iSMOS.1 will take place in Yokohama, Japan at the Pancrasism Yokohama gym.
The main ‘draw’ of this new promotion is that it will feature no judging. That’s right, fights in iSMOS will be fought under Unified MMA rules in three rounds of five minutes each and, if the bout does not see a finish within that fifteen minute window, it will be declared a draw.
The bout will be viewable online but will not have a live audience. For those who do not know, the venue is quite literally the gym that Kitaoka and many others train out of.
The man himself Satoru Kitaoka will be headlining the show against Sho Kogane.
At 40-years-old, RIZIN veteran Kitaoka is nearing the end of his career, but man what a career it has been. From holding the DEEP title and defending it four times to winning Grand-Prix and world titles in Sengoku, he has fought a who’s who of welterweight & lightweight fighters. This includes Carlos Condit, Takanori Gomi, Paul Daley, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shinya Aoki, Will Brooks, and Jorge Masivdal.
Sho Kogane (17-3-1) is a winner of eight-straight and the current ZST lightweight champion, though he has also competed in DEEP and Pancrase. Not to discredit his schedule over the past decade, but Kitaoka is, without question, the biggest fight of his career – by a mile.
It doesn’t end there, iSMOS.1 will have another legend fighting in the co-main event.
Yuki Kondo (60-35-9) will turn 45-years-old on July 17, and then compete at the inaugural iSMOS show two weeks later. He is one of the most successful fighters in the long, storied history of Pancrase. Debuting with the organization in 1996 and fighting there consistently up until 2019, Kondo was a four-division champion within the organization, as well as a coveted Neo Blood Tournament winner. He carved enough of a name for himself within the combat sports world that he fought Tito Ortiz for the UFC lightweight heavyweight championship back in 2000.
It is remarkable to look back at Kondo’s list of opposition over the years. From Akihiro Gono, Renzo Gracie, and Ikuhisa Minowa to Josh Barnett, Semmy Schilt, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, and Igor Vovchanchyn, the man has fought them all. Across multiple weight classes.
What an opportunity this is for Kondo’s opponent next month, as Binta Mochi (6-7-3) has the chance to add one of MMA’s most legendary names to his resume. A hit-or-miss veteran of ZST, Mochi will truly need to put it all together to stand a chance against Kondo as he has lost to far less impressive competition in recent years.
The other two fights announced sees former Kai Asakura victim Yoichi Oi (2-1) face Ryo Yazawa (1-2) following a clash between former Kogane victim Tatsuya Tomozane (10-4) and Yuto Kimura (1-0) at lightweight. It is worth noting that Tomozane has won seven-straight and has looked very impressive in his recent outings.