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Bellator Signs Pancrase Champion Masayuki Kikuiri

Bellator MMA is bringing in another champion to the fold.

The promotion announced the signing of Pancrase welterweight titleholder Masayuki Kikuiri recently.

Kikuiri, a 27-year-old, is 7-2-1 in his career with Pancrase. He will look to compete with the likes of Bellator champion Yarosla Amosov, interim titleholder Logan Storley, Michael Page, Jason Jackson, Douglas Lima and Goiti Yamauchi.

“First of all, I’m very happy to be able to compete on the top stage MMA organization Bellator,” he said. “The roster is stacked with tough guys and I’m excited to be coming after them.

“I’m very grateful to Mr. Scott Coker for this opportunity and everyone involved in making this happen. I promise I’m coming for finishes and will be a Bellator fighter that’ll make Japan proud.

“I’ve fought only for Pancrase from my MMA debut and every fight until becoming champion. I’m grateful to Pancrase for helping me grow and kindly sending me out to fight under the Pancrase banner. I’ll be sure to proudly show the strength of the long line of King of Pancrase Champions to the world.”

Coker continues to add international talent, something he also did while leading Strikeforce years ago.

“At Bellator we are continuously evaluating talent throughout the world in an effort to build on our robust roster of elite athletes,” Coker said. “When it comes to Masayuki Kikuiri specifically, his run in Pancrase has been impressive, winning their welterweight championship. I’m interested to see him match up against some of our talent at 170-pounds, a division that I consider one of our deepest.”