TOKYO -- Despite a less-than-stellar Friday night turnout at historic Korakuen Hall, Shooto 154-pound champion Kuniyoshi Hironaka crushed challenger Giovani Diniz to near deafening applause in the main event of Shooto “5th Round.”

Dean Marchand


Hironaka steamrolled Diniz.

After putting being put on his back near the ropes, Nova Uniao product Diniz twisted for a heel hook and then a kneebar. Hironaka defended against the leg locks by raining heavy punches, softening his Brazilian challenger just enough to briefly take mount for more punishing ground-and-pound. Referee Toshiharu Suzuki almost called the bout there, but Diniz managed to escape the mount. What he could not escape was more of Hironaka’s punches, as the champ stayed close above him, dropping brain-rattling bombs until Suzuki mercifully stepped in at the 4:05 mark of the first round.

“I believe I perform better against foreign fighters than I do against Japanese fighters,” said Hironaka, post-fight, subtly hinting that his sights may be set on a cage overseas. However, when asked about a potential return to the UFC, the Shooto champ remained humble.

“I want my revenge in the UFC, but they need to believe I meet their standards first,” Hironaka explained. “If I get an offer [to return], it’s not because I dominated in a fight like tonight’s. Even if I win in close fights, it’ll have to be against very high-level opponents.”

Earlier that evening, Hiromasa Ogikubo shook up the championship ranks by dethroning Koetsu Okazaki in the Osaka native’s first defense as Shooto 132-pound world champion.

Having seen Okazaki batter the belt’s previous owner, Shuichiro Katsumura, in April 2011, Ogikubo wisely mounted a conservative ground campaign, racking up punches from mount and back-mount in the opening frame. Okazaki prevented a repeat of this in the second frame by staying in top position to drop walloping punches while Ogikubo attempted armbars and foot locks.

D. Marchand


Ogikubo got a royal ride after
upsetting Okazaki for the title.

The exertion from this apparently sapped the champion, as he was unable to power out from underneath Ogikubo in the third round after succumbing to another takedown. A patient Ogikubo bided his time until capturing Okazaki’s back to sink the fight-ending rear-naked choke for the tap at 3:32 of round three.

“I came to Tokyo seven years ago, wanting that Shooto title. This year, my child was born and I finally captured this title,” claimed the newly belted Ogikubo after the fight. “As champion, I think I’ll rest up for half a year and then I’ll take on [Kyoji] Horiguchi.”

UFC veteran and Sengoku 2010 welterweight grand prix winner Keita Nakamura notched another win by grinding up fellow Sengoku vet Yuki Sasaki in their 170-pound bout.

Though mostly known for his superlative grappling prowess, Nakamura showed little hesitation in swinging for the fences against Sasaki. While this brash stance earned him a bloody nose in the final frame thanks to Sasaki’s well-placed counterpunches, the repeated takedowns and relentless ground-and-pound of “K-Taro” were more than enough to convince judges Suzuki, Tomohiro Tanaka and Tadashi Yokoyama to give him a full set of 30-27 scorecards.

In undercard action, Wataru Miki skated by Mach Dojo’s Yoshifumi Nakamura in an otherwise tepid 143-pound affair. Southpaw Miki took the center of the ring, where he counter-jabbed Nakamura’s flurries and reversed takedown attempts. Regardless, Miki had his hands full, eating his fair share of punches while fighting to stay on his feet as the dogged Nakamura pressed the action. By bout’s end, even Miki registered an expression of mild surprise when judges Tanaka and Yokoyama’s scorecards read 30-28 and 29-28 in his favor, while judge Suzuki’s read 29-28 for Nakamura.

D. Marchand


K-Taro played conservative on top.

Stiff southpaw jabs, relentless diving takedowns and a go-for-broke grappling style was Kota Shimoishi’s winning combination against Koshi Matsumoto in their 154-pound bout. A conservative Matsumoto had his moments in reversing Shimoishi on the canvas and threatening with guillotines and rear-naked chokes, but Shimoishi won judges Tanaka, Hiroyuki Kanno and Suzuki over with his reckless aggression, netting 30-28, 30-28 and 29-28 cards from them, respectively.

Early in the evening at 154 pounds, Akira Okada reversed an overzealous Fumihiko Kawamura takedown attempt and slapped on a rear-naked choke for the tap at 3:25 of the first period.

Just prior, in a 163-pound catchweight bout, Koji Nishioka pinned Yoshikazu Fujiishi to the canvas to grind out a 20-18 unanimous decision on judges Suzuki, Yokoyama and Kanno’s scorecards.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Tale of the Tape

  • a day ago
  • 6 views

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will soon let their fists fly, colliding in an historic pay-per-view (PPV) main event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, after five years of agoni read news >>

Mayweather-Pacquiao: 'Money' wants one more fight after 'Pac Man,' but risks historic boxing curse

  • 4 days ago
  • 19 views

It's a good thing Floyd Mayweather (47-0) not a grizzled veteran cop, otherwise he might have just signed his own death warrant. The Washington Post reports that Mayweather -- with his upcoming ludic read news >>

UFC 186 Results: The Great and Forgettable Reign of Demetrious Johnson Rolls On

  • 7 days ago
  • 0 views

How odd it must feel for Demetrious Johnson to be a master of something so many people actively want to ignore. Johnson presented a clinic on the art of being Demetrious Johnson on Saturday at UFC 18 read news >>

Invicta FC 12 results: Livia Renata Souza upsets Katja Kankaanpaa to win Invicta 115-pound title

  • 8 days ago
  • 43 views

Another Brazilian underdog. Another submission upset. Another new champion. Four months after Herica Tiburcio stunned Michelle Waterson to win the Invicta FC women's atomweight title, Livia Renata So read news >>

Priscila Souza dominates, claims inaugural Shooto Brazil women’s strawweight title

  • 13 days ago
  • 1 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Shooto Brazil returned to the Hebraica Club in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night to crown a new champion. The 25-year-old strawweight Priscila Souza (8-4), nine years younger than her read news >>

Women’s MMA Report: Moroz upsets Calderwood, Pena makes triumphant return

  • 17 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC’s women’s divisions have seen plenty of movement in recent weeks, but Maryna Moroz was arguably the breakout star. Get all the latest updates in our Women’s MMA Report.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, April 14: Branch eyes historic win

  • 19 days ago
  • 3 views

It wasn’t that long ago that Dave Branch seemed like his best days were behind him. Now the WSOF middleweight champion is on the verge of accomplishing a very rare feat.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Ran read news >>

Leon Edwards $50,000 richer after historic knockout of Seth Baczynski

  • 22 days ago
  • 9 views

It didn't take long for Leon Edwards to fill up his wallet. The British striker knocked out Seth Baczynski in just eight seconds on the prelims of UFC Fight Night: Cro Cop vs. Gonzaga on Saturday in read news >>

Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar reminisce about ER visit, their ill-fated rematch and Viagra

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar were not friends before their historic fight at the Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale. They actually barely even spoke to each other on the first season of the UFC's realit read news >>