After months of inactivity, Shooto world champions Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Koetsu Okazaki will look to defend their titles for the first time next month.

Leading Shooto promoter Sustain this week announced that Okazaki will put his 132-pound belt on the line in a rematch with Hiromasa Ogikubo on May 18 at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall. The same bill will feature Hironaka risking his 154-pound strap against an as-yet-unnamed opponent.

Ogikubo gave the current champ all he could handle in their first meeting, an October 2009 bout for the vacant 132-pound Pacific Rim title. After fending off multiple rear-naked chokes in the first round, however, Okazaki stormed back to punch out the Paraestra Matsudo product in the second. Since then, Ogikubo has gone 3-1 and risen to the No. 1 spot in the Japanese organization’s internal rankings, most recently outpointing veteran grappler Tetsu Suzuki in January. Okazaki also topped Suzuki before snatching the belt from one-and-done titlist Shuichiro Katsumura last April.

Hironaka has found success in his homeland at 154 pounds following an ill-fated run in the UFC welterweight division, where he compiled a 1-3 record before being cut in 2008. The former Cage Force lightweight champ reentered the Shooto ranks last April after a 5-year absence; three months later, he captured the title vacated by Willamy Freire with a unanimous decision over Shooto mainstay and Kid Yamamoto running mate Kotetsu Boku.

The May 18 undercard will feature another onetime UFC fighter, 2010 Sengoku welterweight grand prix winner Keita “K-Taro” Nakamura, gunning for his third straight win in a 170-pound tilt with Grabaka representative Yuki Sasaki.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

UFC Fight Pass adds Shooto Brazil, possibly airs live event this weekend

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

Marshall Zelaznik: More live events to be added to the UFC's streaming service over the next months. The UFC's digital streaming service Fight Pass added another quality MMA event series to it's arch read news >>

UFC on Fox 16 Adds Bantamweight Contenders Eddie Wineland and Bryan Caraway

  • 7 days ago
  • 0 views

More than 14 months after his most recent appearance, an upset knockout loss to Johnny Eduardo, Eddie Wineland will return to the Octagon opposite Bryan Caraway. MMA Fighting reported the bantamweigh read news >>

UFC Fight Night Glasgow Card Adds Stevie Ray vs. Leonardo Mafra

  • 10 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC has announced that Scottish lightweight Stevie "Braveheart" Ray will be back in action on July 18, when he faces Brazilian Leonardo Mafra. read news >>

June's WSOF 21 fills prelims with six bouts packed with Canadian fighters

  • 12 days ago
  • 0 views

Next month’s WSOF return to Canada, which features a pair of title fights, now has a packed preliminary card.Filed under: News, WSOF read news >>

WSOF 22: 'Palhares vs. Shields' set for Aug. 1, adds Tyrone Spong vs. Mike Kyle and more

  • 4 days ago
  • 0 views

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) recently announced a world championship tripleheader for Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Aug. 1, 2015, live on NBC Sports Network (NBCS read news >>

UFC 187: After 15 Months of Frustration, Chris Weidman Blows Past Vitor Belfort

  • 6 days ago
  • 5 views

During his final pre-fight interview at UFC 187, Chris Weidman said he was looking forward to putting what he called “the Vitor Belfort era” behind him once and for all. It had taken more than 15 mon read news >>

Bellator 138 fight card adds Daniel Straus vs Henry Corrales to 'Unfinished Business' line up

  • 24 days ago
  • 0 views

Former Featherweight champion Daniel Straus will look to get back to his winning ways inside Scottrade Center in St Louis, Mo., on June 19, 2015; however, he'll have to get past undefeated Henry Corr read news >>

New Orleans' UFC Fight Night 68 lineup finalized with 10 televised bouts

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 views

The lineup is set for next month’s UFC Fight Night 68 event, which includes 10 televised bouts.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

Nevada commission votes: Three-year punishment for steroid users, win turns to loss

  • 15 days ago
  • 3 views

After months of deliberations, the Nevada State Athletic Commission is throwing the book at fighters who fail drug tests. Filed under: Featured, News read news >>

'The other Jon Jones' has no intention of giving up his Twitter handle

  • 27 days ago
  • 59 views

Being the “other” Jon Jones is an adventure every few months for the man who controls the @jonjones handle on Twitter.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos read news >>