Hard-hitting karate stylist Katsunori Kikuno returns on Oct. 29. | Photo: Taro Irei
Long-running Japanese indy promotion Deep will once more abandon its ring on Oct. 29 to stage “Cage Impact 2011 in Tokyo,” a day-night doubleheader at Differ Ariake arena.
The event, Deep’s first cage show to hit Tokyo since December 2009’s inaugural “Cage Impact,” was formally announced Wednesday by promotion officials.
While Deep has not shown its cage in the Japanese capital for nearly two years, the structure has been utilized for various smaller shows in cities such as Osaka, Nagoya and Hamamatsu. During Wednesday’s press conference, Deep head Shigeru Saeki declared that he would eventually like to hold a title bout in the cage.
In total, 17 bouts were revealed on Wednesday: nine for the matinee “1st Round” card, set to begin at 2:00 p.m. local time, and eight for the evening “2nd Round” show, which starts at 6 p.m.
Topping the early bill is former Deep lightweight champion Katsunori Kikuno, who will try to rebound from his August title loss to Mizuto Hirota when he meets Korean slugger Kwang Hee Lee. Other matchups confirmed for the afternoon card will see Japanese veterans Yoshiro Maeda and “Iron” Hiroshi Nakamura square off at bantamweight, and submission specialists Daisuke Nakamura and Chang Hyun “Armbar” Kim tangle at lightweight.
Another of the company’s ex-lightweight champs, Takanori Gomi teammate Nobuhiro Obiya, heads the nighttime bill. Following an unsuccessful October title bid, Obiya will drop to featherweight to take on South Korea’s Won Sik Park, who moves down the scale on the heels of a December loss to Maximo Blanco.
Also on the evening card: UFC and Pride vet Ryo Chonan locks horns with kickboxer Naoki Samukawa at welterweight; 2008 Sengoku lightweight grand prix finalist Kazunori Yokota goes up against Shooto mainstay Katsuya Toida; former Deep welterweight ace Yuya Shirai faces Abe Ani Combat Club product Yoshitomo Watanabe; and reigning 205-pound champ Yoshiyuki Nakanishi meets AACC’s Yusuke Masuda in a non-title affair.
Additional participants announced included Bernard Ackah, Hirohide Fujinuma and Hiroki Sato, all of whom will face opponents to-be-determined.