Shinji Sasaki (above) wants revenge on Yoshihiro Koyama | Stephen Martinez/Sherdog.com
All 24 participants made weight today ahead of “Shootor’s Legacy 1,” the first professional Shooto show of 2011, set to take place Monday at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
The event is headlined by the second meeting between Shinji Sasaki and Yoshihiro Koyama with the vacant Shooto Pacific Rim 154-pound title on the line. Both came in at 154 pounds.
The pair first met in the finals of Shooto’s 2006 rookie tournament, where the dogged wrestler Koyama handed the submission ace Sasaki the first defeat of his career. Four years later, Sasaki will attempt to avenge the loss and build on his perfect 3-0 year in 2010, while Koyama will look to rebound from back-to-back defeats.
In the evening’s semi-main event, Pacific Rim 143-pound title-holder Taiki Tsuchiya goes up against former King of the Cage lightweight champ Tony Hervey in a non-title affair. Both weighed in at 143 pounds.
Tsuchiya has reeled off four straight wins, most recently besting Australian-based Brazilian Gustavo Falciroli in November. Hervey, who rose to prominence due to his October 2009 five-round brawl with Takanori Gomi, has lost four of his last five since the Gomi bout.
Late replacement Ralph Acosta was on the mark for his match with former Shooto 132-pound champion Masakatsu Ueda, hitting the scales at 130.5 pounds.
A former NCAA Division II All-American wrestler at Upper Iowa University, Acosta took the match on less than a week’s notice after Farkhad Sharipov ran into visa issues. Acosta, who trains out of American Top Team in Orlando, Fla., went 3-1 in 2010, including a 1-1 record in Bellator Fighting Championships. Ueda dropped his title in a shocking March submission loss to Shuichiro Katsumura, but rebounded from the first defeat of his career by decisioning WEC veteran Akitoshi Tamura in May.
The undercard of Monday’s event features opening round bouts in Shooto’s 2011 rookie tournaments in the 123-, 132- and 143-pound classes.
Shooto “Shootor’s Legacy 1” Weigh-in Results:
Vacant Shooto Pacific Rim 154-Pound Title Bout
Shinji Sasaki (154) vs. Yoshihiro Koyama (154)
Taiki Tsuchiya (143) vs. Tony Hervey (143)
Yusuke Endo (154) vs. Daisuke Sugie (154)
Masakatsu Ueda (132) vs. Ralph Acosta (130.5)
Kotetsu Boku (154) vs. Yukinari Tamura (154)
Toshimichi Akagi (123) vs. Shinichi Hanawa (123)
Koji Matsumoto (154) vs. Norio Tokuhisa (154)
Daisuke Hoshino (154) vs. Koji Nishioka (154)
2011 Shooto Rookie Tournament Opening Round Bouts
Hiroshi Osato (123) vs. Takeshi Saito (123)
Kensuke Nakamura (142) vs. Chuji Kato (143)
Takuya Ogura (132) vs. Satoshi Kogure (132)
Shinichi Yoshioka (132) vs. Hiroshi Nakamura (132)