Boku-Endo Among Many Draws in Shooto

By Tony Loiseleur and Stephen Martinez Jan 18, 2009
TOKYO -- Shooto Tradition 5 not only featured a less than stellar lineup for the first 2009 Shooto card, but the two main attractions also ended unspectacularly Sunday night at Differ Ariake.

In the main event, Dream veteran Kotetsu Boku made his Shooto return only to draw with Yusuke Endo after three rounds of back-and-forth grappling. Though the Krazy Bee rep is best known for his technical standup, much of the fight took place on the ground as Boku easily captured Endo’s back in the clinch to drag him to the canvas.

What proved difficult, however, was keeping Endo underneath him. Despite taking the mount on several occasions throughout the three rounds, Boku could not keep Endo from surging to put him on the bottom in guard, whereupon Endo dropped small punches to rack up points.

From bottom, Boku isolated Endo’s left arm and used it to great effect twice, reversing back into top position, where he dropped hammerfists and hooks. These instances of control didn’t last long, however, as Endo soon powered his way back into the top position in Boku’s guard, where the process would begin all over again.

By the end of the third frame, only referee and judge Toshiharu Suzuki awarded the fight to Boku, 30-28. The other two judges deemed the bout a 29-29 draw for the majority draw.

In the semi-main event, Shooto newcomer Jesse Taitano took Shooto world 123-pound champion Shinichi “BJ” Kojima to another disappointing majority draw in their two-round non-title bout. Despite Taitano’s barrages on the feet in the first round, Kojima used the Guamanian’s forward momentum to take him to the canvas. While there, though, Kojima could not capitalize on his grappling expertise, as he was busy defending oncoming punches from the bottom.

In the second period, Taitano appeared to slow down while eating low kicks from the champ. With Taitano taking single shots at Kojima, the champ was able to easily defend, stuffing Taitano up against the ropes to neutralize him. Referee and judge Suzuki awarded the bout to Taitano 20-19, while the remaining two judges ruled it 19-19 for the majority draw.

Noboru Asahi product Hiroshi Nakamura defeated Hayate Usui by unanimous decision. Using his crisper boxing, Nakamura traded punches tit for tat with Usui, who scored just as often with his wide, unruly punches. It was Nakamura’s superior wrestling, however, that put him ahead of the Wajutsu Keishukai rep. In the first and third stanzas, Nakamura took Usui to task on the ground. Though Usui was quick to pop up in the third, being unable to stop Nakamura’s takedowns did not appear to work in his favor. All three judges ruled the bout for Nakamura: 30-29, 30-28, 30-28.

In a crowd-rousing, high-paced two-rounder, Shintaro Ishiwatari split rounds with Michihiro Omigawa for a draw. Landing hard multilevel kicks and lunging superman punches, Ishiwatari had Omigawa’s number of the feet and was able to showboat for the crowd. However, the UFC veteran had better grappling skills, tripping Ishiwatari in the clinch to take top position. Transitioning to side in the second period, Omigawa racked up points to tie up the score by the fight’s end. All three judges ruled the bout 19-19.

In a battle of Shooto elder statesmen, Ayumu Shioda outworked Jin Akimoto for the unanimous decision. After pursuing Akimoto with big punches but missing by wide margins, “GOZO” pulled Akimoto to the floor in the rubber guard, where he peppered the side of his head with small punches. In the second round, Akimoto returned some of Shioda’s offense with hard knees in the clinch, but got caught in a tight guillotine at the end of the round for the catch. All three judges ruled the bout for Shioda: 20-18, 20-17, 20-18.

One-time Dream vet Junya Kudo got back into the winner’s circle by brutally knocking out Takahiro Hosoi. Going aggressive from the first round, Kudo wanted to finish the fight early with big punches, which Hosoi calmly and patiently defended. It didn’t keep up for long, though. Thirty-five seconds into the second period, Kudo surged forward to knock Hosoi out with a vicious flurry that sent a stiffened Hosoi backward to the mat. Kudo mounted to land some extra punches on the unconscious Hosoi before referee Suzuki called the bout.

Akihiro Yamazaki barely got out of his fight with virtual unknown Yong Jae Jun, as his game plan appeared to be little more than harrying the Korean with low kicks to a taped lead leg. As such, Jun attacked with wild but powerful punches, bloodying up Yamazaki for two rounds. After dropping Yamazaki midway through the second, however, Jun fell into a triangle attempt en route to the attempted finish. The triangle did not immediately take, so Yamazaki switched to the armbar for the tapout at 2:39.

Kicking the evening off, Rumina Sato pupil Sakae Kasuya bested Hayato Sakurai pupil Tomonari Taniguchi with his superior ground technique, catching the brawler in submission attempt after submission attempt for the unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18).
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