Shimizu, current flyweight King of Pancrase,
will put his belt on the line against Sunabe once more at Pancrase’s
fifth “Impressive Tour” stop, the promotion announced this
week. The show takes place June 5 at Differ Ariake arena in
The match will mark the third title bout and fourth overall meeting
between the 125-pound standouts, who first locked horns in
Shimizu’s June 2008
pro debut. Sunabe, then a seven-year veteran of the sport,
earned a two-round unanimous decision; in his next fight, the
Okinawan became Pancrase’s first ever flyweight ace with a knockout
Shimizu would have his revenge, however, snatching Sunabe’s title
with a closely contested, three-round majority decision in February
2010. A championship rubber match on Dec.
5 yielded another exciting three-rounder, but ended in a
frustrating split draw. Shortly thereafter, Pancrase officials
vowed to match the pair up again as soon as possible.
Shimizu (Pictured) has won back-to-back contests since his last
encounter with Sunabe, both outside of Pancrase. After taking a
one-round split decision over Ichiro
Sugita in a “jacket rules” match at Sengoku’s
Dec. 30 “Soul of
Fight,” the 27-year-old
SK Absolute representative made his second venture to the
ring on April
1. There, Shimizu took out hard-nosed Shooto ranker Junya “Kodo”
Kudo via rear-naked choke.
Sunabe, 31, has not competed since the December draw. The
Reversal Gym fighter is 5-1-1 since 2008, the only non-wins
coming in his bouts with Shimizu. His 13-6-4 ledger includes a 2002
decision win over ex-Shooto 115-pound champ Rambaa “M-16”
Somdet, as well as a slam knockout of Noboru
“Shinpei” Tahara last September.
Also set for action on June 5 is a man with whom both Shimizu and
Sunabe are familiar, two-time title challenger Isao Hirose.
Pancrase’s No. 2-ranked flyweight -- who was bested by Sunabe via
decision in 2009 and Shimizu via doctor stoppage in 2010 -- will
welcome surging Shootor Seiji “Oz”
Otsuka to the promotion.
One of 2010’s most infamous bouts will also get a reprise, as
Uchiyama and Masaya “J-Taro”
Takita square off for the second time. The bantamweights’ first
bout ended in a no-contest after Uchiyama’s head became entangled
in the ring ropes, partially severing his right ear.