Sato vs. Joe Warren Announced for VTJ 2009

By Tony Loiseleur Oct 18, 2009
Leading Shooto promoter Sustain announced Sunday that longtime Shooto fan favorite and former 143-pound Pacific Rim champion Rumina Sato will fight Joe Warren at Vale Tudo Japan 2009.

“I initially said I wanted to fight a strong foreigner for VTJ, but when they told me who it was, my reaction was, 'Are you for real?'” chuckled Sato.

Despite Sato's comments at last month's VTJ '09 news conference indicating his desire to drop to a weight close to 135 pounds for VTJ, the fight is contracted to be at 138.9 pounds -- the weight of Dream's “featherweight” class -- and will be under Vale Tudo Japan rules. While his contemporaries in “Lion Takeshi” Inoue and Takanori Gomi will be looking forward to five five-minute round bouts, Sato’s bout with Warren will be three five-minute rounds.

“I'll be observing how Lion [Takeshi Inoue] handles the VTJ rules, but I don't plan on changing my style much,” said Sato of his plans.

Sato is coming off of a first-round TKO loss to Shooto 143-pound champion Takeshi Inoue in May's Shooto Tradition Final. Warren is also coming into VTJ off of a recent submission loss to Dream featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes at Dream 11 earlier this month.

Also announced was one additional fight for VTJ '09, as well as four fights for November 23's Shooto “Revolutionary Exchanges 3” card, also going down at JCB Hall.

2009's Shooto Rookie Tournament champion at 167 pounds, Yoichiro Sato, will face Jung Min Kang in a Shooto rules bout at VTJ '09. Masaki Sugawara will square off with Ryuichi Miki, and Tetsuji Kato will face Yoshihiro Koyama at “Revolutionary Exchanges 3.” Welcoming Shuichiro Katsumura and Daisuke “Amazon” Sugie back to active competition at the same event will be So Tazawa and Paolo Milano, respectively.
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