You may not know the name, but Makoto Takahashi (10-1-1) is one to watch as he takes on South Korea’s Jae Woong Byun (2-1) at DEEP 94 Impact on March 1.
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At just 19-years-old, Makoto Takahashi is truly one of the most phenomenal, young talents in the sport right now. And DEEP is definitely lucky to have him! Following a 2018 loss to the fantastically well-rounded Tatsumitsu Wada, “Shinryu” has gone on to win four-straight fights, with three of those taking place last year. Takahashi’s 2019 consisted of a dominant win over Chikara Shimabukuro, a DEEP interim flyweight title win over Yuya Shibata, and arguably the biggest win of his career to cap off the calendar year. In late December, competing on the Bellator Japan postlims, “Shinryu” had a fantastic war with a veteran in Yusaku Nakamura, winning the decision unanimously. This was, of course, part of the RIZIN rules portion of the show.
With youth on his side as well, Jae Woong Byun has had an interesting run the past couple of years. The 22-year-old dropped a decision to former champion Yuki Motoya in February of last year in what was just his third fight as a professional. He has not competed since, and that was his first fight since August of 2016. In fact, August 2016 was a massive month for the young South Korean, as both of his professional wins came in that short span of time. Opening the month on August 6 with a win over Guk Hwan Moon on a regional show in Korea, Byun competed at DEEP 77 Impact x DEEP JEWELS 13 and shocked the Japanese crowd, defeating a legend in the form of Masakazu Imanari by way of majority decision.
DEEP 94 Impact goes down on March 1, live from the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The card features a welterweight title fight and the return of Yuki Motoya, Takafumi Otsuka.