A few days ago we reported that there was a high chance Buakaw Banchamek would be stepping into the ring against Yoshihiro Sato on MAX Muay Thai's 4th Show in Sendai, Japan. Earlier today, that rumor was confirmed when MAX made the official fight announcement public.
While Buakaw and Sato have clashed three seperate times before, their fight on MAX Japan will be the first time they compete against one another under Full Thai rules.
On the surface, it would appear that the rule system for match fight greatly favors Buakaw over his Japanese opponent. However, it should be taken into consideration that Sato was a talented Nak Muay prior to his turn to stardom on the K-1 stage, who specialized dominating in the clinch with his tremendous height and accurate knees. While Buakaw certainly had one of greatest weapons taken away from him under K-1 rules, it could argued that Sato had an even greater disadvantage.
It will be interesting to see how these two match-up. While Sato had a particularly bad run in 2012 (to the point that many were calling for him to retire) he has rebounded this year with 3 solid wins over quality opposition like Sun Hyun Lee and Henri Van Oepstal. Buakaw, on the other hand, has been shelved during the last six months and seemed worse for wear against a lesser known opponent at MAX China.
Also on the card, Aikpracha Meenayothin faces Tomoaki Makino (A Thai Fight regular who once fought Buakaw), while Yuya Yamamoto, Dylan Salvador, Alessandro Campagna, and one unamed fighter round out MAX's final 67kg 4 man tournament.