Shooto was back in Korakuen Hall on Sunday night in what turned out to be an entertaining evening of fights.
In the main event, the highly-favoured Shoko Sato successfully defended his Bantamweight belt against Tristan Grimsley. The American spent the first four minutes defending the takedowns of the champion before succumbing to a barrage of strikes. The win leaves Sato on top of a division with no shortage of contenders.
One of which might be Takumi Tamaru. The last year has been turbulent for the 22-year-old. After having a fight cancelled to an injury sustained in a car accident, he suffered his first career loss in January. Since then, he has spent time training at Alliance MMA in San Diego hoping to develop his skill set. Last night, straw-weight champion Yousuke Saruta stepped up a weight class to face the youngster. Unfortunately for the smaller man, despite controlling his opponent on the ground, he sustained a grizzly eye injury from a spinning kick from Tamaru, and the fight was stopped in the final round.
If Tamaru can keep control of his weight, he has a huge future ahead of him. He is young, ambitious and there are few fighters with a more dynamic, entertaining style than him.
Prior to this was a fairly contentious decision win for Tokyo Tribe MMA’s Kiyotaka Shimizu. His team-mate, Kunihisa Sasa on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky, losing a close decision to Kenji Kato. Other notable performances included a first-round rear naked choke win for Kohei Tamaki and a concussion-tastic draw between Ryoji Kudo and Satoshi Inaba. Inaba’s heart and persistence were astonishing, and despite suffering damage early on, his constant forward pressure created a wild, crowd-pleasing contest.
Shooto will be back in Korakuen Hall on September 23rd.
Shoko Sato def. Tristan Grimsley (TKO, 4.20, Round 1)
Takumi Tamaru def. Yousuke Saruta (TKO, 3.49, Round 3)
Kiyotaka Shimizu def. Nobutaka Naito (Unanimous Decision)
Kenji Kato def. Kunihisa Sasa (Unanimous decision)
Ryoji Kudo vs. Satoshi Inaba (Draw)
Ryosuke Honda de. Takamasa Kiuchi (Unanimous Decision)
Kohei Tamaki def. Jo Arai (Submission, RNC, 1.15, Round 1)
Takanori Takahashi vs. Daiki Yuki (Draw)
Takeshi Kunito vs. Shohei Nose (Draw)