Pancrase held a press conference in Tokyo and announced their champion fighting in GLORY. The current King of Pancrase at the welterweight division, Takenori Sato, is confirmed to face Phil Baroni in GLORY 4 scheduled on December 2nd in Tokyo. This will be held under the MMA rules.
Sato defended the title four straight times and has been asking Pancrase owner Masakazu Sakai to bring in world class opponents. Therefore, instead of booking fighters from the overseas, Pancrase decided to book Sato to a bigger show.
According to Sakai, he went to the GLORY's press conference on September 20th, sat down with people from Glory, and has expressed that "Pancrase wants to be global."
Sato told the reporters, "I am a champion of Pancrase so I am honored to be able to fight world's famous fighter as a representative of Japan. And this is the fight I have to win."
Baroni is known to the Japanese fans because, in PRIDE, he faced many top Japanese fighters such as Ryo Chonan and Yuki Kondo. Sato remembers those days. "I used to watch PRIDE before I made a pro debut. He is a puncher, gotta big muscle so he is strong. But I want to win against fighters from PRIDE generation to show that this is an era of fighters of new generation."
Sato is not sure about the detail of the rules but he said, "I just have to take him down and submit him, that's all. Its a kick boxing event so fans will get to see fighters striking so I want to show different moves in MMA."
GLORY SPORTS INTERNATIONAL / G ENTERTAINMENT
GLORY World Series Presents
GLORY 4 TOKYO GRAND SLAM HEAVYWEIGHT
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
At Makuhari Messe (9 - 11 Halls), Chiba, Japan
Doors Open - 12:30 / Fight Starts - 12:45
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
MMA Rules Welterweight bout 5 min 3R
Takenori Sato (Japan / Laughter 7) vs. Phil Baroni (USA / American Kickboxing Academy)
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of GBR (gbring.com)