Marlon Sandro broke out with a string of knockouts in Japan. | Photo: Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog.com
Marlon Sandro made a name for himself competing on the Japanese circuit, and now the Nova Uniao featherweight is set to return to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Pancrase on Monday announced that Sandro has signed a multi-fight deal with the long-running Japanese organization and will square off against former lightweight champion Isao Kobayashi in a 145-pound matchup at Pancrase 266.
The card, which is also expected to feature Shintaro Ishiwatari and Takasuke Kume in separate bouts, takes place April 26 at Tokyo’s Differ Ariake arena.
Sandro, 37, became the featherweight King of Pancrase in 2008 before transferring to Sengoku and capturing the featherweight title of that organization as well. Following the end of Sengoku, “The Gladiator” joined Bellator, where he compiled an 8-3 record and was a two-time tournament runner-up. Sandro last saw action in May 2014, when he notched a unanimous decision over Chris Horodecki at Bellator 119.
Kobayashi, 26, has over the past five years established himself as one of Japan’s top prospects. The Sakaguchi Dojo fighter relinquished the mantle of lightweight King of Pancrase in 2014 to make a run in the featherweight division and subsequently defeated former Shooto ace Takeshi Inoue. Most recently, Kobayashi had a 12-fight unbeaten streak snapped in a decision loss to Kazunori Yokota on New Year’s Eve.