Caol Uno scores submission win at Shooto 30th Anniversary Tour 8th Round
Japanese legend Caol Uno sent the crowd inside the iconic Korakuen Hall in Tokyo into a frenzy by authoring a vintage performance against German opponent Markus Held in the main event of Shooto 30th Anniversary Tour: 8th Round on Sunday.
The 44-year-old Kanagawa native captured his first victory in almost four years, submitting Held with a wrenching rear-naked choke in the second round of their featherweight encounter.
Sharing the cage with a fellow grappler, Uno spent the majority of the first round on the mat but looked very comfortable, as he turned away every advance from Held while he threw up his own ground offense.
Although the stark difference in terms of skill and experience was clear for fans to see in the first five minutes, it was not until the second round that the grappling prowess of the two-time UFC lightweight title challenger and former Shooto lightweight champion was finally on full display.
Uno scored a quick body-lock takedown and began a grappling clinic as he passed his counterpart’s guard with apparent ease to slide into position to smothered his foe until Held tried to explode out of danger.
In doing so, Held made a fatal mistake and offered his back to Uno, who immediately took advantage, slipped his left arm under the neck, and then squeezed hard to get the finish with 1:56 on the clock.
Uno could not help but be emotional and shed tears of joy right after the referee stepped in to call a halt to the contest as struggled to get his hand raised in triumph since April 2016.
“I am really happy to get this victory. I am thankful for my teammates who never gave up on me,” he said in his post-fight interview.
Shinya Aoki was seen enthusiastically celebrating outside the cage before rushing in the cage to give Uno a warm embrace as his longtime friend picked up the impressive win and improved his standing to 34-20-5. Meanwhile, Held fell to a 1-3 record.
Best of the rest
In the co-main event of the evening, Kazuma Kuramoto (7-0) kept his unblemished professional win-loss slate intact by forcing Yuta Nezu (22-10-2) to quit on his stool in the third round.
Living up to his reputation as the feared four-time All-Japan Greco-Roman wrestling champion, Kuramoto gave Nezu a wild ride by executing seven suplexes towards the end of the second round.
Dazed and confused by the series of high-impact slams, Nezu and his corner opted to throw in the towel, awarding the victory to Kuramoto by technical knockout.
In other matches on the undercard, ex-Flyweight King of Pancrase Kiyotaka Shimizu (24-15-3) continued his career resurgence as he thwarted Shojin Miki (5-6) with a barrage of ruthless punches in the first round.
Former Deep Jewel titlist Mina Kurobe (14-5) once again proved that age is just a number as the 42-year-old veteran manhandled Tanja Angerer on the canvas en route to a second-round stoppage win.
Joining Kurobe in the semi-finals of the women’s atomweight tournament is Ye Ji Lee (4-6), who thwarted compatriot Takumi Umehara (2-4) with lethal elbow shots in the second round.