An intriguing weekend of MMA awaits us. Kicking off proceedings in Manila tonight is Brave Combat Federation, which lands in the Philippines for the first time for Brave 22: Storm of Warriors. Amidst a major shake up of the Japanese MMA market, DEEP and Pancrase will be back this weekend with two solid offerings for fans of JMMA. Let’s take a deeper look at what’s on offer.
Brave CF 22
Brave Combat Federation marks its debut in the Philippines with a nine-fight card headlined by reigning bantamweight champion Stephen Loman. In the past year Brave has been on a run, taking live events to all corners of the globe including India, Johannesburg, Abu Dhab, Colombia and Morocco. Brave 22: Storm of Warriors takes place at the Mall of Asia Arena and sees a handful of local fighters stepping up to the place including Jeremy Pacatiw and Harold Banario. Earlier this week former UFC flyweight Jose “Shorty” Torres pulled out with an industry leaving Irishman Cian Cowley vs. John Brewin as the co-main event feature. The event will be live on FITE TV from 6pm local time.
What a week it’s been for Pancrase. After adding several new bouts to Pancrase 305 in May, including a featherweight title fight, Pancrase announced a landmark deal with ONE Championship. The promotion returns to Studio Coast on Sunday for a bantamweight title bout between interim champion Rafael Silva (29-6) and Kenta Takizawa (9-4). Hawaiian flyweight Rilley Dutro is set to make his debut against Shohei Masumizu, while a women’s bantamweight bout sees Yoko Higashi (2-1) face Seo Yoon Jung (0-1). As usual, the event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.
Deep Impact Tokyo
After a solid card last weekend, DEEP returns to Tokyo for Deep Tokyo Impact 2019. The main event sees “Mr Megaton” Seigo Mizuguchi (13-17) take on “Samurai Mark Hunt” Kiyoshi Kuwabara (11-11). Both men had a rocky 2018 and will be looking to get back to winning ways. Expect fireworks. Also keep an eye out for Ryuji Takashio, who after a busy past 12 months takes on Brazilian journeyman Luiz Andrade. The event will stream live on YouTube from 6:30pm local time.
UFC on ESPN+ 5
UFC on ESPN+ 5, aka UFC London, features a pivotal welterweight bout between England’s own Darren Till and rising contender Jorge Masvidal. Though both are coming off of losses, they remain two highly exciting fighters in a division currently generating some entertaining storylines – thanks no doubt to UFC newcomer Ben Askren. An exciting co-main event sees a surging Leon Edwards take on Gunnar Nelson in a potential welterweight title contention bout.