Professional Shooto 5/13/2018
This article is by Mark Chinnery and used with his permission.
Professional Shooto 5/13
A night of mild upsets and brutal finishes – did someone put something in the water at Culttz Kawasaki complex. Enthralling action left the crowd thoroughly entertained. Without further adieu, here is a summary of the results on the night.
★ Daisuke (代輔) vs.Yo Otake (大竹 陽)
This fight set the tone for the night. Ootake started off brightly enough, bouncing on his toes in the early exchanges but when Daisuke initiated a neck throw, Ootake was pinned to the canvas and Daisuke proceeded to whale away at Ootake’s face. Ootake attempted to gain leverage as he pushed off the fence but to no avail. Ootake eventually escaped, only to be scragged down by the neck yet again. Daisuke pummeled his foe and only the bell saved Ootake. R2 started with another Daisuke takedown but when the ref called time to check on a Daisuke nosebleed, this seemed to rejuvenate Ootake but only momentarily as Daisuke took his opponent down again & punches continued to rain down, but somehow Ootake survived to the final bell. An obvious points win to Daisuke (20-17, 20-17, 20-18).
★ Akira Enomoto (榎本明) vs. Kazuma Kuramoto (倉本一真)
Enomoto uses his reach advantage to good effect but Kuramoto gets things back on his terms by instigating a takedown and drawing on his wrestling background to keep Enomoto down. However, somehow Enomoto escapes and both fighters trade blows, Enomoto with the reach but Kuramoto with the power. A left hook staggers Enomoto and Kuramoto wastes no time in securing a takedown where Enomoto takes substantial punishment, the bell his savior. R2, and Kuramoto’s confidence is sky high, as he pulls off a series of risky maneuvers, including back fists and a kyokushin wheel kick before resorting to his natural instincts by attempting a takedown. Enomoto is able to fend it off and in the stand, he rocks Kuramoto, the latter backing up to the fence. Enomoto lands some ferocious knees to the body but Kuramoto doesn’t budge, instead landing a punch of his own that knocks Enomoto down on the seat of his pants and Kuramoto regains the ascendancy to the final bell. A see-saw battle but Kuramoto the rightful winner, maintaining his perfect record (20-18/20-17/20-17).
★Tsubasa Saito (齋藤 翼) vs. Takanori Muratsu (村津 孝徳)
It was obvious from the start that Saito was determined to negate his reach disadvantage by closing the distance and pushing his opponent up against the fence. Saito landed with the occasional scoring shot but Muratsu also racked up points with short counter lefts. No fighter really dominating the other until later in the round, Saito landing some left and right hooks but Muratsu holding on valiantly to the bell. R2 and the pattern continued, Saito pushing his opponent up against the fence and seizing the initiative. On the odd occasion they did separate, both fighters threw all they had but nothing of significance landed. In a surprise, Saito won by unanimous decision, the judges obviously believing that Saito dictated the terms (20-18/20-19/20-19).
★ Junji Sarumaru (猿丸 ジュンジ) vs. Mijikai Nagai (永井 美自戒)
Poor old Sarumaru – despite numerous opportunities, he still is unable to secure his maiden title. Back to the drawing board here and he was never seriously troubled by the oddly-named Mijikai Nagai. R1, Sarumaru repeatedly pushed Nagai against the fence and executed takedowns but on each and every occasion, Nagai was able to bounce up like a jack-in-the-box. However, Sarumaru dictated the terms in the eyes of the judges. R2, and Nagai was able to regain lost ground in the initial stages with some potent strikes but when he threw an ill-advised back hand blow later in the round, he lost balance and Sarumaru didn’t miss the opportunity to ground and pound. When they returned to their feet, Sarumaru landed a right hook and a body shot that wobbled Nagai but he survived the round, bitterly disappointed with his earlier slip up. A straight forward unanimous decision for Sarumaru (20-18/20-17/20-17).
★ Hiroba Minowa (箕輪ひろば) vs Tomoharu Umezawa (楳沢智治)
In keeping with the pattern of most of his fights, Umezawa executes a takedown almost from the outset, taking Minowa’s back and shooting for a choke. Even when Minowa is able to escape to the stand, Umezawa is quick to take him down, this time attempting an arm lock. So it continues for the rest of the round, Minowa dragging himself to his feet, only to be snuffled by his relentless 42 yr old opponent. But right at the back end of the round, the roles are reversed with Minowa taking Umezawa’s back and Umezawa appears in trouble of being choked out, the bell his friend. R2, once again, Umezawa assumes ascendancy with a well-timed tackle. He swarms all over his opponent and when Minowa is able to get to his feet, he is scragged to the canvas just as quickly. Ditto for the rest of the round. Minowa is able to avoid choke and arm bar attempts but is left defending himself, rather than showing any offence. A mild upset but a heartening one, with a majority decision win to Umezawa (19-20/19-19/19-20).
