A legendary Japanese promotion has announced its first event for 2021.
On Wednesday morning, Pancrase announced that Isao Kobayashi would put his 145-pound championship on the line against Taichi Nakajima in the headliner of Pancrase 321. It will be the first number series show of the year for the Japanese promotion, whose latest event dates back to Dec. 13, 2020.
Kobayashi (26-5-4) captured the interim featherweight championship at the expense of Koyomi Matsushima after his opponent landed an illegal knee at Pancrase 295. After defending his title by upending Nazareno Malegarie at Pancrase 305, the Never Quit-representative was promoted to undisputed champion. He then edged Kyle Aguon via split decision at the end of their Pancrase 309 encounter before unanimously outpointing Akira Okada in a non-title match at Pancrase 316.
Pancrase veteran Nakajima (15-11-1) is 3-2 in his latest five cage appearances and gained his No. 1 contender status after scoring back-to-back victories. Recently, he overcame Boris Fedorov thanks to a unanimous decision at Pancrase 312 back in Feb. 2020 before defeating Yoshinori Horie with a narrow split decision at Pancrase 318.
Pancrase 321 will go down at Studio Coast in Tokyo on May 30. The promotion has yet to reveal the rest of the card.