by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
On Saturday night, Shooto will be holding its 20th anniversary event, filling it out with the biggest stars from the promotion’s past and present. Making his debut on this illustrious card will be International Fight League veteran Savant Young, as he takes on former Shooto lightweight champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue.
Besides making his first fight appearance in Japan, this fight will also mark Young’s debut at 145 pounds after spending the majority of his career fighting opponents bigger than him. “Its exciting. The opponent is what makes the fight more exciting for me and not the fact that it’s my first fight in Japan because a fight is a fight, no matter where it is.”
Young has been fighting for the last year at lightweight, but now moves down to featherweight. “I feel pretty strong at both weights,” he said. “The only thing that’s really changed is that its put my training into perspective. I’ve changed my eating habits and it’s made me work harder in the gym like never before. It’s my ideal situation when it comes to fighting.”
Not only is he making his debut at a new weight class, but also he is fighting one of the better fighters in that weight class in Inoue.
Young feels that taking on one of the best fighters in the weight class will put him on the map instantly if he is able to impress. “I figured if I was going to enter a new weight class, I wanted to fight one of the best guys to gauge myself at the weight class and whether or not its where I should be fighting at.”
For the last year, he has been competing in the IFL as part of the Tokyo Sabres. It has been well documented the problems that some of the members of the team had with coach Ken Yasuda and how it effected their performances. “The IFL was great as an organization. They promoted us well and got our name out to the public while being on TV, but it’s hard to have someone in your corner trying to tell you what to do when he doesn’t know how to motivate you to do your best and you differ on training methods.”
Young now trains out of Bodyshop Fitness Team in Southern California and he credits them for helping them prepare for what could possibly be the biggest fight of his career, “I want to thank Brett Copper, Jason High, Antonio McKee and all the guys at Bodyshop Fitness Team that have helped me get ready for this fight.
“Most of all I’d like to thank my wife who has supported me through all of this. I’ve been going through some rough times lately and she has always been there supporting me when I needed her.”
He embarks to a new weight class and on Saturday night all eyes will be on Savant Young, who could possibly resurrect his career with a huge win over the former lightweight champion on Shooto’s biggest card of the year.