Kevin Dunsmoor (above) will step in to meet Mamoru Yamaguchi on May 6. | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Former two-division Shooto champ Mamoru Yamaguchi has been assigned a new opponent for Tachi Palace Fights 9 after fellow world-ranked flyweight John Dodson pulled out of their bout for undisclosed reasons.
Tachi Palace Events Coordinator Jeremy Luchau on Monday confirmed to Sherdog.com that 125-pound up-and-comer Kevin Dunsmoor will take Dodson’s place and square off against Yamaguchi on May 6 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
“There is absolutely no way to replace a talent like John Dodson, but I feel our team came up with a suitable replacement in Dunsmoor, who just became a flyweight to watch recently,” said Luchau. “This fight might not have the star power it once had, but it’s still certainly going to be a high-caliber flyweight bout.”
While no official cause was given for Dodson’s withdrawal, the Greg Jackson-trained fighter is rumored to have landed a spot on the upcoming 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which features 135- and 145-pound competitors.
A member of San Diego’s Team Hurricane Awesome, the 26-year-old Dunsmoor has won three of his last four. Competing mainly in Southern California and Mexico, Dunsmoor has compiled a record of 10-3 since 2007 and has never been finished. He was last seen punching out Jesse Miramontes in the second round of their March 18 bout in Yuma, Ariz.
Yamaguchi, 33, holds a record of 25-5-3 and enters the bout on a five-fight win streak. The current King of the Cage 125-pound champion has finished his last three opponents, most recently victimizing Fumihiro Kitahara via head kick at “The Way of Shooto 6” last November. Over his 10-year career, Yamaguchi has notched wins over the likes of current Shooto 132-pound ace Shuichiro Katsumura, flyweight King of Pancrase Kiyotaka Shimizu and Yasuhiro Urushitani.
Jeff Sherwood contributed to this report.