MMA

Pancrase’s Yuki Niimura signs with ONE Championship

Yuki Niimura (Facebook/Yuki Niimura)

Yuki Niimura (Facebook/Yuki Niimura)

Japanese mixed martial artist Yuki “Yu-King” Niimura, 35, has signed with ONE Championship. He was one of the guests at the promotion’s first ever press conference in Japan, which took place at Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo on August 23, 2018.

Several Japanese MMA fighters attended the press conference. Among them were ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 34, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Shudan” Aoki, 35, and former ONE World Title challengers Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi, 35, and Ken Hasegawa, 31.

The press conference was for the ONE Championship debut in Japan, which will take place at the Ryogoku Kokushikan in Ryogoku, Tokyo on March 31, 2019. On October 11, 2019, the promotion will hold its second event in the country.

It has yet to be confirmed if Niimura’s ONE Championship debut will take place in the promotion’s first or second event in Japan. His opponent has yet to be announced, as well.

Fighting out of Saitama, Japan, Niimura made a successful professional MMA debut on August 26, 2011 at “Deep- 55 Impact” by knocking out Shunsuke Inoue, 35, of Aichi, Japan via punch. Niimura won five of his sixth most recent bouts, which were all in the Pancrase cage.

On August 9, 2015, Niimura made his successful Pancrase debut at “Pancrase 269” by knocking out Ryan Bigler, 34, of Guam via knee to the body and punches. The Saitama native returned to the cage on April 24, 2016 and defeated Bob Armstrong, 30, of New Zealand via unanimous decision.

On October 2, 2016, Niimura had his first loss in Pancrase when he was knocked out by Ryo “Rocky” Kawamura, 37, of Gifu, Japan via punches at “Pancrase 281,” which was the fourth and most recent loss of the former. When they had their rematch at “Pancrase 291,” Niimura knocked out Kawamura via punch.

Before the rematch, Niimura knocked out Ikkei Nagamura, 41, of Kyoto, Kansai, Japan at “Pancrase 288” on July 2, 2017. In Niimura’s most recent bout, which was at “Pancrase 298” on August 5, 2018, he defeated Genpei Hayashi via technical majority decision.

Currently, Niimura holds a professional MMA record of 12 wins and 4 losses. Here is an interview with the Saitama native prior to his rematch with Kawamura:

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