by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com

Welcome to the first edition of the Budo Review, a new column that will primarily cover the mixed martial arts scene in Japan. In this week’s edition, Shooto crowns the rest of their rookie champions and Shooto Lightweight 2006 Rookie Champion Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura makes his Class A debut. Pancrase finally crowns a new Middleweight King of Pancrase after former champion Nate Marquardt vacated the title several months ago. And DEEP has announced the first bouts and other participants for DEEP 27, which is to be held later this month.


Shooto held its final show of the year this past weekend, once again returning to the small Shinjuku FACE. Besides marking the Class A debut of Shooto Lightweight 2006 Rookie Champion Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura, Shooto also crowned four new rookie champions.

In the main event, Shooto Lightweight 2006 Rookie Champion Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura made his Class A debut against Akitoshi Tamura. Tamura has the distinction of being the only man in Shooto to have faced the past three lightweight rookie champions in the last year. He has already faced off with current Shooto Lightweight Champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue and last year’s lightweight rookie champion Tenkei Fujimiya. Besides all three fighters having one thing in common, they also all hail from the same gym which is Shooting Gym Yokohama. It seems like the third time was a charm for Tamura as this time he was able to defeat “Wicky” ending his losing streak against lightweight rookie champions.

Shooto 12/2/06
Shinjuku Face

Class B Flyweight Bout: Katsuya Murofushi beat Hayato Sato by TKO, 2:59 into the first round

Class B Featherweight Bout: Takamaro Watari beat Nobuhiro “Mike” Hayakawa by unanimous decision.

Shooto Light Hevayweight Rookie Tournament Final
Mitsuhiro Takeda beat Atsushi Matsuki by TKO, 3:16 into the second round

Shooto Flyweight Rookie Tournament Final
Shinya Murofushi beat Hiroaki Takezawa with an armbar, 2:36 into the first round

Shoot Featherweight Rookie Tournament Final
Masakazu Ueda beat Teiryuki Matsumoto with a triangle choke, 4:42 into the first round

Shooto Middleweight Rookie Tournament Final
Yuki Konishi beat Taisuke Okuno by unanimous decision

Class B Featherweight Bout: Tetsu Suzuki beat Jin Akimoto by unanimous decision

Class A Lightweight Bout: Akitoshi Tamura beat Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura by unanimous decision


Pancrase finally crowned a new Middleweight King of Pancrase as Yuichi Nakanishi defeated longtime first-ranked Pancrase middleweight Izuru Takeuchi by split decision. Most fans recognize Nakanishi from his fight with Renato “Charuto” Verissimo at Rumble at the Rock 7, where he lost from a cut stoppage in a fight that he wasn’t winning before the stoppage. This also marks Nakanishi’s first win in over two and a half years as his last win came in May of 2004. The event also saw the return to action for Choi Mu Bae, a Pride veteran who hasn’t been in the ring since a decision loss to Sylvester “The Predator” Terkay at the HEROS show in Korea from last year. He defeated former pro-wrestler turned MMA fighter Masayuki Kono with an arm triangle choke in the second round of their heavyweight contest.

Tokyo Differ Ariake

Yuichiro Shirai drew with Kenta Nakamura

Koji Yoshimoto beat Yuki Yamasawa by majority decision

Shoji “Samurai” Shoji beat Taku Aramaki by KO, 3:36 into the first round

Artur Oumakhanov beat Yuji Miyazaki by TKO, 1:03 into the first round

Tatsuya Mizuno beat Yasuaki Miura with an armlock, 1:47 into the first round

Takuya Wada beat Nao Yoshida with a rear naked choke, 4:22 into the first round

Manabu Inoue beat Kenji Shimada by unanimous decision

Mu Bae Choi beat Masayuki Kono with an arm triangle choke, 1:36 into the second round

Middleweight King of Pancrase Bout
Yuichi Nakanishi beat Izuru Takeuchi by split decision


DEEP announced several bouts for DEEP 27. Highlighting the event will be a three match Japan vs. South Korea series and a number one contender match for the DEEP Lightweight Champion. They also announced several other fighters who are scheduled to participate, which include former DEEP Middleweight Champion Ryuta Saurai, former Welterweight King of Pancrase Kiuma Kunioku and DEEP veteran Eiji Ishikawa. Ishikawa hasn’t fought in MMA for two years, but he will make his long-awaited return to the ring at DEEP 27.

The intriguing match-up so far on the card will be a rematch between hot lightweight prospects Kazunori Yokota taking on Yoshihiro “Barbaro44” Tomioka in fight that will also determine the number one contender for the DEEP Lightweight Championship. In their first fight, just a little over a year ago, both fighters fought hard but the fight ended in a draw, now they’ll rematch with much more at stake.

Korakuen Hall
December 20, 2006

Yuya Shirai vs. Kim Dae Won
Hirohide Fujinuma vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Hirokazu Konno vs. Kim In Seok
Hiroshi Nakano vs. Takahiro Kamikazono
Kazunori Yokota vs. Yoshihiro “Barbaro44” Tomioka

Also scheduled to participate:
Ryuta Sakurai
Kiuma Kunioku
Eiji Ishikawa