Report: Strikeforce Inks Kazuo Misaki

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It seems that a former PRIDE middleweight grand prix winner is headed to the ranks of Strikeforce.

Ron Kruck of HDNet’s Inside MMA revealed on last night’s episode that he has confirmed with Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz that the organization has signed Kazuo Misaki to a two-fight deal. No word as to when Misaki will be making his debut with the promotion.

Misaki got back on track earlier this month at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku” event, submitting middleweight prospect Siyar Bahadurzada and earning his first win since he won a razor close split decision over Denis Kang to become the second middleweight grand prix champion in PRIDE history.

His knockout of Yoshihiro Akiyama at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve was changed to a no contest in January after it was determined that the soccer kick Misaki used to end the fight was illegal since Akiyama’s arm and legs were touching the mat. Under Japanese rules, a fighter can kick a downed opponent, but not when they are down on all fours.

Potential opponents for Misaki mentioned on the telecast included Joe Riggs, Frank Shamrock, and Cung Le, who served on the special guest panel for the episode.

The episode can currently be viewed at Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.


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