‘M-16’ Injured; Shooto Title Defense Pushed to April 29

By Chris Nelson Mar 5, 2011

Junji Ito (center) and Rambaa Somdet (right) in January. | Paul Benjamin/Sherdog.com

Junji Ito will have to wait an extra 48 days for his crack at Shooto 115-pound world champion Rambaa “M-16” Somdet.

Just one week out from “Shootor’s Legacy 2” at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, Shooto has announced that the event’s headlining title bout has been postponed due to a foot injury suffered by Somdet in training. The strawweights will instead square off at the series’ third installment on April 29. That show also takes place in Tokyo, though at the larger JCB Hall.

The March 12 event will now be topped by a 123-pound matchup between Somdet’s former rival, Noboru “Shinpei” Tahara, and Yuki Shojo.

Widely considered one of the elite fighters in the burgeoning 115-pound class, the 36-year-old Somdet has competed only once in each of the past two calendar years, owing to both nagging injuries and visa issues. Since returning from a four-and-a-half year layoff in 2007, the former Thai boxer has won six straight fights, including victories over Tahara (twice) and former Tachi Palace Fights flyweight ace Ulysses Gomez.

Ito, 24, punched his ticket for a title shot by knocking out Somdet training partner Atsushi “Atch Anarchy” Takeuchi in December. The win brought the dangerous Shooting Gym Yokohama representative’s record for 2010 to 3-0, and his current win streak to five in a row.
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