Santiago to battle Misaki for first Sengoku middleweight title - Sports Illustrated

Santiago to battle Misaki for first Sengoku middleweight title

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The first ever Sengoku middleweight champion will be crowned on Jan. 4 as Grand Prix tournament winner JorgeSantiago faces off against perennial Top 10 fighter Kazuo Misaki.

American Top Team standout Jorge Santiago has been on an absolute tear over the last year and a half, winning two separate tournaments in that time.

After decimating the field in the first ever Strikeforce middleweight tournament, Santiago then went on to dominate the competition in the Sengoku tournament that finished up earlier this month.

In his last fight out, Santiago finished former UFC and Pride fighter, KazuhiroNakamura in the third round of their finale fight.

Meanwhile, Misaki comes into the fight against Santiago riding a three-fight win streak of his own, most recently defeating former UFC middleweight and welterweight Joe Riggs in the Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion 2 show in September.

Misaki has also tasted his fair share of tournament wins, picking up the Pride middleweight Grand Prix title in 2006 with a win over Denis Kang in the final fight.

Santiago vs. Misaki will be a pivotal match-up in the middleweight division as both fighters are considered at the top of their game and either fighter would be a danger to top 185-pound competitors in any organization.