Roque Martinez defends DEEP Megaton Championship vs. Ryo Sakai at DEEP 88 Impact
After a disappointing loss against Mirko Cro Cop at RIZIN 13, defending megaton champ Roque Martinez is set to return to DEEP for the first time in 1.5 years. He will look to defend his strap against Paraestra Matsudo’s Ryo Sakai.
Fighting out of Spike 22 in Guam, Roque Martinez (12-4-2) is looking to get back to his winning ways after having his nine-fight win streak snapped at the hands of Mirko Cro Cop in late 2018. In July of 2017, he faced former Fedor foe Jaideep Singh and won in dominant fashion to become the new DEEP Megaton Champion.
Since then, despite no defense, Roque Martinez has thrived under the RIZIN banner. After making his debut and submitting K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner, he defeated “Samurai Mark Hunt” Kiyoshi Kuwabara in a four-minute slugfest. Back in August was the Cro Cop loss, and Martinez was doing excellently against the legend before being sliced open with a fight-ending elbow.
Ryo Sakai (8-8) recovered from dropping three-straight in 2016/2017 by winning three-straight in a 12-month span from October 2017 to October 2018. All of these wins came inside the DEEP banner, with the best win of the bunch coming against Yusuke Kawaguchi by way of first-round knockout.
In the bout prior to the Kawaguchi win, Sakai defeated Duncan Hon in eerily similar fashion to how Cro Cop defeated Roque Martinez. Most recently, just a few months back, the Ganryujima, DEEP, and Grachan veteran Sakai dominated Seigo Mizuguchi en route to a unanimous decision win.
This event will be DEEP 88 Impact x DEEP JEWELS 23, and the show is supposed to be loaded with champions and RIZIN vets. On the Impact portion, expect Yuki Motoya, and Haruo Ochi to join Roque Martinez. On the JEWELS portion, along with Kanna and Maesawa, expect King Reina, Kana Watanabe, Nanaka Kawamura, Emi Tomimatsu, and more.
The promotion will also reach out to Alyssa Garcia & Rin Nakai, according to reports.