Sasaki-Santiago Set for Sengoku II


Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago weigh-in for Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Photo by Jon Swenson.

World Victory Road has announced that Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago will clash in a middleweight bout at the organization’s upcoming second “Sengoku” show on May 18th at the at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.

The two were originally booked to face each other in the first round of Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament in November but Sasaki was pulled from the event after failing an an MRI exam. Santiago would go on to defeat both Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley and win the tourney.

Sasaki has not fought since submitting Bo Guk So with an armbar at a DEEP event in July of last year. Before that the longtime Pancrase and Shooto veteran was unsuccessful in his lone bout inside the UFC, dropping a lackluster unanimous decision to Dean Lister.

After suffering consecutive knockout losses in 2007, Santiago bounced back in a big way last year. His Strikeforce middleweight tournament victory was preceded by a surprising submission win over Jeremy Horn. It was the first time that Horn had been forced to tap out in seven years.

The promotion announced yesterday that former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman and prospect Jim York would both be in action at the event.

A pair of lightweight fights were also already announced for the show: Satoru Kitaoka vs Ian James Schaffa and Eiji Mitsuoka vs Kwang Hee Lee. Roger Gracie, Yuki Sasaki, and Yoshihiro Nakao, who was originally reported as facing Mirko Cro Cop at last month’s DREAM event, are all expected to be in action.

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