Misaki Will Fight But Won't Be Paid

By Jordan Breen Jul 2, 2009
Kazuo Misaki will get his August bout with Kazuhiro Nakamura, but with none of the expected perks.

World Victory Road director Takahiro Kokuho announced Thursday that Sengoku's Aug. 2 "Ninth Battle" card at the Saitama Super Arena will still feature a bout between Misaki and Kazuhiro Nakamura. However, the legally embattled "Grabaka Hitman" will not receive his fight purse and, immediately following the bout, will face an indefinite suspension from Sengoku competition.

Misaki had pled guilty in the Tokyo District Court to obstruction of justice on June 25. The plea was in regard to a March 19 incident in which the former Pride grand prix champion sped away from a police officer who had attempted to cite him for talking on his cell phone while driving. Misaki was given a three-year suspended sentence following his plea, and Kokuho announced the following day that World Victory Road's commission would convene in the coming days to decide on an appropriate course of action.

"Some [of the commission] felt that that we should make the suspension immediate," Kokuho said of the commission's decision to suspend Misaki following the bout. "However, it is not our intention to punish the other parties concerned: his opponent and the fans looking forward to this fight."

The Misaki-Nakamura bout was originally slated to be a title eliminator, with the winner earning a rematch with Sengoku 183-pound champion Jorge Santiago later this year. Santiago defeated Nakamura in the finals of Sengoku's middleweight grand prix last November, and pulled off a sensational come-from-behind fifth-round submission over Misaki to claim the vacant Sengoku title this past January.

Misaki's confiscated fight purse will be donated to Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention and other charities to be decided upon.

"It is not about whether Misaki wins or loses," concluded Kokuho, "but showing a great performance and making those who see the fight into voices for his return."
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>