UFC, Sengoku Vet ‘K-Taro’ Returns to Shooto in September


Keita “K-Taro” Nakamura will see his first action of the year in September, when the Sengoku 2010 welterweight grand prix winner is set to meet Akihiro Murayama as part of “Shootor’s Legacy 4.”

Shooto officials announced the matchup Monday during “Shootor’s Legacy 3” at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, the venue which will also host the series’ next iteration on Sept. 23.

Also confirmed for the September card was a 123-pound matchup between Ryuichi Miki and Haruo Ochi, and the participation of Guy Delumeau, Naohiro Mizuno and Shin Kochiwa against opponents to be determined.

After a 15-0-2 start to his career, Nakamura (Pictured, file photo) embarked on a stateside run with the UFC in 2007, but was released on the heels of decisions to Brock Larson, Drew Fickett and Rob Emerson. Following his narrow defeat to Emerson in February 2008, Nakamura announced plans to retire from MMA, citing issues with confidence and an eye injury brought on by an Emerson high-kick attempt.

Nakamura’s retirement did not last long, as the Wajutsu Keishukai fighter resurfaced in September 2008 to top Brazilian lightweight Adriano Martins under the Dream banner. In June 2010, the 27-year-old moved back up to 170 pounds and tore through Sengoku’s welterweight grand prix, finishing Omar de la Cruz and Takuya Wada with punches before submitting Yasubey Enomoto via rear-naked choke on Dec. 30.

Murayama, 31, is the reigning Shooto Pacific Rim 169-pound champion, having taken the belt from Yoichiro Sato in a June 11 decision. The win was only the second for the Gutsman Shooto Dojo representative in his last seven starts, but knotted his trilogy with Sato at one apiece, with one draw.

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