Today it was announced that Eto's opponent would be once beaten Filipino Cris Paulino (14-1, 1).
Aged 21 Paulino has shown a lot of promise though suffered a notable set back last year when he was stopped in 11 rounds by Ardin Diale. Since that loss he has strung together 4 successive wins, including a win over Yuki Fukumoto in Japan. Still extremely young there is real hope that Paulino could become a future champion with the right development.
Eto won the title earlier this year with a very hard fought and all-action victory over the previously mentioned Ardin Diale. That win was a brutal war and was the third successive all-out war featuring Eto who is likely going to need to change the way he fights if he wants to extend his career beyond the age of 30. We love watching Eto but even we know that his career is going to burn out quickly with the way he fighters.
Another announcement for the show was regarding the co-feature which will see the experienced Hyobu Nakagama (17-11-4, 12) battling against Yuki Fukumoto (16-9, 5). Nakagama comes in to this bout ranked by the JBC but has only won 3 of his last 8 bouts and it seems likely that one more set back could end his dreams of ever fighting fro a Japanese national title.