Okazaki Crowned Shooto Pac Rim Champ

By Tony Loiseleur Oct 18, 2009
TOKYO -- Koetsu Okazaki blasted Hiromasa Ogikubo to win Shooto's vacant 132-pound Pacific Rim championship in the main event of Sunday's Shooto GIG Tokyo 3 at Shinjuku FACE.

Given his long hiatuses from competition, many speculated whether ring-rust would rear its ugly head on Okazaki. It showed in the first round. The shorter Ogikubo tenaciously charged Okazaki with blistering flurries, pressuring him into scrambles that saw Ogikubo capturing Okazaki's back. Ogikubo threatened with chokes earning the catch, but Okazaki narrowly escaped, almost reversing to take Ogikubo's back. The Paraestra Matsudo product kept the reversal from happening, however, earning one more choke attempt catch before the end of the round.

After a dominant first round, Ogikubo apparently grew complacent and pursued Okazaki on the feet in round two. It was a mistake, as the longer Okazaki was able to land a resounding overhand right that sent Ogikubo crashing into the ropes. Okazaki swarmed and was pried off by referee Toshiharu Suzuki moments later at the 2:08 mark.

“I only realized I KO'd him after it was done. My cornerman, [former 154-pound Shooto world champion, Takashi] Nakakura told me I could do it with just one strike,” said the breathless and happy Pac Rim champ before requesting a future rematch with Masakatsu Ueda for the 132-pound world title.

In the co-main event, Guy Delameau turned in an expected frenetically paced performance against Shooto elder statesman Jin Kazeta. Charging in from the opening bell, Delameau was dogged in his takedown attempts. His persistence in driving saw him finish most of his takedown attempts, whereupon he smashed Kazeta with punches from on top in guard and half guard. With two such rounds of Delameau bashing away and Kazeta largely unable to stop him, all three judges ruled in favor of the Hawaiian transplant: 20-19 twice and 20-18 from referee Taro Wakabayashi.

Elsewhere on the card, Masaki Yanagisawa endured blistering ground-and-pound from Kazuhiro Ito to put him away with a triangle in the second round. Yanagisawa shot in for takedowns in the first, but instead flopped to guard when he could not finish them. Ito obliged him by smashing him with thunderous punches from above. As part of the ongoing theme of the evening, Ito also grew complacent in his dominant first-round performance -- while punching away from inside Yanagisawa's guard, Ito didn't realize he was caught in a triangle until it was too late, tapping out at the 1:07 mark of the second period.

Nobuhiro “Mike Hayakawa” started out well against Yuta Nezu, stifling the wild striker in the clinch against the ropes and delivering counter hooks that had Nezu's spit flying. The effort sapped him quickly, however, as by the second stanza, Nezu landed winging punches of his own and was offering more of a fight in the clinch with knees and dirty boxing. When a tired Hayakawa stumbled in to close the distance in another clinch, Nezu landed a sharp knee that cut Hayakawa open over the right eye, prompting the doctors to call the bout at 4:38.

Yoshinori Takahashi tried to steamroll Mateus Irie Nechio shortly after the opening bell and was successful in at least landing on top in half guard. Using brute strength to keep Nechio inert on bottom only worked for so long, however. Nechio slowly set up the kimura from bottom, and once he managed to free his leg, elicited the tap at 2:58 of the first.

Makoto Sannai didn't care one iota as Keita Ishibashi went for heel hooks, taking the opportunity to slam punches into Ishibashi's face. After stealing mount soon after, Sannai switched to side control to lock on a keylock. Ishibashi rolled to escape, but Sannai transitioned to an armbar for the tap at 3:01 of the first period.

Yoshitaka Okigi proved that while he may be lacking in standup defense -- as evidenced by his walking straightforward with his chin up -- he was, at least, pretty good on the ground, rolling into an armbar from back mount on Hiroki Kita and getting the tap at 3:28 of the opening frame.

Other Results

Yusuke Sato def Tomokazu Sato -- Unan Dec 5:00 R2 (Wakabayashi)
Yosuke Saruta def Jun Nagasoe -- Unan Dec 5:00 R2 (Suzuki)
Koji Matsumoto def Munehiro Kin -- Submission (RNC) 4:28 R1 (Wakabayashi)
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