A lightweight match between Satoru Kitaoka and Kuniyoshi Hironaka has been added to Pancrase’s Oct. 3 card. Both fighters will be looking to get back to the top after stumbling in Japan’s top promotions.
Pancrase confirmed the match through their official Twitter account
Kitaoka worked his way into the lightweight top-ten by winning the first SRC lightweight tournament. He then defeated former Pride champion Takanori Gomi with a quick leg lock. However, in his first title defense, Mizuto Hirota outlasted Kitaoka and knocked him out in the fourth round. Kitaoka’s next match came against Jorge Masvidal. The Bellator veteran survived early submission attempts and finished the fight in the second.
After taking seven months off, Kitaoka returned at Pancrase Passion Tour 5. It took all three rounds, but Kitaoka took the unanimous-decision victory over Jorge Rodrigues.
Hironaka returned to Japan after going 1-4 in the UFC. In his dream debut he scored a TKO victory over Motoki Miyazawa, but then dropped a decision to Hayato Sakurai. The fight caused Hironaka to rethink his career. He decided to drop down to lightweight after spending the majority of his career at welterweight.
After dropping to lightweight, Hironaka won four-straight fights. During that string, Hironaka submitted Naoyuki Kotani with a crucifix and won the Cage Force lightweight title by knocking out Yoshihiro Koyama. In March, he dropped his first fight on his lightweight stint to Katsunori Kikuno.