Rin Nakai vs Emiko Raika Announced For Pancrase 279 In JulyBantamweight Queen of Pancrase Rin Nakai drops down to the flyweight division for her return to Pancrase on July 24th at Pancrase 279 in Tokyo, Japan. Nakai is set to face off against multi-time boxing world champion Emiko “Fujin” Raika in a featured matchup on the event’s main card.

Nakai recently completed a two-fight stint with the UFC, which saw her drop decisions to current UFC champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate and Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith. Raika looks to rebound from a decision defeat against Brogan “Killer Bee” Walker at Pacific Xtreme Combat 50 in December.

Nakai (16-2-1) turned down contract offers from Strikeforce and later the UFC in order to continue to compete in Japan between 2011 and the end of 2013. During that time, she became the inaugural Bantamweight Queen of Pancrase champion and earned a big victory over MMA pioneer Tara LaRosa. Finally, after defeating Invicta FC veteran Sarah “The Monster” D’Alelio two years ago, Nakai inked a two-fight deal with the UFC. However, she suffered her first career defeat against Tate in September 2014 and most recently dropped a razor-thin decision to Smith at UFC Fight Night 85 in March.

Raika (2-3-0, 1 NC), who is one of Japan’s most decorated female boxing champions, made the move to MMA in September 2014 – just eight days before Nakai debuted for the UFC – and engaged in a competitive back-and-forth bout against kickboxing champion Su Jeong “Beautiful Fighter” Lim. Raika was defeated in the fight, and she subsequently suffered a submission loss to top Deep Jewels star Shizuka Sugiyama, but she bounced back with back-to-back victories including a first-round knockout. In her most recent fight, Raika suffered a Unanimous Decision loss to the unbeaten Walker in Guam.

Pancrase 279 takes place on July 24th at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan. The event also features a strawweight bout between Krush kickboxing champion and recent MMA debutant Syuri Kondo, and an opponent to be determined.

Hirofumi Sugi contributed to this report.



(Photo Credit: GBRing.com)