Hello, Japan: Satoru Kitaoka vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka Set for October 3

Satoru Kitaoka and Kuniyoshi Hironaka square off after the announcement of their lightweight bout in Pancrase on October 3. Photo courtesy of Pancrase.

Two Japanese veterans, each looking to climb back up the lightweight ladder after stumbling on the big stage, will meet for the first time this October.

During a live Ustream broadcast on Thursday, Pancrase announced that former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka (26-10-9) has been matched with DREAM veteran and current Cage Force ace Kuniyoshi Hironaka (16-7) for the main event of its October 3 "Passion Tour" stop.

Kitaoka suffered back-to-back losses with Sengoku in 2009, first dropping his title to Mizuto Hirota last August, then being knocked out by Jorge Masvidal in November. Following rumors of retirement and a seven-month hiatus - during which his usually-active blog fell quiet, one source tells me, at the behest of Sengoku brass - the longtime Pancrasist returned to his old stomping grounds and decisioned Nova Uniao's Jorge Rodrigues in June.

The visiting Hironaka will attempt to rebound from a DREAM.13 knockout loss to Katsunori Kikuno, his first defeat since 2008. The former UFC welterweight had racked up four straight stoppage wins in his 155-pound campaign, including an impressive victory over Naoyuki Kotani via crucifix.

Heat has confirmed a pair of matches for its September 20 show, both of which pit fighters from the Nagoya-based promotion against imports from Hawaii's X-1 Events.

BJJ black belt and Heat heavyweight champ Cristiano Kaminishi (7-1-2) will defend his title against Myles Tynanes (3-1-1) in a three-rounder. Tynanes is a curious choice for a challenger as the Hawaiian hasn't recorded a professional bout since 2006. However, he did briefly hold a disqualification win over Satoshi Ishii (later overturned) when Ishii failed to stop punching Tynanes after the bell in a June exhibition match for X-1.

In what looks to be a more competitive tilt, X-1's 170-pound titlist Dylan Clay (8-2) meets Heat welterweight ace Yoshitaro "Buffalo" Niimi (9-5-2) in a non-title affair.

* * *

- Kotetsu Boku (17-6-2) and Yukinari "Hibiki" Tamura (11-4-5) are set to square off at Sustain's "The Way of Shooto 5" on September 23. The 154-pound bout should put the winner into contention for Shooto's vacant welterweight title. Earlier this month, Tamura scored a first-round submission win over former King of the Cage lightweight champ Tony Hervey in California. Boku and Hervey went three rounds this past January, with Boku taking a unanimous decision.

- Following two consecutive bouts with unfortunate endings, Korean lightweight prospect Won Sik "Parky" Park (8-2-1, 1 NC) took his first step on the road back to contender status last weekend. Park notched a 47-second armbarring of Norihisa Amimoto at the Deep-affiliated "Gladiator 9" event held on Saturday inside the fascinating ACROS Fukuoka venue.

- Speaking of Korean lightweights, busy newcomer Doo Ho Choi (4-1) steps in for injured countryman Un Sik "Tornado" Song against Atsuhiro Tsuboi (6-14-4) at "ClubDeep Nagoya" on September 5.

- Jewels has put out a call for 105- and 115-pound female fighters to apply for their 2010 Rough Stone Grands Prix, set to begin on October 10. Fighters interested can submit their resumes here (some English instructions included). Last year's tournaments included prospects like Mika Nagano and Alexandra Sanchez.

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