Flyweight Supremacy on the Line

By Jordan Breen Jun 16, 2009
The WEC 125-pound division is still months away. Fortunately for fight freaks, Shooto promoters have quality flyweight action covered for the summer.

Leading Shooto promoter Sustain announced Monday that flyweight kingpin Shinichi "BJ" Kojima would take on unbeaten Brazilian Jucie Formiga on July 19 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Though Kojima's Shooto world 123-pound title will not be up for grabs, it is nonetheless a high stakes affair, pitting the Shooto world champion against the Shooto South American champion with flyweight supremacy on the line.

In March, the 30-year-old Kojima made the third defense of his Shooto world title against action-oriented Yuki Shoujou, and turned in arguably the most consummate performance of his entire career en route a third-round choke of his opponent.

Formiga, 24, has been sterling in Shooto-sanctioned events in Brazil, with his last victory coming via a wildly entertaining unanimous decision over Maicon William last November. Though Formiga is 2-0 in the Shooto Brazil domain, the Natal native is said to be unbeaten in as many as a dozen MMA bouts, mostly coming in northeastern Brazil -- the true "Wild West" of MMA.

On Aug. 9, Saitama-based Shooto gym STF will team up with the Japanese Shooto Association for the first edition of Gig Saitama at the Fujimi Cultural Hall. The main event of the inaugural Gig Saitama will see local STF rep Noboru "Shinpei" Tahara face his toughest test to date in Guam's Jesse Taitano at a catch-weight of 119 pounds.

The 25-year-old Tahara is arguably pro Shooto's hottest up-and-comer at 115 pounds, and is fresh off of thoroughly dominant third-round stoppage of former rookie champion Shinya Murofushi on June 6. Taitano, 31, fought to a draw with Shooto world champion Shinichi Kojima this past January in a non-title affair. It was the second draw against a perennially top-ranked Shootor for "The Spiderman," who fought Yasuhiro Urushitani to evens in December 2007.
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