Kotetsu Boku (left) and Kuniyoshi Hironaka clash on July 18. | Photo: Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
After 13 months of vacancy, Shooto will have a new 154-pound world champion come July 18, when Kotetsu Boku and Kuniyoshi Hironaka vie for the title in the headliner of “Shootor’s Legacy 3.”
Shooto officials Monday released the final lineup for the event, which takes place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. Comprised of an eight-fight main card and a trio of opening bouts, the show will be co-headlined by Shooto world 123-pound champion Yasuhiro Urushitani’s title rematch against Yuki Shojo.
The Japanese promotion’s 154-pound belt has remained vacant since May 2010, when Brazilian champ Willamy Freire abdicated his throne in favor of an ill-fated UFC run. Boku, a former Shooto Pacific Rim titleholder at the same weight, enters the match on a four-fight win streak, while Hironaka, who returned to Shooto in April for the first time since 2005, has won back-to-back starts.
Also set for a main-card collision are Shooto stalwart Rumina Sato and former world 132-pound champ Masakatsu Ueda, who meet at a catchweight of 134.5 pounds. Oddball grappler Tetsu “Hadairo” Suzuki and WEC veteran Akitoshi Tamura will clash in a 132-pound affair, while former Sengoku competitor Ikuo Usuda and Wajutsu Keishukai product Wataru Miki square off at 143 pounds.
Rounding out the main card will be a pair of 132-pound bouts -- 2010 Shooto rookie tournament MVP Kyoji Horiguchi versus Yuta Nezu, and Teruyuki Matsumoto against fellow Pac-Rim ranker Masato Sannai -- and a 143-pound scrap between 2010 rookie champ Yuta “Uruka” Sasaki and Kosuke Kindaichi.
The evening’s opening segment consists of three 2011 rookie tournament bouts: Jun Nabeshima vs. Jun Nakamura (114 pounds), Yoshifumi Nakamura vs. Shoki Omichi (143), and Satoshi Inaba vs. Fumiya Sasaki (143).