Mikihito Yamagami took Shooto 115-pound gold from Junji Ikoma in
just 41 seconds. | Photo: Taro Irei
TOKYO -- It took all of 41 seconds for Mikihito
Yamagami to blitz Junji Ikoma
and wrest from him the Shooto 115-pound world championship in the
main event of “Shoot
the Shooto 2011” at Tokyo Dome City Hall.
Ikoma originally won the title -- previously vacated by Rambaa
Somdet due to injury -- in a rollicking war with Junji Ito at
last April. Yamagami crushed him in a fraction of the time to take
it for himself.
“My speed and punching power was improved for this fight. Because
of that, I was confident in the power of my left hand. I wanted to
jab and just wait for the moment to unleash my straight,” said
Yamagami after the fight.
Shooto's new 115-pound ace.
An eager Ikoma engaged with punches and low kicks to start the
bout, but Yamagami countered with rangy southpaw jabs and right
hands, surprising the champion. Yamagami landed a left hook to
flatten him on his back, whereupon he lunged to finish with brutal
ground-and-pound. Referee Toshiharu Suzuki dove then at the
41-second mark to rescue the supine Ikoma from an overzealous
Yamagami, who got more than a few extra punches in.
In the latest chapter of the Pancrase-versus-Shooto story, former
Shooto 123-world champion Shinichi
“B.J.” Kojima took a lackluster decision over current 125-pound
King of Pancrase Kiyotaka
Both grapplers opted to lock horns on the feet for much of the
fight, but outside of a Kojima teep to the face followed by a crisp
two punches in the first frame, neither man scored any significant
Kojima wasn't pleased with
The third frame was a tad more exciting when after Kojima was
broken from the rear waistlock on Shimizu, the Pancrasist stepped
up his offensive output in an attempt to finish. Judges Tomohiro
Tanaka, Suzuki, and Tadashi
Yokoyama ruled the bout 30-29, 30-28, 30-27 for Kojima.
“My fight wasn't so good, kinda like my last fight. I figured out
what I lack now: it's a lack of heart combined with a lack of
forward movement. That's only developed by training hard,” said a
disappointed but idealistic Kojima after the bout. “I want to
return to the condition I was in when I used to finish fights by
In a battle of wrestling wills, Hawaiian transplant Guy Delameau
turned in another gritty performance to take a close majority
decision over 2008 Rookie Tournament MVP Issei
Tamura, punching his ticket the finals of Shooto's 143-pound
Pacific Rim title tournament.
The American evened up or stole rounds with his constant pressure,
smashing Tamura into ring corners where he harassed him with short
punches and constant takedown attempts.
Delumeau secured his lead in the third when after a picturesque
lateral drop, he captured the Krazy Bee fighter's back to finish
out the round with choke attempts and punches to the side of the
Tamura couldn't escape Delumeau's
Judges Tanaka and Suzuki ruled the bout 30-29 and 30-28 for
Delumeau respectively, while Hiroyuki
Kanno alone saw it a 29-29 draw.
The other half of the 143-pound Pacific Rim championship bracket
did not have as definitive an outcome as Tenkei Oda
and Wataru Miki
fought to a contentious split draw.
Over the course of 15 minutes, Oda and Miki traded punches and
middle kicks. Signifying how evenly matched the fight was, judge
scores went in every possible direction with judge Kanno seeing the
fight 30-29 for Oda. Referee and in-ring judge Suzuki instead saw
the bout 29-28 for Miki, while the last judge, Tanaka, saw it a
Miki he was later awarded a berth across Delumeau for the finals by
way of a blind drawing after the event. Both men will meet at
Sustain's next major Shooto card slated for Jan. 8 at Korakuen
Oda, by merit of drawing with Miki, won't walk away empty-handed
however, as Shooto officials deemed that the loser of the random
draw would get first crack at the new 143-pound Pac Rim champion in
In only his second MMA fight, WPKL Europe Featherweight champion
Verresen blasted Shooto legend and fan favorite Rumina Sato
into unconsciousness in a brief, but riveting 130-pound bout.
True to his Shooto-style go-for-broke grappling roots, Sato dove
for submissions, locking the Belgian up in a reverse triangle while
hunting for the toe hold at the same time. Verresen both managed to
hang on and punch his way back to standing, whereupon he put
snapping hands, a Brazilian kick, and a knee on Sato's chin,
Sato went for a painful ride.
Verresen further lumped Sato up, again punching his way back to the
feet where he delivered the coup de grace, flattening Sato with a
finishing right hand. The official time was 4:17 of the first
Former Shooto 143-pound champion Akitoshi
Tamura took a decision (30-28, 29-28, 29-27) over Sengoku
Osawa in a close contest.
In typical Tamura fashion, the WEC veteran was content to fight off
of his back, punching infrequently from bottom and throwing up the
rubber guard to render Osawa inert for the first two periods.
Tamura sealed the decision victory by stealing Osawa's back to
threaten with punches and the choke in the third frame.
Former Shooto world title challenger Ryuichi
Miki went down to hard-swinging Kentaro
Watanabe, 20-18 on all cards. Watanabe's toughness saw him
absorb the punches to land repeated left hooks across Miki's jaw to
drop him four times throughout the fight.
Hoshino made quick work of Akira Okada,
clipping him and snaking an arm under and around the neck for a
tight rear-naked choke. As soon as a glassy-eyed Okada collapse,
referee Suzuki jumped in to pull Hoshino off at 0:36 of the first
Starting the evening, Koshi
Matsumoto took a page from his mentor, Shooto world champion
Hironaka, by putting Takahiro
Kajita on his back to threaten with straight armbars, a heel
hook, and the guillotine for unanimous 20-18 cards.