by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
Shooto makes its long awaited debut on the U.S. mainland on Saturday night as Manly Promotions presents Shooto: The Arrival at the No Limits Event Center in Irvine, Calif. Three Shooto standouts make their way to the mainland.
[UPDATE] The promotion had intended to have UFC and Pride veteran Nick Diaz face Shinji Sasaki in a submission grappling match, but the California State Athletic Commission would not allow Diaz to compete. According to Jason Manly, Shooto’s promotional partner in the U.S., the commission said that due to Diaz’ suspension in Nevada, he “cannot compete in any fashion” in California.
SHOOTO LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT:
TENKEI FUJIMIYA VS. BAO QUACH
Shooto Lightweight 2005 Rookie Champion Tenkei Fujimiya takes on rugged veteran Bao Quach. Tenkei Fujimiya has a 7-1-2 record in MMA and trains out of the Shooting Gym Yokohama with Mamoru. Bao Quach has a 9-8-1 record in MMA and trains out of the No Limits Training Center with Colin Oyama. Fujimiya, the #7 Featherweight in the MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings, is coming off a disappointing decision loss to current Shooto Lightweight Champion Akitoshi Tamura at Shooto: Back to Our Roots. Quach last scored a knockout victory over Del Hawkins at IFO: Eastman vs. Kimmons.
Out of the three match-ups involving Shooto talent, this is the most evenly matched as both fighters will come out looking to bang. Fujimiya is coming off two rather uninspiring performances in the ring, first drawing with Katsuya Toida then dropping a decision to Akitoshi Tamura, a fighter that Fujimiya had previously knocked out. Quach is a veteran of Shooto and has reeled off three straight wins to put his record over .500.
This fight basically comes down to who will be the first fighter to connect with a solid shot then be able to pounce and finish his opponent. When it’s all said and done, look for Fujimiya to prove a point and impressively knockout a less talented Quach in exciting fashion.
Prediction: Tenkei Fujimiya by KO in the first round.
SHOOTO WELTERWEIGHT BOUT:
KENICHIRO TOGASHI VS. BRAIN COBB
BJJ black belt Kenichiro Togashi returns to California to take on Gladiator Challenge Lightweight Champion Brian Cobb. Kenichiro Togashi has a 7-4-4 record in MMA and trains out of Paraestra Hiroshima with Keisuke Sakai. Brian Cobb has a 9-4 record in MMA and trains out of Team Pain and Suffering in California. Togashi won a fairly easy submission victory over Darren Crisp at a recent Warrior’s Cup show. Cobb earned his third victory over John Reedy at ShowXC: Noons vs. Berto.
Togashi is easily one of the most underrated lightweights in the world due in part to his deceiving record, which doesn’t tell the whole story behind the fighter. Although they are recorded as losses, Togashi fought two close wars with two top ten lightweights in Joachim Hansen and Mitsuhiro Ishida where he held his own with both. Cobb has been impressive of late, notching three straight victories after an unsuccessful debut in Japan against Eiji Mitsuoka at Cage Force 2.
Both fighters seem to be very competent on the ground and that is going to be the undoing for Cobb. Cobb is nowhere near the same level on the ground as Togashi and that is where he will falter. Look for Cobb to put up a good fight against Togashi but he eventually fall to the superior ground skills of Togashi.
Prediction: Kenichiro Togashi by submission in the second round.
SHOOTO WELTERWEIGHT BOUT:
“WICKY” AKIYO NISHIURA VS. JOE CAMACHO
Shooto Lightweight 2006 Rookie Champion “Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura will make his debut at 155lbs as he takes on Joe Camacho. “Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura has a 6-2 record in MMA and trains out of the Shooting Gym Yokohama with “Lion” Takeshi Inoue. Joe Camacho has an 8-11-2 record in MMA and trains out of Aloisio Silva BJJ in California. Wicky comes scored a close split decision victory over Hideki Kadowaki at Shooto: Back to Our Roots 2. Camacho comes off a stoppage victory over Hector Pena at California Cage Championships: Road to the Championship.
Plain and simple this is going to be a showcase fight for Wicky, who will make his debut at a higher weight division. Wicky has had trouble in recent fights making weight at 145lbs and has decided that he is better suited at 155lbs, where he might have a little more pop in his already strong punch. Camacho has been around for a while and is a respected veteran, but he has always faltered against top competition as his record shows.
This fight isn’t going to be any different. Look for Wicky to take advantage on the feet and finish off on the ground with strikes in an exciting fashion.
Prediction: “Wicky” Akiyo Nishiura by TKO in the first round.
SHOOTO: THE ARRIVAL
Saturday, August 18
No Limits Event Center
-Main Event: Tenkei Fujimiya vs. Bao Quach
-Kenichiro Togashi vs. Brian Cobb
-Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura vs. Joe Camacho
-Brett Cooper vs. Vince Guzman
-Raja Shippen vs. Leo Hirai
-Rudy Gomez vs. Nick Breaker
-Kelvin Nimsiriuengphal vs. Rick McKorkal
-Travis McRoberts vs. Richie Collingham
-Martin Bautista vs. Albert Hill
-Steve Grode vs. Carlos Fuentes
-Brian Platfoot vs. Shane Delrosario