Former featherweight champion Takafumi Otsuka, current lightweight champion Katsunori Kikuno, former middleweight champion Ryo Chonan and Grabaka founder Sanae Kikuta will all participate in DEEP's 10th Anniversary show, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Photo by T.Sakuma for Sportsnavi.
For over a year, DEEP boss Shigeru Saeki has been promising an all-star line-up for the promotion's 10th Anniversary show, which will coincide with DEEP's "50th Impact."
Pre-sale tickets for the October 24 event were made available during Friday's "49th Impact" event, and the great Japan-based (but English-speaking) website SKILL MMA has provided this epic tentative fight card, as released by DEEP's ticketing agency:
DEEP - 50th Impact
October 24, 2010
Shinya Aoki (24-5, 1 NC) vs. TBA
Sanae Kikuta (28-7-3, 1 NC) vs. TBA
Ikuhisa Minowa (46-30-8) vs. TBA
Takafumi Otsuka (10-6-1) vs. Yoshiro Maeda (26-9-2)
Ryo Chonan (17-11) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-5)
Toshikazu "ISE" Iseno (7-6-2) vs. Won Sik "Parky" Park (8-2-1, 1 NC)
Kazuo Misaki (22-11-2, 1 NC) vs. Akira Shoji (14-16-5)
Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata (11-7-3) vs. Tomomi "Taisho" Iwama (8-5-1)
Shoji Maruyama (6-5-1) vs. Tatsunao Nagakura (6-1)
Hidetaka Monma (16-9-4) vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto (14-22-1)
Isao Terada (8-10-4, 1 NC) vs. Yoshiki Harada (4-0)
Ryuta Noji (11-6) vs. Hiroshi Nagao
Otsuka-Maeda was the sole bout announced during intermission at Friday's show, though Saeki also confirmed Shirai-Iwase in a post-fight interview. Chonan, Kikuno and Kikuta were all on hand and announced as participants. Saeki told the press that there will be 13-14 bouts on the final card, so there's a good chance some of these fights and/or fighters will be trimmed off.
Update: E-Plus, the agency which revealed the card, now claims that they released the wrong information. The only bouts currently listed on their site are those which were confirmed by DEEP yesterday. Something tells me that wires were crossed behind the scenes and an in-progress bill slipped out, especially since Saeki has been mentioning names like Aoki and Minowa in relation to the show for some time. Stay tuned for more as the official card takes shape.