Yoshiyuki Yoshida will challenge for Deep lightweight gold on Dec. 31. | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com
A week removed from pulling out of Titan FC 31, Yoshiyuki Yoshida will now challenge for the Deep lightweight title on New Year’s Eve against Satoru Kitaoka.
Deep officials recently announced a portion of the card for Dream Impact 2014: “New Year’s Eve Special,” which takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on Dec. 31.
A veteran of Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA, “Zenko” will return to Deep, a promotion where the 40-year-old has won his last two fights. Yoshida was supposed to have fought Mike Ricci in the main event of last weekend’s Titan Fighting Championship card, but pulled out of the contest after Ricci missed weight.
Sources close to the situation told Sherdog.com that Yoshida withdrew because he felt it was unprofessional for the Tristar Gym member to miss weight in a title fight.
Now, Yoshida will step inside the cage against a 56-fight veteran in Kitaoka. A native of Nara, Japan, Kitaoka has fought for a plethora of Japanese MMA promotions since 2000, with bouts in Pancrase, Sengoku, Deep, and Dream. The 34-year-old presently owns a two-fight winning streak and will look to complete a perfect 2014 at the last possible opportunity on the calendar.