Ex-Sengoku Prospect Osawa to Make Zst Debut July 17

By Chris Nelson Jul 4, 2011
His former home promotion having fallen silent, onetime Sengoku Raiden Championship blue-chipper Shigeki Osawa will step into the ring of Japan’s Zst organization on July 17.

Zst officials announced Monday that Osawa (Pictured) will compete in a featherweight bout against Shunichi Shimizu as part of the company’s “Battle Hazard 5” event at Shinjuku Face in Tokyo. The matchup will be contested under “VT” (vale tudo) rules, which differ from the standard Zst rule set by allowing ground-and-pound and guard-closing. However, as with all non-title Zst fights, the bout will be declared an automatic draw if no winner is decided within its scheduled two five-minute rounds.

A former All-Japan freestyle wrestling champion, Osawa has compiled a record of 6-1-1 since converting to MMA in April 2009, his only loss coming in a November 2009 decision against current Bellator signee Ronnie Mann. The 25-year-old Ibaraki native began his career training under the tutelage of Hidehiko Yoshida, but is currently a freelance fighter.

Osawa was last seen in November, when he drew with Tomonari Kanomata under the Pancrase banner. The wrestler was set to make his North American debut in May against Canadian Tim Wadsworth before the inaugural Canadian Elite MMA event was canceled.

Shimizu, 26, has formerly challenged Keisuke Fujiwara for the Zst bantamweight title and has fought 31 of his 35 professional bouts in the grappling-centric promotion. The Uruno Dojo product scored his first knockout win in three years on May 22, icing fellow Zst vet Masayuki Okude with a head kick.

Like Osawa, Shimizu spent time in Sengoku, advancing to the final round of the company’s 2010 Asia bantamweight grand prix with wins over Wataru Takahashi and 135-pound King of Pancrase Manabu Inoue. The scheduled tournament final between Shimizu and Taiyo Nakahara was never held.

Also added to Zst’s July 17 card on Monday was a bantamweight “SBX” (shoot boxing) bout between Shimizu’s younger brother, Toshihiro Shimizu, and 18-year-old Shoot Boxing standout Tatsuhiro Takashima.
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