Colorful strawweight Rambaa Somdet is prepared to take flight again. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson
After 15 months away from competition, former Shooto world 115-pound champion Rambaa “M16” Somdet will return in October against Ryota Uozumi at the Grabaka-produced “1st Cage Attack.”
The Somdet-Uozumi matchup was one of four announced Wednesday by Grabaka officials; the contracted weight for the fight was not immediately available. The well-known Japanese gym’s inaugural event, co-produced by Deep, is set to take place Oct. 15 at Tokyo’s Differ Ariake arena.
Other confirmed bouts will see former two-division Deep titleholder Dokonjonosuke Mishima back in action for the first time in more than two years against onetime Dream talent Takeshi Yamazaki, while Pancrase staple Keiichiro Yamamiya faces Pride veteran Yoshihisa Yamamoto and Grabaka’s Yuki Sasaki tangles with Hidetaka Monma.
Somdet became Shooto’s first 115-pound champion in November 2009 by notching a second unanimous decision win over Noboru Tahara. The 37-year-old muay Thai stylist defended his title only once -- a July 2010 doctor stoppage of Hiroyuki Abe -- before a series of injuries forced him to vacate the belt in April.
Currently riding a seven-fight win streak, Somdet has not tasted defeat since a June 2002 decision against current UFC bantamweight Darren Uyenoyama. In addition to running his own gym, M16 Muay Thai Style, Somdet also serves as Grabaka’s striking coach. The Oct. 15 event will mark Somdet’s first bout inside a cage.
Uozumi, 31, has also spent a significant amount of time away from MMA, having not competed since an April 2010 stoppage loss against Isao Hirose in Pancrase. The grappler has spent the bulk of his career in Kingdom Ehrgeiz, the grassroots promotion founded by his trainer, Hidetada Irie. However, in his long big-stage appearance, Uozumi pulled off a first-round armbar submission of Yuichiro Yajima under the Sengoku banner.