The Sengoku upset artist, Michihiro Omigawa (9-8-1), has been confirmed to face Micah Miller (13-3) at Hidehiko Yoshida's retirement event.
"Astra" will take place at Nippon Budokan on Sunday, April 25 and feature the farewell bout of the former Olympic judo gold medalist and Japanese MMA icon, Hidehiko Yoshida.
Michihiro Omigawa punctuated a banner year with a knockout of Hiroyuki Takaya at Dynamite!! 2009 on New Year's Eve. Entering the Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix last year with a losing record, the former judoka emerged as a tournament surprise, routing the favorites, LC Davis, Nam Phan, and Marlon Sandro to reach the finale.
He fell short against Masanori Kanehara in the tournament final via split decision. He then earned a controversial split decision victory over the top flight featherweight, Hatsu Hioki at Sengoku 11.
Micah Miller, the younger brother of UFC lightweight, Cole Miller, will fight in Japan for the second time in his career against Omigawa. The WEC veteran made his Japanese debut when he entered the DREAM Featherweight grand prix; he suffered a close decision loss against the fellow WEC veteran, Yoshiro Maeda, during the preliminary round of the tournament.
He has since won three consecutive fights, including the most recent appearance at Shine Fights against Anthony Morrison.
Though Miller has not fought in DREAM since his loss to Maeda, the announcements made at the press conference indicate that his contract with DREAM has not expired. In fact, Miller is one of the fighters that DREAM has agreed to lend out as part of its collaborative effort with J-Rock; a few more fighters from DREAM may be added to the fight card in the coming weeks.
In the wake of recent expiration of contract between Sengoku Raiden Championship and Yoshida dojo, Omigawa's future beyond the Astra event remains up in the air. Given that the prospect of Astra's viability as a new promotion is tentative at best, Omigawa has a number of options regarding his future home.
At the press conference, he asserted himself as the top Japanese featherweight and stated his plan to fight overseas at some point. Needless to say, the quest for world class competition will lead him to WEC, and he mentioned Jose Aldo, Urijah Faber, and Mike Brown as fighters he would like to lock horns with.
Fans and the media have been holding their breath for the announcement of the fighter who will grace the ring opposite Yoshida. At the presser, J-Rock president and Astra's chief organizer, Takahiro Kokuho baited them with the announcement that he has whittled down the list of candidates to three: Two Japanese fighters and one foreign fighter.
Elsewhere, another Yoshida dojo prospect, Tatsunao Nagakura (5-0), will face the DEEP and Sengoku veteran, Akihiko Mori (8-7-1). Nagakura, a former rugby player, started training in MMA two years ago and has since earned eight straight (T)KO victories in three amateur and five professional fights.
Featherweight: Michihiro Omigawa vs. Micah Miller
Featherweight: Tatsunao Nagakura vs. Akihiko Mori
Welterweight: Yuya Shirai vs. Che Mills
Expected on the fight card: Hidehiko Yoshida, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Makoto Takimoto and Denis Kang.