Rin Nakai vs Tara LaRosa Announced For Pancrase 252 CardBantamweight Queen of Pancrase Rin Nakai is set to take on her toughest opponent to date on September 29th at Pancrase 252: “20th Anniversary” in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Nakai will face former BodogFight champion Tara LaRosa in a bantamweight bout that was officially announced today.

Nakai is coming off of a first-round submission victory over King of the Cage titleholder Brenda “Boom Boom” Gonzales in May. Long-time contender LaRosa’s three-fight winning streak was snapped in her October Invicta FC debut. Officials did not specify whether Nakai’s belt would be on the line.

Nakai (14-0-1) became the inaugural Bantamweight Queen of Pancrase Champion in December when she defeated Danielle “The Honey Badger” West in a controversial rematch at Pancrase Progress Tour 14. Pancrase came under fire from fans and media due to a number of last-minute rule changes that prevented West from being eligible to win the fight as a result of her inability to make weight. On May 19th, Nakai picked up a crucial victory when she took advantage of a Gonzales injury and submitted the previously unbeaten KOTC champ with a rear-naked choke late in round one.

LaRosa (21-3-0) has faced and defeated nearly all top-ranked female bantamweights during her storied career, but a recent drop to 125 pounds has yielded mixed success. The former BodogFight 135-pound champion captured her first flyweight title in November 2010 when she defeated Takayo Hashi, but she has come in overweight for each of her past two fights in the division. She most recently dropped a Unanimous Decision to Vanessa Porto at Invicta FC 3. LaRosa will appear on The Ultimate Fighter 18 and she now moves back up to bantamweight to face Nakai.

Pancrase 252: “20th Anniversary” is set for September 29th at the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.



(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)

  1. So I guess this means LaRosa didn’t make it to the finals on TUF?

  2. That’s a given.

    Interesting match-up, whatsoever…

  3. So I guess the rumor was true that she got blitzed in her first fight and didn’t make the house and final 8. I thought TUF might revitalize her career, but it seems it just proves she is shot. And now reduced to being part of the Rin Nakai circus. Given everything will be stacked against her, a loss pretty much ends her chances of ever seeing UFC. Sad.

  4. As the sport grows, I think stronger and faster athletes show up, and, sometimes, some of the past icons are left behind.
    This is natural, nothing to be ashamed of. It happened to Fedor, to CroCop, to Wanderlei Silva, to MaurĂ­cio Shogun Rua etc..
    Tara LaRosa is a natural 125 lber. (I think she walks around at 134 lbs., or used to…). She accomplished a lot in the sport and is truly one of the pioneers.
    But, now, you have bigger and stronger athletes, who can cut more weight to the 135 lbs. division… the 135 lbs. division is actually full of great talents: Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Sarah Kaufmann, Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano, Jessica Eye, Germaine de Randaime, Holly Holm, Amanda Nunes, Miriam Nakamoto, Leslie Smith, Shayna Baszler, Liz Carmouche, Sarah D’Alelio, Lauren Taylor, Jessamyn Duke and so on.
    All of these girls are significantly bigger than LaRosa. I am sure that the girls on TUF happened to be bigger than she as well…

  5. Pancrase must be confident Tara LaRosa is no longer up to the job if they’re feeding her to Rin. She should still be more of a challenge than the misfits Rin usually fights though. It’ll certainly be worth a look.

  6. Tara LaRosa was a great fighter but is past her best and won’t be strong enough for Rin. Pancrase know what they are doing here.

  7. Rin and the Japanese may as well face the facts
    sooner of later she will have to face top talents and travel to hold he rplace and rank
    I would love to see what she really has to offer against UFC and Invicta level opposition

  8. rin and ronda need together.
    become female tag team champions in WWE.