Masahiro Iwasaki, Michael Perez and Jason Rau Round Out ‘KASAI Pro 3’ World Welterweight Championship Tournament Roster
Eight-man tournament is now complete. The winner will be crowned KASAI’s first champion at 170lbs.
July 19, 2018 – New York City, NY – KASAI Elite Grappling Championships (KASAI) today confirms Masahiro Iwasaki, Michael Perez and Jason Rau as the final three combatants to compete in the organization’s eight-man, no-gi World Welterweight Championship tournament on Saturday, August 18 at ‘KASAI Pro 3’.
“We’re delighted to round out our eight welterweight title contenders with the addition of Masahiro, Michael and Jason,” said Rolles Gracie, KASAI President. “The trio are a testament to KASAI’s global search for elite talent. I can’t wait to see who leaves Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom as champion.”
Iwasaki is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Marco Barbosa who now trains at the Carpe Diem Academy in Tokyo, Japan. Having previously medaled at the IBJJF European International Open, the IBJJF Asian Open and the ASJJF All Japan Championship, he is considered to be among Japan’s top competitors in the sport.
Perez is a two-time ADCC trials winner and a two-time IBJJF world no-gi champion at purple and brown belt. He returns to KASAI having finished second in the promotion’s World Middleweight Championship tournament back in April at ‘KASAI Pro 2’. Perez is a black belt under André Galvão who represents the Atos Jiu Jitsu Academy.
Rau is a New York native and a black belt under former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra. He has also become a protégé of the Danaher Death Squad at Renzo Gracie Academy. Rau has used this experience to refine his leg-lock game and impress at several events, including the ‘KASAI Pro 3’ qualifying tournament in June, where he placed second.
The other competitors in KASAI’s eight-man, no-gi tournament at 170lbs (77.1kg) include KASAI World Lightweight Champion Renato Canuto, Marcin Held, Vagner Rocha, PJ Barch, and ‘KASAI Pro 3’ Qualifier winner Matheus Lutes. The event will also showcase a superfight between leg-lock specialist Craig Jones and the ever-dangerous heel-hook maestro Rousimar Palhares, a heated grudge match between AJ Agazarm and Geo Martinez, and an intriguing showdown between Gianni Grippo and Jon Calestine.
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KASAI Elite Grappling Championships (“KASAI”) is Jiu-Jitsu’s premier competitive promotion, hosting amateur and professional live events featuring most talented male and female grapplers from around the world. Founded in 2016, the organization is committed to developing competitive Jiu-Jitsu’s public profile and showcasing the sport’s best talent. KASAI’s leadership includes professionals with extensive backgrounds in martial arts, live event production and strategic investment. For more information, visit www.kasaigrappling.com, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Aidan O’Connor, PR Manager, KASAI Elite Grappling Championships
Ken Gelman, COO, KASAI Elite Grappling Championships