Shooto Releases 2009 Schedule

By Jordan Breen Dec 3, 2008
2008 isn't quite over yet for Shooto Japan, but it's never too early to start plans for the new year.

While leading Shooto promoter Sustain will wrap the year up on Dec. 13 with the 2008 Shooto rookie tournament finale at Shinjuku Face, Shooto's 2009 kick-off is already in the building process with three bouts official for Shooto Tradition 5 at Differ Ariake on Jan. 18 in Tokyo.

The first major bout of the card will pit standout lightweights against one another, as reigning Shooto 154-pound Pacific Rim champion Yusuke Endo takes on Shooto's first 154-pound Pacific Rim champion Kotetsu Boku.

An owner of wins over Clay Guida and Ganjo Tentsuku, the 25-year-old Endo pounded out a victory over Kenichiro Togashi in July to claim his Pacific Rim trinket, which will not be at stake in the bout with Boku.

Boku, 31, will head into the bout having fought just once in 2008, dropping a unanimous decision verdict to eventual Dream lightweight grand prix winner Joachim Hansen in the tournament's opening round.

Sustain have also announced a 132-pound bout between Junya "Kodo" Kudo and Takahiro Hosoi, and a 123-pound square-off between graybeard Jin Akimoto and Brazilian jiu-jitsu stalwart Ayumu "Gozo" Shioda.

The fifth Shooto Tradition event will be just the second Shooto card ever at Differ Ariake, and the first in over seven years at the venue, which usually plays host to GCM and Pancrase events. In addition to the Jan. 18 card, Shooto promoters have announced ten other dates for a tentative and early 2009 schedule.

On Jan. 31, Gutsman Shooto Dojo will promote the seventh installment of their popular Shooting Disco series at Shinjuku Face in Tokyo, while Sustain will house a card of their own at the venue on Feb. 28. Sustain will continue the Shooto Tradition series with Shooto Tradition 6 at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall on March 20, and have also selected Japan's mecca of combat sports for events on July 19 and Sept. 22.

Regional promoter Grapplingman will present the second edition of GIG Torao in Fukuyama on March 22 at the Fukuyama Industrial Communication Hall, and their traditional mid-May card on May 17 at the Hiroshima Industrial Hall. Nagoya's Alive will present GIG Central 17 at Nagoya's Asunal Hall on April 12, and GIG Central 18 at Zepp Nagoya on Nov. 1. Shooto Gym K'z Factory will stage their first event of the year May 20 at Kitazawa Town Hall in Tokyo.
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