New Zealand WMMA standout Charlene Watt has a big opportunity in front of her this weekend after getting a short-notice call up from long-running Japanese promotion Pancrase. Watt (6-2) will step in to face two-time UFC fighter and Pancrase veteran Rin Nakai (17-2) in the co-main event of Pancrase 282.
Pancrase 282 takes place at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan this Sunday and will feature a bantamweight fight between Victor Henry (12-2) and Rafael Silva (27-5) in the main event. Pancrase shows are streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
Training out of Incorporated Martial Arts in Hamilton on New Zealand’s North Island, Watt is the current Princesses of Pain and XFC Australia flyweight champion, a title she snatched from Terissa Wall late last year in Queensland. The 29 year-old Kiwi will be eager to rebound against Nakai however, after recently dropping a unanimous decision to former Invicta FC featherweight title challenger Faith Van Duin.
“The Machine” had been training to rematch Hera Tamati at XFC 28 this month so will no doubt be in fight shape come Sunday.
After going an impressive 17 fights undefeated, Nakai was signed by the UFC however she dropped back-to-back fights there to Miesha Tate and Leslie Smith. The 30 year-old Judo Black Belt later made her Pancrase return in the flyweight division where she stopped Raika Emiko by TKO.
Nakai, who was originally scheduled to face Brazilian Priscila de Souza at the event, is the promotion’s bantamweight title holder but she continues her flyweight campaign against Watt.