Likewise, "Lionheart" Hervey -- who lost a hard-fought five round decision to Takanori Gomi at the end of October -- will have his hands full against Boku, a training partner of "Kid" Yamamoto and one of Shooto's top 154-pounders.

The only downside? KOTC pay-per-views generally don't air for weeks, or even months, after the events take place.

[UPDATE] Thanks to MMASuPreMaCy for pointing out that KOTC is already on the ball with an official Japanese site at

Here's the card so far:

King of the Cage World Junior Flyweight Championship
Mamoru Yamaguchi (22-5-3) vs. Frank Baca (6-0)

LW: Kotetsu Boku (15-6-2) vs. Tony Hervey (11-6)
WW: Kiichi "Strasser" Kunimoto (8-3, 1 NC) vs. Toby Imada (22-13)
BW: Tatsuya So (4-3-1) vs. Shigeki Matsuda (debut)
FW: Shinya Kumazawa (3-6) vs. Steve Hecht (4-1)
LW: Tsuyoshi Tamaki (2-0) vs. Byron Schnell (0-1)

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