Pancrase is one of the true pioneers of Japanese MMA organizations: promoting events since 1993, and helping develop talent like Yuki Kondo, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, and Bas Rutten.
They’ve featured some great fights — and as you can see from their posters, some really stellar marketing.
But in today’s ZUFFA-dominated MMA scene, the spotlight has eluded them in recent years. Recent announcement of a partnership with World Series of Fighting has begun changing that.
Pancrase’s next big show, the Pancrase World Slam on October 5 in Tokyo, will feature a semi-final bout at lightweight for the ongoing Grand Slam Tournament. Longtime Pancrase star Satorou Kitaoka, of Tokyo’s Lotus Setagaya academy, will meet Richie Whitson, of Team Quest in Temecula, CA.
Nam Phan, who competed for the UFC from 2010 to March of this year, will make his Pancrase debut at Pancrase World Slam, facing Japanese featherweight Yuki Baba. Also on the card, another longtime presence of Japanese MMA, Hiroyuki Abe, will face Yukitaka Musashi.
People who remember the “old days” of Pancrase may be surprised by today’s product — with a cage and similar ruleset as the UFC. Here’s a video of highlights from Pancrase 260 back in June: