Nakakura Vacates Shooto Crown

By Tony Loiseleur Sep 22, 2009
TOKYO -- Takashi Nakakura officially announced his decision to vacate the Shooto 154-pound world championship during an in-ring appearance at Shooto “Revolutionary Exchanges 2” on Tuesday at Korakuen Hall.

Nakakura cited his belief that he was not yet skilled enough to defend the belt as reason for his decision to step aside.

The 32-year-old suffered a knockout loss to former Pride Fighting Championships lightweight king Takanori Gomi in a non-title affair in May. In the months since, Nakakura has undergone eye surgery for a detached retina and blogged about doubts that he was not yet fit to reign as the 154-pound champion.

The vacant 154-pound world championship will be contested between Kenichiro Togashi and Willamy Chiquerim at Vale Tudo Japan 2009 on Oct. 30. The title bout was announced Tuesday in Shooto’s latest edition of its news magazine and represents the first official Shooto match for Vale Tudo Japan 2009; it will be featured alongside VTJ-specific bouts.

Chiquerim has won eight straight bouts and will enter the match with plenty of momentum after guillotine choke submission wins over Vincent Latoel and Pacific Rim 154-pound champion Yusuke Endo. The 28-year-old Togashi, meanwhile, last competed in May, when he earned a majority decision against Tetsuji Kato.

This story was updated at 2:49 p.m. ET on Sept. 23 with additional information on the Shooto title picture.
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