The Shooto 2015 Season Opener was held on January 25, 2015. Yoshifumi Nakamura Jr earned a Unanimous Decision victory over Caol Uno to become the 6th Pacific Rim Lightweight Champion.
Uno strode into to ring on the back of an impressive 6-fight winning streak, and although he has reached the ripe age of 39, a UFC contract still glitters in his aspirations. However, as the saying goes, every dog has his day and Pacific Rim #1-ranked Nakamura Jr most definitely had his at the Shooto 2015 Opener.
The 5’3″ powerhouse used deadly takedowns effectively in the opening stanza against Uno for a total of four times. They worked in the second round, too. Uno was able to recapture the momentum and get a back take, starting to successfully deal with the double leg death he was facing.
Uno came back with elbows, but in the third it was Nakamura who did the cutting with his punches. The doctor checked Uno’s eye and allowed the bout to continue. Nakamura’s striking gained the momentum, which saw Uno stuffed against the ropes repeatedly.
After the final gong, all three judges gave the decision to Nakamura, 30-27,29-28,and 29-28, thus awarding him the Pacific Rim Championship belt which had been vacated by Yusuke Yachi at the end of last year.
In the next of the top-billed fights, Grachan Champion Shigeki Osawa continued his phenomenal 2014 success by going the distance and taking the Unanimous decision over Wataru Miki. While the match was not a barn burner, Osawa’s takedowns and ground and pound left a very strong impression of his offense. Miki’s second round striking was his highlight but it was not enough to carry him through Osawa’s game plan.
The judges scored it 28-29, 28-29, and 27-30 for Osawa, who promptly took the mic and stated that he’d like a shot at the Shooto belt as well.
Welterweight Koshi Matsumoto also called for a title chance after his neck crank win over Yu Fujimak. 2013 Rookie Champ and MVP Takaki Soya garnered a career-launching win over Taku Kajikawa by Unanimous Decision. In the first round of the 2015 Infiniti League Featherweight Tournament, Ryo Okada secured a decision win over Takuya Ogura to advance into the next bracket.
During the event, Shooto announced a collaboration event with MMA lifestyle brand MOBstyles at Korakuen Hall on May 3, 2015. Shooto Bantamweight Champion Ryuichi Miki and former Pac Rim champ Taiki Tuschiya will be on the card, as well as Mamoru, Yuta Nezu, Yutaka Saito, and Lion Takeshi.
SHOOTO 2015 Opener
January 25, 2015
#10 = 6th Pacific Rim Lightweight Championship
Yoshifumi Nakamura def Caol Uno by UD, 30-27,29-28,29-28
#9 – Lightweight
Shigeki Osawa def Wataru Miki by UD, 28-29, 28-29, 27-30
#7 – Welterweight
Koshi Matsumoto def Yu Fujimaki by Submission, neck crank, rd 2 2:52
#6 – Featherweight
Shoko Sato def Atsushi Fujinaka by UD
#5 – 2015 Infiniti League Featherweight Tournament
Ryo Okada def Takuya Ogura by Decision
#4 – Lightweight
Joji Mikami def Jeon Chung-Il by Decision
#3 – Lightweight
Tomoya Hirakawa def Takanori Takahashi by KO, rd 1 1:26
#2 – Featherweight
Kanamonoya no Hide def Ribazaru Shun by Submission, “Chicken Wing Armlock”, rd 2 4:08
#1 – Bantamweight
Takaki Soya def Taku Kajikawa by UD
Open – Flyweight
Tateo Iino defeats Jun Nabeshima by Submission, RNC, rd 1 1:37