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

Heading into Bellator Title Fight, Dave Jansen Sees It as Tank vs. Go-Kart

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

Dave Jansen is a tank in the cage, and he sees his tank rolling over Bellator champion Will Brooks' go-kart on Friday night. read news >>

Johny Hendricks has a message for Georges St. Pierre: Hey, stay in retirement!

  • 20 days ago
  • 91 views

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (25-2) is "thinking about" coming back to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) after spending more than a year on read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 Results: Burning Questions Heading into Fight Night 64

  • 22 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC Fight Night 63 is in the books. The results are as follows: Chad Mendes defeats Ricardo Lamas by TKO at 2:45 of the first round Al Iaquinta defeats Jorge Masvidal by split decision (29-28, 27-30, read news >>

5 for Fighting: Intriguing storylines heading into UFC Fight Night 63

  • 22 days ago
  • 3 views

The UFC returns to the Patriot Center for the first time in three years for UFC Fight Night 63. Go inside each storyline prior to the card in Fairfax, Virginia today (Sat., April 4, 2015). The Ultima read news >>

Alexander Gustafsson Considered Retirement After KO Loss to Anthony Johnson

  • 23 days ago
  • 9 views

No man is unbendable, unbreakable or invincible. Though we may achieve herculean feats, every human being is bound by mortality and the potential for failure. This concept became very real for Alexan read news >>

Can Arizona force WSOF's Eric Regan into retirement?

  • 23 days ago
  • 22 views

Tucked within the state-issued medical suspension report for last Saturday's World Series of Fighting 19 show, the Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission (ABMC) left a curious note for local fighter Eric Re read news >>

Mark Munoz's retirement plan has long been in the making

  • 28 days ago
  • 9 views

Mark Munoz owns a gym, does motivational speeches and leads an anti-bullying campaign. He also runs his own wrestling camp and is trying to raise four kids with his wife Kristi. In other words, Munoz read news >>

Matt Hamill: Second retirement was more about 'bad management,' not recent MMA losses

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

Can the former UFC mainstay make a splash in World Series of Fighting (WSOF) tonight? "It wasn't my relationship with MMA. It was my relationship with my business partners and my management and with read news >>

Tony Lopez Making the Most of Career Resurrection

  • 29 days ago
  • 0 views

After a rough patch, Tony Lopez is making the most of his career resurrection heading into Saturday's showdown with Jeremy Horn. read news >>