Magali gained the title earlier this year. He originally defeated Sandeep Balhara for the interim title in July and was then upgraded when Masayuki Ito vacated to focus on getting a world title fight, and will be on the road for his first defense as he fights in Japan for the third time. Although Magali has a less than great record he has gone 6-2-1 in his last 9 and has mixed with very good foes, including Emmanuel Tagoe, Pavel Malikov, Randy Braga and Mark John Yap. He has proven his ability with wins over Yap, Ryuta Miyagi, Mark Gil Melligen and the late David Browne Jr, who sadly passed away after his loss to Magali in 2015.
Japanese fighter Kotani is stepping up in many ways for this bout, which will be his first for a title. The 29 year old Okinawa debuted back in April 2007 and comes in to the bout on the back of a 12 fight winning run, with wins over fighters from Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Sadly whilst Kotani is in good form, he has yet to score a real win of note, and will be looking for his best to date here.