Hayato Ishii was crowned the Shooto Pacific Rim bantamweight champion after beating Kota Ononjima at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on Sunday. The pair first fought in 2020 with the contest ending in a draw.

Ishii came into the rematch at Shooto 0522 on the back of a submission win over Keita Ishibashi at Shooto 0321. Including the stalemate two years ago, Onojima was riding a streak of six fights without defeat.

The challenger made good use of his jab and attacked his opponent’s lead leg with low kicks in the first round. Ishii shot for a double leg before switching to a single in the second stanza but couldn’t complete the takedown.

Hayato Ishii punches Kota Onojima at Shooto 0522

Keisuke Takazawa

Overseas ambitions

But he began to get the better of the exchanges on the feet and landed with a right cross as Onojima threw a front kick while frequently tagging the champ with punches to the face. Ishii used jabs and low kicks in the final round but got caught with a right counter and a left hook.

The 26-year-old responded with a straight right hand as his opposite number went for the head kick.  After evading the right hook and landing a punch he was finally able to score with a solid double leg.

When Onojima sought to find his feet from full guard, Ishii moved to take his back. Overall, the Kagawa-born fighter did enough to convince the judges despite being unable to find a finish.

His record climbs to 17-4-3 while Onojima slips to 16-6-3 and after the fight he called for a rematch with bantamweight champion Tatsuya Ando and expressed a desire to fight overseas.

Hayato Ishii celebrates winning the Shooto Pacific Rim bantamweight title

Keisuke Takazawa

Best of the rest

Takeshi Arai overwhelmed Ryohei Kurosawa with punches to win by doctor’s stoppage after his opponent’s mouth was left dripping with blood. The win continues a remarkable turnaround for the 24-year-old.

He went on an eight-fight losing streak between 2016-2019 but has now won his last six and extended his record to 10-9-2.

After the fight he called for a rematch with Hiroba Minowa and said,

“I think the strawweight class is exciting. Is Minowa willing to defend the belt?” .

Shooto 0522, Toyko, May 22nd
Hayato Ishii def Kota Onojima via Decision (Unanimous)
Jo Arai def Ryohei Kurosawa via TKO (Punches) at 2:12 of R2
Nobuki Fujii def Tsubasa Saito via Decision (Unanimous)
Chihiro Sawada def Hisae Watanabe via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 0:59 of R2
Masatoshi Abe def Takamasa Kiuchi via Decision (Majority)
Akira Enomoto def Guts Takato via Decision (Unanimous)
Yo Otake def Kodai Sudo via TKO (Punch) at 0:56 of R1
Ryuon Lju drew with Haruki Kawakita