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Sengoku 9 Fight Card: Kitaoka vs. Hirota Will Be Main Event

The battle for the Sengoku lightweight title will headline Sengoku 9 on August 2 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

World Victory Road, the organizers of Sengoku, announced Friday the bout order for the event and the Satoru Kitaoka vs. Mizuto Hirota championship tilt took priority over the finals of the Featherweight Grand Prix.

Champion Kitaoka (25-8-9) will be making his first title defense in this grappler vs. striker matchup. Signing with Sengoku in 2008 after over seven years with Pancrase, Kitaoka emerged as a star lightweight by storming through the Lightweight GP en route to capturing the Sengoku belt in January. The footlock expert has tapped out five of his last six opponents. More impressively, all the submissions were completed within the first one minute and 41 seconds of the fights. In June he made a stop back to Pancrase and won via an achilles lock -- the same move he applied to tap Takanori Gomi for the belt.

Hirota (11-3-1) has finished seven of his fights by (T)KO with none by way of submission. Hirota was a semifinalist during last year's lightweight tournament and made a case for a title shot in May when he upset Mitsuhiro Ishida in 93 seconds by catching him with a right hook.

The lead-in into the title bout is the final of the 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix involving the winners of the Hatsu Hioki (19-3-2) vs. Masanori Kanehara (13-5-5) and Michihiro Omigawa (6-7-1) vs. Marlon Sandro (14-0) bouts earlier on the card.

Also on hand is a semi middleweight number one title contender bout between Kazuhiro Nakamura (13-9) and Kazuo Misaki (21-9-2). Only Nakamura will be earning a title shot with a win, as Misaki, win or lose, will be indefinitely suspended following the bout. Misaki recently received a sentence of one year in jail with three years suspended for an incident in March where he fled the police when asked to stop for driving while talking on his cell phone. Misaki escaped jail time, but was handed additional punishment by World Victory Road. Besides the suspension, his entire purse will be donated to a charity for AIDS prevention.

FIGHT CARD (in order):

1. Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao vs. Choi Mu Bae
2. Hatsu Hioki vs. Masanori Kanehara (Featherweight GP Semifinal)
3. Michihiro Omigawa vs. Marlon Sandro (Featherweight GP Semifinal)
4. Chan Sung Jung vs. Matt Jaggers (Featherweight GP Reserve)
5. Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Clay French
6. Akihiro Gono vs. Dan Hornbuckle
7. Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Blagoy Alexandre Ivanov
8. Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Kazuo Misaki
9. Winner of Hioki-Kanehara vs. Omigawa-Sandro (Featherweight GP Final)
10. Satoru Kitaoka vs. Mizuto Hirota (Lightweight Title)