Team Alpha Male Japan standout Michinori Tanaka was set to make his ACB debut on 21 July, but the promotion has cancelled several events in a row. His scheduled match against Duvaka Astamirov was canceled.
Tanaka, who hasn’t fought since October 2017, when he slept Rogério Bontorin at Grandslam, was preparing for his ACB debut for several months. Now a new match has been booked, although quite far out from what was expected. He will face Oleg Borisov (20-3-1), who narrowly lost a split decision in his bantamweight title challenge in March.
Absolute Championship Berkut 90 will take place on 10 November in Moscow.
Tanaka found great success early in his young career, going undefeated in Shooto and transitioning internationally to UFC feeder league PXC. He won and defended the PXC bantamweight belt in 2013 which launched him into a UFC career.
Although his first match in the Octagon was a decision loss to Kang Kyung-Ho, the performance was one of the best of the year and they were awarded Fight of the Night honors. Tanaka won his next bout against Joe Soto, but dropped two more decisions and was released.
With “Nori P” fans believing that it was too soon in the young fighter’s career to give up on him – he’s now only 27 – his signing with the surging ACB was looked at as a triumph. The delay in his debut is unfortunate, and his new opponent will be a rough welcome both back to the cage and to ACB, but Tanaka should be expected to remain the exciting prospect he’s always been.