Shooto 2020 Volume 6 Preview, Saturday September 19th

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt MMA in Japan, Shooto 2020 volume 6 venue will be Tsutaya O-East, a change from previously announced Korakuen hall. There may be a venue change but the card has remained fantastic, highlighting the high level of Shooto athletes. The event will be a “double header”, seperated into 2 5 bout parts. Both parts 1 and 2 are loaded with talented fighters and cumulate with match ups worthy of main events. Shooto 2020 Volume 6 will broadcast live from Abema TV in Japan, this Saturday, Spetember 19th, 13:45 JST.

Part 2, 18:30 start, opening bout 18:15

Main event, Pacific Rim Featherweight Championship, 5min x 3 rounds

For the main event of the evening grappling fans are in for a real treat as Keisuke “Sasuke” Sasu clashes with champion Takashi Nakayama.

Last outing Takashi Nakayama fought a tense back and forth battle with Mitsuhiro Toma for the Pacific Rim title, edging out a split decision win. The Tsudanuma MMA Dojo grappling standout has never fought easy competition, and has consistently proven himself against the very best in the division. The champion is a notorious hard worker adept at hustling his way to opponents back and locking up a rear naked chokes. The path to the title was a grueling one for Nakayama who will do whatever it takes to defend the belt he fought so hard to secure.

“Sasuke” returned to Shooto after a 3 year hiatus to emerge unscathed in his last 4 appearances. In May he dominated unorthodox power puncher Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura with perfectly executed takedowns and ground and pound. In a similar vein as Nakayama, “Sasuke” is unwavering in his ability to fight his fight. Training at Master Japan with a strong grappling acumen, Sasu possesses phenomenal fight IQ and will be well prepared to go head to head with the Champion. With explosive double legs and stifling top control, look for “Sasuke” to make a statement and attempt to plough through Nakayama on route to securing the strap.

Featherweight, 5min x 3 rounds

Boasting an impressive 10-3-1 record and a 5 fight win streak, Joji Goto comes well prepared as he steps into Shooto`s deep waters for his debut. A seasoned striker with knockout power, the Tribe Tokyo member made a big statement last outing, tapping out veteran Kazuma Sone with a slick guillotine. The newcomer will be eager to put on a show, take out a veteran and prove he belongs among the divisions elite.

In a competitive bout Nobuki Fujii fell short to Takumi Tamaru last outing with the decision costing him a title shot. A perennial top contender with fearless tenacity, 7th ranked Fujii seems to consistently make it to the top only to stumble at the final hurdle. At 20-11-3 Fujii has more than double the fight experience of his opponent to draw upon and typically only loses to the divisions elite. With his ranking and pride on the line, expect the astute Fujii to pull out all the stops in a match he cannot afford to drop.

Bantamweight, 5min x 2 rounds

Following a flawless amateur career, Yo Ootake has yet to find his stride in the pro ranks. At 35 years old this could be a “do or die” moment for the K`z Factory representative. His Shooto Gym Tokyo opponent Yuto Sekiguchi is coming off a brief boxing stint, stopping his last opponent in the 3rd. Sekiguchi will be keen to utilize his heavy hands on an opponent who has little to lose in going for broke. Don’t blink on this one!

Welterweight, 5min x 2 rounds

Sporting a respectable 7-4-2 record, the experienced Tateo Iida provides the perfect test for 2019 rookie of the year Yoshitomo Inoue (1-0-1). Iida has fought some stiff competition and the bar has been set high for ParaestraTB`s Inoue. Should Inoue defy the odds he will clearly establish himself as a fighter to keep an eye on.

Tryout match, Featherweight, 3min x 2 rounds

Selected by the late Kid Yamamoto for Abema TV’s reality fight show, Soo Sung Cho makes his highly anticipated Shooto debut. Supplementing his Taekwondo background with the world class Krazy Bee Gym wrestling, all eyes will be on Cho as he enters the cage this Saturday.

His opponent is not to be underestimated though, Takumi Arai is a well versed MMAFmma fighter. A product of the notoriously tough and competitive shooto amateur circuit, the Strapple Shinyurigaoka fighter love to score an upset. With a coveted “pro Shooto” license on the line neither fighter can afford to lose.

Part 1, 14:00 start, opening bout 13:45

Main Event, Flyweight, 5min x 3 rounds

The main event of part 1 is a showcase for the divisions very best as the number 1 and 2 ranked fighters collide. Junji “Sarumaru” Ito squares off against Tateo “Jet” Iino in a pivotal bout to determine the next challenger. As a title has, so far, eluded both fighters, Ito and Iino are sure to be on top form.

