It looks like former UFC veteran turned Bellator MMA fighter Nam Phan could be ringing in the new year with a brand new championship belt.

Speaking with The MMA Corner, Phan revealed he has been scheduled to battle the reigning King of Pancrase Featherweight champion Takumi Nakayama on an upcoming card in Tokyo this February.

Phan (20-14), who first rose to fame as a cast member on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, was last seen suffering a first round TKO loss in his Bellator MMA debut against Mike Richman at Bellator 131 in November. This setback not only snapped California native’s two fight streak but also marked his first defeat since being handed his walking papers by the UFC in earlier this year. He previously defeated Yuki Baba by first round TKO in his Pancrase debut in October. He will enter this bout with 14 career stoppage victories, including 10 coming in the first round.

Nakayama (19-14-6), also a former King of the Cage lightweight champion, has not competed under the Pancrase banner since fighting to a draw with Koji Oishi at Pancrase: 246 in March 2013. Since then, “Da Japanese Iron Man” has put together record of 2-1-1 in various other promotions, with his lone loss coming at the hands of former UFC fighter Will Chope. To date his last title defense came in the form of a third round submission win over Jon Shores at Pancrase: Progress Tour 7 back in June 2012. He will enter this bout with eight career stoppage victories.

As of this post, no other fights have been announced and a venue has not been made official.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.