Originally posted over at Head Kick Legend.
Pancrase has released a number of the bouts set to be held at the Impressive Tour 2 event in Osaka, Japan on March 13th. The card will include bouts featuring Smackgirl champion Hitomi Akano and rising bantamweight Motonobu Tezuka. The card will be heavy on competitors who last saw action at the final event of the 2010 Passion Tour in December.
Hitomi Akano last appeared in the 135lb. female tournament held by Strikeforce last August, where she submitted Carina Damm before dropping a unanimous decision to Miesha Tate in the finals. At Impressive Tour 2, Akano will make her return to Japan in a bout against the 1-3 Chisa Yonezawa. To her credit, two of Yonezawa's losses were to Roxanne Modafferi and Takayo Hashi. Be that as it may, this bout is meant to do little more than showcase the submission prowess of Akano.
Motonobu Tezuka has had a pretty good run since winning the featherweight DEEP Future King Tournament in 2009. Following his victory, Tezuka dropped to bantamweight and made the move to Pancrase. He was a mainstay on the 2010 Passion Tour, with his most last victory coming over Takumi Murata in December. Tezuka may be encountering a slightly higher level of competition when he faces the 8-2-2 Hiroshi Tomita. At Passion Tour 12, Tomita knocked out Nobuhiro Yamauchi, one of Motonobu Tezuka's fellow members at the Cobra Kai MMA Dojo. Like Tezuka, Tomita made the drop from featherweight earlier in his career. It will be interesting to see what Tomita might have to offer for the decision-heavy Tezuka.
Also on the card, Pancrase middleweight veteran Yuta Nakamura will appear in a bout against Ikkei Nagamura. Nakamura last appeared in a submission loss to new welterweight King of Pancrase Takenori Sato. Ikkei Nagamura, who trains with Yoshihiro Akiyama at Team Cloud, had mixed results in the Cage Force promotion before dropping a bout to South Korean Ye Won Nam at Sengoku Raiden Championship 13 last June.
Impressive Tour 2 will host a lightweight bout between Shooto veteran Hisaki Hiraishi and the lanky but hopelessly over-matched Yoshifumi Dogaki, as well as what I believe will be the bantamweight premiere of Yudai Aoyama - who lost to Motonobu Tezuka in the semifinals of the DEEP Future King Tournament - as he faces off against Sho Nonaka.
Meanwhile, the 4-1 Daichi Kitakata will meet Brave gym member and former bantamweight Yuki Uejima in the flyweight division, while a second female bout of the night will see Smackgirl and Valkyrie veterans Fukuko Hamada and Mamiko Mizoguchi meet at the 106lb. weight limit.