Undefeated in his last 4 outings “Sarumaru” was a level above a game Jerome Wanawan last outing. While the Shooting Gym Tokyo fighter does not shy away from a firefight on the feet, he is best known as a versatile hustler with fearsome ground and pound. Consistently a top ranker, the current number 1 Flyweight finds himself on the cusp of a title shot. A win over number 2 further cements his status in the division as the undeniable top contender.

Standing across from Ito when the cage door closes Tateo “Jet” Iino is enjoying a 4 fight unbeaten run. Possessing explosive striking and expert submissions, “Jet” also has a tight control game to fall back on. The Wajutsu Keishukai Hearts representative took no risks in his last bout, cruising against Atsushi Makigaya for a decision win. Given the significance of the match, “Jet” will not squander the opportunity, expect him firing on all cylinders as number 2 targets the divisions number 1.

Welterweight, 5min x 3 rounds

Fans are in for a battle of “bodies” as physical specimens Nobumitsu “Tyson” Osawa and Mark “Max the Body” Moleke put their muscle to work. With the makings of an explosive encounter of wrestler vs striker this match up is sure to be dynamite!

With a reputation as one of Japans most feared knockout artists, Nobumitsu “Tyson” Osawa moves up a division for his Shooto return. A former lightweight Pacific Rim Champion, “Tyson” will be determined to erase the memory of his last match, a TKO loss to Tofiq Musayev. The Tsudanuma MMA Dojo striker endured and held out against the wrestling based onslaught from Musayev but was unable to turn the tide. Moleke may not be in the same league as Musayev but may present similar problems for the striker. Prolific finisher “Tyson” will be hungry to land one of the crushing left hooks the is famous for.

Trained by “Little Hercules” Kazuyuki Miyata at Brave gym, Cameroon`s Mark “Max the Body” Moleke has outrageous power and a heavy wrestling top game. Victorious in his last 2 outings his ground and pound was on full display against his last opponent, hammering out a TKO victory over Tomoyuki Muraoka. With his fight style, “Max the Body” has a fantastic opportunity to take out a fearsome veteran and pull off the upset in his Shooto debut.

Lightweight, 5min x 2 rounds

After blasting his way through opponents over at One Warrior series, Ryoji Kudo returns to Shooto to continue his ascent. Last match was a sensational display of striking to topple Asuka Tsubaki inside the first round.

Following a decision win under the One banner over Mitsuhiro Taki, Shohei Nose also finds himself back in Shooto to carve his way up the rankings. Yet to be defeated, 2 of his 3 wins have come by rear naked choke, appropriate for someone trained at Masters Japan. This is a bout that should determine a solid future contender.

Lightweight, 5min x 2 rounds

Yamato Nishikawa has a wealth of fighting experience despite being, unbelievably, only 17 years old. Training under father from early age Nishikawa has experience in Thai Boxing and Shootboxing in addition to MMA. The Nishikawa Dojo striker showed his ground game last outing, shutting out the heavy handed Takeaki Kinoshita in a mature performance.

Asuka Tsubaki participated under Shinya Aoki in Abema TV’s reality fighting series. In contrast to his opponent Tsubaki was a late starter, winning the all Japan Amateur Shooto Championship just 5 years after starting to train. Fighting out of trident gym, Tsubaki has a huge amount of amateur experience under his belt making for an evenly matched, and intriguing, contest.

Opening match, women’s catchweight, 51kg, 5min x 2 rounds

A product of AACC gym, a wrestling gym that is a hotbed for women`s MMA, Otoha Nagao looks to follow in footsteps of her peers. Coming off an entertaining scrap with Pan Hui, Nagao showed her tendency to lean on her power and brawl. A fan friendly style, Nagao aims to make a statement in a division that is wide open.

Mirai Nakamura is always working for a finish. Fighting out of Mars Gym, Nakamura owns a rare ninja choke victory, putting her opponent to sleep while standing. The dynamic fighter took a big step up in her last bout with to face title challenger, AACC`s Megumi Sugimoto. While she succumbed to a Sugimoto signature rear naked choke in the 2nd round she gave good account of herself against one of the divisions finest. Nakamura will rise to the occasion once again as she seeks to take out a rising AACC star and avenge her last loss.

About the Author

Peter Leghorn
Writer and photographer sharing my passion for Martial Arts.

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