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.

Related News

'Cro Cop' pulls out of UFC Fight Night 79 co-headliner, announces MMA retirement

  • 18 days ago

Mirko Filipovic is out of this month’s UFC Fight Night 79 co-headliner. He’s also apparently done with the sport.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Before retirement, 'Big Nog' was spending 7 months a year 'doing physical therapy'

  • 18 days ago

SAO PAULO – Retired UFC heavyweight and former interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira decided he needed to retire when he realized how he was spending most of his time.Filed under: Featured Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 77 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC 193

  • 19 days ago

UFC Fight Night 77 is in the books. The results are as follows (courtesy of Bleacher Report's play-by-play man, Craig Amos): Main Card on Fox Sports 1 Vitor Belfort def. Dan Henderson, knockout (Roun read news >>

Alan 'The Talent' Belcher Retires

  • 22 days ago

Alan Belcher called it a career Friday, announcing his retirement from MMA after an 11-year journey which included 18 victories and nine knockouts. read news >>

Former UFC Contender Alan Belcher Announces Retirement

  • 21 days ago

Former UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Friday. read news >>

James Thompson on Bobby Lashley's MMA career: 'I don't know what he's thinking'

  • 21 days ago

James Thompson isn’t particularly impressed with the way in which Bellator 145 opponent Bobby Lashley has gone through his MMA career. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Patricio Pitbull in Top Form Heading into Bellator 145 Main Event Trilogy Bout

  • 21 days ago

Most fighters focus on getting better with their fighting techniques, growing their arsenal of finishing moves. No doubt, Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire works hard to make read news >>

Former UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher announces retirement

  • 21 days ago

Out of action for the past two-and-a-half years, Alan Belcher today made it official: He’s officially retired.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

'ONE Championship 34: Kingdom of Khmer' heads to Cambodia with Tynanes-Yakhyaev

  • 22 days ago

ONE Championship is heading to Cambodia in December for “ONE Championship 34: Kingdom of Khmer,” officials recently announced.Filed under: News read news >>

Longtime Bellator fighter Brett Cooper, 28, announces retirement

  • 22 days ago

Brett Cooper, who’s enjoyed a long run with Bellator, has apparently called it quits on his MMA career.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>