Hironaka Rolls and Retains, Ogikubo Upsets Okazaki in Shooto World Title Doubleheader


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 26 days ago
  • 30 views

The US Men's soccer team faced Belgium for the right to play Argentina in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup. Here's how the MMA world watched and reacted to the game. It's been a great ride so far for the United States in this FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Yes, their record stands as 1-1-1, including the 1-0 loss to Germany last game, but their goal difference was good enough to see themselves through to the 2nd round ahead of Portugal. Standing in the way of an American appearance in the quar more

  • 27 days ago
  • 32 views

The world's first smart glove is here, and Bloody Elbow has all the details of this innovative technology straight from the creator of the iPunch glove, Steven Cains. In today's combat sports landscape, everyone is trying to get an edge. Everything from extraordinary training measures to extreme methods of recovery and everything in between is being utilized by athletes around the globe. Any little scrap of progress is important, no matter how infinitesimal it might seem to the average human. Am more

  • 27 days ago
  • 37 views

We answer your #themmahour questions on anything and everything going on in the MMA world. more

  • 27 days ago
  • 75 views

Ronda Rousey might have an opportunity to prove her point. In a recent interview on The Great MMA Debate podcast, Rousey said "judo fighters that are good on the ground never really got the respect they deserved" and that she "can beat any BJJ girl in the world, gi or no-gi, any weight division, black belt all the way in any rule setting." The current lightweight and open class jiu-jitsu world champion, Bia Mesquita heard her quotes and wants to challenge the UFC bantamweight champion. "She’s co more

  • 27 days ago
  • 37 views

Nick Newell is a story within mixed martial arts that is being missed by the mainstream sports world. This Saturday at World Series of Fighting 11 two undefeated lightweights will enter the cage to compete for the WSOF lightweight title. Justin Gaethje will defend his title against Newell but that isn't what makes this story stand out among others in the sport. Newell is a congenital amputee that hasn't allowed his condition to stop his meteoric rise to this point. Newell was born with a left ar more

  • 27 days ago
  • 38 views

Get the scoop on the world’s top strawweight, the upcoming fight for the world’s top bantamweight and much more in the latest Women’s MMA Report.Filed under: News, UFC, WSOF more

  • 27 days ago
  • 35 views

Get the scoop on the world’s top strawweight, the upcoming fight for the world’s top bantamweight and much more in the latest Women’s MMA Report.Filed under: News, UFC, WSOF more

  • 28 days ago
  • 52 views

Jessica Aguilar competed for the second time in 2014 earlier in June, and she showcased why she is the No. 1-ranked strawweight fighter in the world. Not only is she the best 115-pound female on the planet, she may be the best fighter—regardless of weight or gender—on the World Series of Fighting roster. The WSOF roster is not a treasure trove of talent, but that is to be expected. The UFC is the premier mixed martial arts organization on earth, and they hold the vast majority of talent. WSOF do more

  • 28 days ago
  • 74 views

Two former world champions? Forced to surrender. Olympic silver medalist? Obliterated by a body shot. Here's why the queen of combat sports is tasked with facing credible challengers, but ultimately still in search of "the one." Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will put her 135-pound title on the line when she takes on division number one contender Alexis Davis in the co-main event of UFC 175, which takes place on July 5, 2014, inside Mandalay Bay E more