Yokota Set for Krush Duty

By Jordan Breen Jul 6, 2009
Kazunori Yokota will have to wait for a shot at the Sengoku lightweight title, but he won't have to wait for a fight, as the Grabaka standout is set for kickboxing duty.

Yokota will take to the ring for striking promotion Krush at its July 24 card at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. While the card will be built around the opening round of Krush's 16-man lightweight grand prix, Yokota will be in superfight action against J-Network 154-pound champion Yu Hirono.

The 31-year-old Yokota was the runner-up in Sengoku's lightweight tournament last November, losing to eventual winner and divisional champion Satoru Kitaoka by unanimous decision in the bracket's final. Following his May 2 decision win over jiu-jitsu ace Leonardo Santos, the former Deep lightweight champion was in the running for a rematch with Kitaoka for the Sengoku crown in August. However, just eight days later, Mizuto Hirota knocked out Mitsuhiro Ishida in the Shooto ring, entrenching himself as the first man to challenge for Kitaoka's title.

None too surprisingly, Yokota has declared publicly that he wants to challenge the winner of Aug. 2's title bout between Kitaoka and Hirota later this year in Sengoku.

Despite making his mark as an MMA fighter, the striking realm is not unfamiliar for the former Juntendo University judo team captain. In addition to having spent significant time training his stand-up in Thailand, Yokota also owns a victory over K-1 Max regular Faldir Chahbari under the Shoot Boxing banner, having bested the Moroccan-born Dutchman by unanimous decision in October 2007.
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