Pro wrestling convert Kyoko Kimura returns to the Pancrase ring to face veteran Mizuho Sato at Pancrase Progress Tour 1 on January 28, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. Kimura won her MMA debut last month and will move up in weight to face Sato. The women’s bout was officially announced today.
Kimura, famous for taking part in violent pro wrestling “deathmatches” in Japan, challenged MMA pioneer Megumi Yabushita in November and upset the veteran via doctor stoppage after round one. Sato campaigned in the Valkyrie open-weight title tournament last year, but fell short in the finals.
Kimura (1-0-0) gave up a massive amount of experience to Yabushita in her debut, but was confident in her abilities and it showed in the fight. Kimura was able to counter a takedown and moved to back control, where she postured up and landed strikes for much of the opening round as Yabushita tried to defend. After the one-sided round, the bout was stopped due to a Yabushita ankle injury and Kimura walked away with a significant upset win. She will look for her second straight victory when she faces another veteran in January.
Sato (6-5-0) joined the all-female Valkyrie division of Greatest Common Multiple in 2009 following stints in Smackgirl and Shooto. She won two of her first three fights in the promotion before challenging unbeaten prospect Rin Nakai. Sato suffered a third-round submission loss, but was competitive enough to earn a spot in a tournament to crown the first Valkyrie Open Weight Champion. Sato advanced on by defeating Michiko Takeda, but was stopped again by Nakai in the tournament final. She sat out all of 2011 following Valkyrie’s collapse and returns to action next year.
Pancrase Progress Tour 1 takes place on January 28, 2012 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan. The bout between Kimura and Sato will be contested at 64kg (141 pounds).
(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)