★Akuri Ronda (論田愛空倫) vs. Ryo Okada (岡田遼)
With all the action thus far, it didn’t feel that this would be our first KO of the night. Ronda attempts to assert authority from the outset with hard punches but as Ronda moves forward, Okada executes a tackle, moving to take his back. As Ronda focuses on getting himself up via the fence, he is momentarily distracted to his peril. Okada lands a hard punch to the side of the head and continues to pound away until the ref has no other option but to step in. Ronda’s undefeated record goes by the wayside.
★Yo Saito (斎藤曜) vs. Tomoya Hirakawa (平川智也)
Knowing that Saito wanted to close the distance and come to grips with his foe, Hirakawa continued to move from side to side, neither fighter throwing any blows. This stand off continues for a minute or so before both fighters are warned. This gives license to Hirakawa to continue with more of the same, and this time, he solely incurs the wrath of the referee. Then, all of a sudden, Hirakawa snaps to life, throwing a left faint followed by a right hook that rocked Saito. Hirakawa rushes in with lefts and rights, Saito slumping along the fence and the referee steps in to stop the punishment.
★Yuta Nezu (根津優太) vs. Uoi Fullswing (魚井フルスイング)
R1 & R2 were virtual replicas of themselves with Fullswing, as his name would suggest, flailing wildly and relentlessly at his opponent. For the most part, Nezu was able to dodge the bullet albeit by a narrow margin by maintaining a safe distance, slipping in and retreating where necessary and landing the odd low kick. Toward the end of each round, Nezu was able to instigate a takedown but on both occasions, the bell sounded before he could press home with any advantage. R3, and could Fullswing land one of his roundhouse rights? He certainly showed endeavor but none of his shots were clean hits and conversely, toward the middle of the round, Nezu shot for a successful takedown, taking Fullswing’s back & attempting a choke. Fullswing shook it off and when they resumed to the stand, Fullswing continued to throw his windmill punches but time run out before he could score anything significant.A tight match and in a coin toss, Nezu was deemed the victor by split decision (28-30/30-28/30-29
★Yosuke Saruta (猿田洋祐) vs. Itchaku Murata (村田一着)
This fight for the World Strawweight title was one way traffic with Saruta dictating from the outset. He grabbed Murata’s leg on a low kick and completed a takedown. From there, he worked on his positioning, slipping in the occasional heavy shot. Saruta worked it to a half mount and back position as Murata valiantly tried to escape, all the while being peppered with ground and pound, Saruta content to whittle away at his foe. Murata bearly makes it past R1. R2, and once again Saruta catches Murata’s leg on the follow through, forcing a takedown and slipping the occasional heavy blow from his dominant position, but it wasn’t enough as the ref broke them up just past the midway point. But there would be no hurrah for Murata, as Saruta unleashes a left hook for the last action of the round. R3, and yet again, Saruta grabs Murata’s kicking leg but rather than taking him to the canvas, he throws a right hook that floors Murata. Saruta swarms all over him, raining down with hammer fists, prompting the ref to step in. Murata protested that he was still cognizant and while the stoppage might have been a little premature, it was hard to imagine a different outcome had it been allowed to continue.
★ Yutaka Saito (斎藤 裕) vs Lion Takeshi (リオン武)
This fight had the trappings of being a real classic but both fighters obviously had a deep respect for each other, so a cautious approach was the theme of the day. R1 was largely a feeling out round with Saito pushing forward in the stand. Saito attempted a takedown mid-round but Lion dug in deep, reversed the situation and tripped Saito up but Saito bounced back to his feet almost immediately. Saito again makes another attempt, holding Lion’s arms to his side and dragging him to the ground, where he proceeds to move to half guard & finishing in full mount to end the round. R2, Saito moves in behind a left, right combination and ever so slowly improves his position to initiate a takedown where he remains in the half mount. Lion eventually escapes but Saito sticks to him like glue. Lion instigates that leg trip again for a flash takedown but Saito up again soon after, throwing knees and punches, taking Lion’s back to end the round. With Saito marginally ahead, Lion is left with a lot to do in R3 but it is Saito who comes out breathing fire. He throws a series of knees, only for Lion to once again hang out a leg & trip his opponent. And, as you can guess, Saito was able to get on his feet again without any undue damage. It then turns into a wrestling match with both fighters eager to take their opponent to the ground but defense taking the upper hand. Eventually Lion is able to drag Saito to the ground but Saito yet again back to his feet like a knock down doll. The round ends with neither fighter gaining an ascendancy. Saito takes a unanimous decision (30-29/29-28/29-28).
And, there you have it. Be sure to check into UFC Fight Pass on July 15 from Korakuen Hall in downtown Tokyo for the next chapter in Japanese shooto. The card promises to be huge, with the likes of Shoko Sato, Takumi Tamaru, Kiyotaka Shimizu & Yosuke Saruta among others.