World Victory Road recently announced more match ups for its next event, Sengoku 9, which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Aug. 2.
A heavyweight scrap was booked between South Korean import Choi Mu Bae and Yoshihiro Nakao -- the man who infamously kissed Heath Herring in the staredown before their bout back in 2005.
Nakao had a disappointing outing in his last bout against former Elite XC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva at Sengoku "Rebellion" in January. The fight barley got underway before Nakao came up lame with a knee injury, which halted the bout early and gave "Bigfoot" the easy win.
Mu Bae last competed at the same event, dismantling rising heavyweight prospect Dave Herman. He blasted him with a few shots and "Pee Wee" seemed to lose his bearings in the second round of their bout, turning his back and proceeding to slowly walk away.
Choi wasn’t about to let him go and kept the pressure on, landing a barrage of strikes that left Herman dazed, on his knees and dangling in the ropes until the referee made the save.
Also set to go down on August 2 will be a lightweight tilt which pits Japanese mainstay Eiji Mitsuoka doing battle with King of the Cage (KOTC) veteran Clay French.
Elsewhere on the card, Satoru Kitaoka, is set to defend his Sengoku lightweight title for the first time against Mizuto Hirota. Kitaoka won the championship by making short work of former PRIDE FC poster boy, Takanori Gomi, at Sengoku: "Rebellion" back in January, dousing the flames of "The Fireball Kid" with a fight-ending Achilles lock just 1:41 into the opening stanza.
Hirota earned his shot at the gold by recently disposing of highly regarded lightweight standout, Mitsuhiro Ishida, ending the bout via technical knockout in the very first round earlier last month at Shooto: "Final Tradition."
The pairings for World Victory Road’s featherweight grand prix semifinals are also set to go down at Sengoku 9.
The often overlooked Michihiro Omigawa — who earned his spot in the semifinals by dominating and garnering a hard fought decision victory over L.C Davis and then firing off an impressive performance against Nam Phan — will have another tough test when he faces the always dangerous Marlon Sandro.
Sandro — the Featherweight King of Pancrase — has been impressive in his own right throughout the tournament, submitting Matt Jaggers at Sengoku 7 with a standing arm triangle. He then went on to defeat Nick Denis at his own game by knocking "The Ninja of Love" out with a well placed uppercut just 19 seconds into the first round at Sengoku 8.
Tournament favorite and promotion poster boy Hatsu Hioki will collide with Masanori Kanehara. Hioki has been a dominant force thus far in the tournament, submitting American Top Team (ATT) jiu-jitsu coach Chris Manuel by triangle armbar at Sengoku 7. He then went on to submit formidable grappler Ronnie Mann with a triangle lock earlier last month. Kanehara has garnered decision victories over Jong Man Kim also Chang Sung to earn his spot.
The winners from both semifinal matches will meet in the featherweight tournament finals, which will be held later in the same evening.
Here is the current line-up for Sengoku 9:
Sengoku lightweight title bout:
Satoru Kitaoka (24-8-9) vs. Mizuto Hirota (11-3-1)
Sengoku featherweight grand prix semifinals:
Hatsu Hioki (19-3-2) vs. Masanori Kanehara (13-5-5)
Marlon Sandro (14-0) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (6-7-1)
Sengoku featherweight grand prix final:
Hatsu Hioki (19-3-2) or Masanori Kanehara (13-5-5) vs. Marlon Sandro (14-0) or Michihiro Omigawa (6-7-1)
Sengoku Gold Cup Lightweight (154lbs) Final
Sengoku Gold Cup Featherweight (143lbs) Final
Sengoku Gold Cup Bantamweight (132 lbs) Final
Kazuo Misaki (21-9-2) vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura (13-9)
Blagoi Ivanov (0-0) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (15-7)
Yoshihiro Nakao (7-2) vs. Choi Mu Bae (9-3)
Eiji Mitsuoka (15-6-2) vs. Clay French (16-5)
Akihiro Gono (29-14-7) vs. TBA
For more on Sengoku 9 be sure to hit up our event archive right here.