Nearly 20 years after they squared off for the first time, Yuki Kondo and Ikuhisa Minowa are going to do it one more time under the Pancrase banner.
The rematch between Kondo and Minowa will take place at Pancrase 288, slated for July 2 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan. The contest is a three-round middleweight affair, albeit with three-minute rounds.
Kondo and Minowa first fought on Aug. 9, 1997 at Umeda Stella Hall in Osaka, on the eighth leg of Pancrase's “Alive” tour, with Kondo earning the victory via toe hold submission in just over five minutes.
An icon of Pancrase and one of the promotion's most revered stars, the 41-year-old Kondo is just 1-5 over his last six bouts. The only win for the former Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger in that period came in a two-minute knockout of Shooto pioneer and Shooting Gym Yokohama trainer Kenji Kawaguchi, who was 47 years old at the time. In his last outing this past March, the faded Kondo dropped a unanimous decision to Takaaki Nara, who had just one pro fight prior to the contest.
Minowa, also 41, hasn't fared much better as of late, going 1-3 over his last four bouts. Apart from an October 2015 first-round submission over the unknown Tetsuo Kondo, “Minowaman” has dropped recent bouts to American Justin Morton, China's Zilong Zhao and most recently, Yuya Shirai at Deep 75 Impact on Feb. 27.
In addition to Kondo-Minowa 2, Pancrase has also announced that the July 2 bill will feature a welterweight King of Pancrase title bout, as champion Hiromitsu Miura -- best known for his wild August 2008 World Extreme Cagefighting title bout with Carlos Condit -- makes the first defense of his title against 3-0 kickboxing convert Daichi Abe.