Pancrase Champ signed a deal with Rizin to compete Grand Prix - Photo Credit: @Rizin FF

One of Japanese MMA’s most important and popular fighters, current Pancrase Bantamweight Champion, Shintaro Ishiwatari┬áhas signed a deal with Rizin Fighting Federation.

Ishiwatari, 32, made an appearance at the Saitama Super Arena for Rizin FF World Grand Prix 2017: 1st Round on Sunday to announce his participation in this year’s Bantamweight Grand Prix. Also, Pancrase Promotions took to social media to confirm that their 135lb champ would indeed appear in the next edition of Rizin at Fukuoka City in October.

Currently riding a four fight win streak, Ishiwatari will be hoping for a chance at redemption if he comes face-to-face with former UFC star Kyoji Horiguchi during the tournament. Horiguchi holds a win over Ishiwatari from their time under the Vale Tudo Japan banner back in 2013.