Jutaro Nakao (above) will face Satoru Kitaoka on short notice. | Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com
An undisclosed injury suffered in training has forced Seichi Ikemoto out of his April 23 bout with Satoru Kitaoka at Deep “53 Impact.” The Japanese promotion announced Wednesday that UFC veteran Jutaro Nakao will step in to fill Ikemoto’s slot against the former Sengoku lightweight champion.
Nakao, 40, was last seen in January 2010, when he snapped a two-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision win against Yuki Ito at “45 Impact.” A 15-year veteran of MMA competition, Nakao was crowned Deep’s inaugural welterweight champion in 2006 and holds notable wins over the likes of Shinya Aoki, Pat Miletich and Daisuke Nakamura.
Recently returned from a training stint at San Diego’s Alliance MMA, Kitaoka will look to extend his current win streak to three. The 31-year-old submission specialist returned from the first back-to-back losses of his career in June 2010 and has since defeated Nova Uniao standout Jorge Rodrigues and Cage Force lightweight ace Kuniyoshi Hironaka.
Set to take place at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, “53 Impact” will feature a main event pitting Kazuo Misaki against retiring Pride favorite Akira Shoji in a rematch of a 2006 bout which Misaki won via first-round submission. Eiji Mitsuoka will also participate, as the lightweight Sengoku vet returns from a 17-month layoff to face South Korean Jung Gyung Lee.