by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
Shooto 123-pound Champion “BJ” Shinichi Kojima and Yasuhiro Urushitani fought to another draw in a rematch from their first encounter back in 2005. In one of the most entertaining and competitive fights of the year, it was disappointing to see the rematch duplicate the same anti-climactic result.
Urushitani landed the better shots on their feet in the first round, connecting with a couple of flying knees and right hooks. “BJ” was the aggressor early in the second, throwing a nice hook that rocked Urushitani back to the ropes shortly after the start of the round. The champion spent the last minute on his back while the challenger threw strikes from the guard. In the final round, the fight retained this same quick pace and saw some clinch work in the corner of the ring. Kojima was able to catch one of Urushitani’s kicks and put him onto the canvas with a counter straight right. Urushitani scrambled back to his feet and landed the more effective strikes for the remainder of the fight. After three rounds, the fight was ruled a draw and an emotional “BJ” retained his Shooto Bantamweight title.
Rumina Sato rebounded from a loss to Antonio Carvalho with a victory over Augusto Frota Guimaraes. After a scramble in the first round, Sato landed a knee to the top of Guimaraes’ head, opening up a big cut. The fight was stopped per doctor’s recommendation.
Shooto Rookie Champion Shinya Murofushi remained undefeated with an impressive stoppage of Takehiro “Tiger” Ishii. Murofushi landed a knee that put Ishii down shortly after a minute into the first round. As “Tiger” attempted to stand back up, his uncontrollable stumble caused the referee to halt the bout.
Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura won a controversial split decision over Hideki Kadowaki. Kadowaki, a former Shooto 143-pound Rookie Champion, controlled the first two rounds with ground control while Nishiura failed to connect with his punches. In the third, “Wicky” hurt Kadowaki with a flying knee but was unable to finish him. MMAWeekly scored the fight two rounds to one in favor of Hideki Kadowaki.
As reported on MMAWeekly in an interview with Antonio Carvalho, Shooto officially announced a match between Antonio Carvalho and Hatsu Hioki for a May 17th card. Also, AACC fighter Masatoshi Abe will face Daniel Otero.
SHOOTO – BACK TO OUR ROOTS 2 RESULTS:
123-POUND ROOKIE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCHES:
Kousuke Eda and Kazuya Tamura fought to a DRAW, RD2
Tatsuya Yamamoto def. Katsuya Murofushi – Decision, RD2
Yoshitaro Niimi def. Ivan Mussardo – TKO, RD2 4:21
Shinya Murofushi def. Takehiro “Tiger” Ishii – KO (Knee), RD1 1:33
Masakazu Ueda def. So Tazawa – Submission (Brabo Choke), RD3
Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura def. Hideki Kadowaki – Split Decision, RD3
Rumina Sato def. Augusto Frota Guimaraes – TKO (Cut), RD1 1:21
SHOOTO 123-POUND CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
“BJ” Shinichi Kojima and Yasuhiro Urushitani fought to a DRAW, RD3