Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Yo Saito set for PANCRASE 256

After defeating Alan Yoshihiro Yamaniwa earlier this month, Shintaro Ishiwatari is already lined up for his first bout of 2014.

Surging 135-pounder Yo Saito will be the first hurdle of the New Year for the Bantamweight King of Pancrase.

The Japanese giants today held a press conference announcing the match-up scheduled to take place at Pancrase 256.

Japan’s famed Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan will play host to the event.

Shintaro Ishiwatari (16-5-4) began his journey into Mixed Martial Arts back in 2006, and is now regarded as a household name on the Asian MMA scene.

The 28-year-old started fighting under promotions like Shooto & Sengoku before moving onto Pancrase, where he would eventually claim the Bantamweight King of Pancrase title overcoming hard nosed veteran Manabu Inoue.

Since then, the Pancrase King has went on to defend his strap just once defeating Tashiro Nishiuchi via Unanimous Decision at Pancrase – Progress Tour 3 in 2012.

Ishiwatari’s most recent outing saw him square off with Alan Yoshihiro Yamaniwa after his original opponent Chase Beebe pulled out of the bout due to illness. The pair were involved in a grueling back & forth battle, that would end with Shintaro getting his hand raised to a Majority Decision.

Prior to the fight, Ishiwatari was on the verge of possibly signing with the UFC. But after fallen to Kyoji Horiguchi in a Fight of the Year candidate, Shintaro now looks to work his way back.

Standing across from the Champion will be Yo Saito (13-8-3) who earned his title shot defeating Yusuke Mitsuzuka, Toshihiro Shimizu and Masato Sannai.

Wajutsu Keishukai Toikatsu’s product is currently on a 5-fight win streak overall, since dropping bouts to Hiroshige Tanaka & Guy Delumeau.

The fighter dubbed “The Guillotine” sunk his signature move on the aforementioned Masato Sannai at last months Pancrase 253 to cement his title shot at the beginning of 2014.

Known for his technical grappling, the Pancrase veteran now faces the toughest test of his professional career when he steps in the ring with Shintaro Ishiwatari at the Differ Ariake on February 2nd.

*As of now there is no word on whether or not the event will be streamed on iPPV.

Here’s how the card looks thus far:

Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Yo Saito
Yuki Kondo vs. Toshikazu Suzuki
Yasutaka Koga vs. Tatsuya So
Yusuke Kawanago vs. Hiroyuki Oshiro
Takafumi Ito vs. Akihito Hara
Juntaro Ami vs. Yutaka Kobayashi
Genpai Hayashi vs. Tamotsu Hayashi
Hiroki Aoki vs. Keigo Hirayama
Andy Main vs. Akira Okada
Yuya Kaneuchi vs. Teppei Masuda
Hiroshi Tomita vs. Daiki Gojima
Takuya Eizumi vs. Toshio Mitani
Satoshi Inaba vs. Hidekazu Asakura
Chiaki Wakana vs. Ryo Iseki
Kota Kondo vs. Takayuki Ijima
Katsuhiro Sakanaka vs. Akihisa Fukuyama

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Photo credit: Pancrase
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Categories: Asian MMA, Japan, MMA, Pancrase

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One Comment on “Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Yo Saito set for PANCRASE 256”

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