Hironaka Staves Off Retirement at 'Shooto Tradition 2011'


Takashi Nakakura (yellow trunks) couldn’t overcome Kuniyoshi Hironaka’s grappling. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com


TOKYO -- Kuniyoshi Hironaka was thinking about retirement heading into his lightweight contest with former Shooto world champion Takashi Nakakura. However, the Japanese BJJ ace found a reason to change his mind Friday at Shooto Tradition 2011 in Tokyo Dome City Hall.

The UFC and Dream veteran relied on his grappling prowess and toughed out a crucial unanimous verdict (30-28, 30-28, 29-28) over Nakakura.

Hironaka, the current Cage Force lightweight champion, took the first round by securing Nakakura's back and threatening with a rear-naked choke. However, the Osakan evened up in the second frame with repeated guillotine attempts and hard right hooks standing.

The 34-year-old Hironaka's BJJ black belt came into play in the third, as he again took Nakakura's back and threatened with punches and choke attempts to earn the win.

Post-fight, a teary-eyed and relieved Hironaka noted that he was mulling retirement before this bout and that, should he have lost, he would have decided to call it a day in the ring. The win moves Hironaka's mark to 18-8.

The bout was the first for Nakakura since May 2009, when he was knocked out by Takanori Gomi inside Shooto's ring. In the defeat, Nakakura suffered a detached retina that kept him on the sideline for nearly two years, forced him to vacate the Shooto world title and ponder retirement.

All-action flyweight Yuki Shojo returned from a 13-month absence to earn a unanimous decision over Noboru Tahara. Shojo had his back taken early, but stormed back in the second frame to pound "Shinpei" with punches and knees. In the third round, Shojo turned up his ground-and-pound to seal the deal. Judges Kyosuke Watanabe and Tadashi Yokohama saw it a close 29-28 and 30-29 respectively, while Toshiharu Suzuki had a wide 30-27 for Shojo.

At 115 pounds, the spindly Mikihito Yamagami used every inch of his 5-foot-8 frame to outbox the barely 5-foot Atsushi Takeuchi, taking scores of 30-26 and 30-27 (twice). It was a textbook demonstration of effective reach, and save for a flash knockdown which "Atch Anarchy" scored in the third, the smaller fighter couldn't escape the jabs and low kicks of Yamagami.

20-year-old Krazy Bee product Kyoji Horiguchi affirmed his status as one of Shooto's hottest up-and-comers, destroying Takahiro Hosoi in their 132-pound affair. The 2010 rookie champion's powerful punching blitzed Hosoi and put him away just 66 seconds into the contest.

Underdog Akira Okada, a pupil of Takanori Gomi, used sprawl-and-brawl tactics to earn a split draw (20-18, 19-19, 19-20) against former Shooto rookie champion Koshi Matsumoto. Matusmoto, a Kuniyoshi Hironaka understudy, was unable to consistently bring the fight to the floor to impose his skillful grappling.

In the evening's lightweight opener, Daisuke Hoshino was disqualified at 1:27 of the second round after repeatedly low-blowing Munehiro "Mike" Kin.

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

Related News

  • 18 days ago
  • 330 views

Heading into his UFC 181 welterweight title defense, rumors abounded that then-champion Johny Hendricks was going through a brutal weight cut. The gossip seemed confirmed when Hendricks appeared gaun read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 views

A lightweight contest between Tony Ferguson and Yancy Medeiros has been added to UFC 184 “Weidman vs. Belfort.” read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

This is the UFC 182 live blog for Donald Cerrone vs. Myles Jury, a lightweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday nightCerrone, who has won five read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 41 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) undefeated lightweight sophomore Paul Felder made the most of his second appearance inside the Octagon by knocking out Danny Castillo in the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Anthony Pettis will look to defend his UFC lightweight title against streaking contender Rafael dos Anjos on March 14 in the main event of UFC 185, the promotion today announced. If all goes well, th read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Anthony Pettis makes a quick turnaround to face Rafael dos Anjos in March at UFC 185. Anthony Pettis will defend his UFC lightweight title again in March, facing Rafael dos Anjos. The announcement wa read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Rafael dos Anjos will get the next shot at the lightweight title when he challenges reigning champion Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 in Dallas. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone discusses his upcoming co-main event against Myles Jury, as well as his deal with UFC President Dana White not to compete in extreme activities ahead of his scheduled f read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 633 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will send lightweight "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone into battle against undefeated 155-pound sensation Myles Jury in the UFC 182 co-main event, which pops off later ton read news >>