Onetime Sengoku featherweight titleholder Masanori Kanehara and unbeaten prospect Alex Soto are set to meet in the cage of California’s Xplode Fight Series.
Part of Xplode’s Nov. 19 “Hillside Havoc” card on the San Pasqual Reservation in Valley Center, Calif., the bout was announced Saturday by promotion officials.
Other matchups on the card will see WEC veteran Rolando Perez and Brady Harrison vie for the organization’s 145-pound title and Kris Armbrister take on Bobby Sanchez in a lightweight affair. Ryan Shamrock, 22-year-old son of Ken Shamrock, is slated for action at flyweight against Justin Santistevan.
After eight years on the Japanese and European circuits, Kanehara (Pictured) will make his North American debut against Soto. The 28-year-old Tokyo native has lost three of his last four starts, the first such skid in his career, including knockout losses to Marlon Sandro and Yoshiro Maeda. Following a first-round stoppage loss against Russian prospect Rasul Mirzaev in July, Kanehara took up residence in Albuquerque, N.M., where he currently trains under the tutelage of Greg Jackson.
Soto, 27, is unbeaten through seven professional bouts with three submissions and two knockouts to his credit. A product of San Diego’s Team Hurricane Awesome, the U.S. Army veteran holds the featherweight title of Mexico’s Ultimate Warrior Challenge promotion. Soto made his first trip to Japan for his most recent outing, a narrow June draw in Deep with Seiji Akao.