Takafumi Otsuka gets lucky, Tatsuro Taira impresses again at Shooto 1123
Shooto 1123 took place at the Korakuen Hall today. The main event ended prematurely when Tatsuya Ando picked up an injury but there was a very impressive win for undefeated prospect Tatsuro Taira in the co-headliner.
The event was broadcast live on Abema and was supported by ONE Championship with two-time ONE Lightweight Champion and former Shooto fighter Shinya Aoki in the commentary booth for the Japanese feed.
In the main event Takafumi Otsuka from T-Grip Tokyo defeated Tribe Tokyo MMA standout Ando in the first round after Ando picked up a right calf injury. As the former fought to apply a strangle, the referee deemed that the latter was in no condition to continue and called a stop to the bout.
Otsuka had peppered Ando with calf kicks but the damage was done when the latter blocked a takedown attempt and landed awkwardly. All Otsuka, a former two-weight champion in Deep, needed to do was apply enough pressure to make the referee step in and save his injured opponent.
The bitterly unlucky Ando suffers his first defeat since 2016 and slips to 11-3-1. Meanwhile Otsuka improves to 28-17-1 after making a successful Shooto debut at the age of 34.
In the semi-main event Tatsuro Taira recorded the biggest win of his young career as the 20-year-old ace upset former flyweight King of Pancrase Kiyotaka Shimizu.
Taira outworked and outfought Shimizu, a veteran of 40 fights. The 36 year old was never allowed to get into his usual rhythm by his young rival, who was unfazed by the experience of his opponent.
Pushing the pace
Taira had the better of the stand up exchanges and was also comfortable on the ground as he pushed the pace and swarmed the overwhelmed Shimizu. It was a bout that Shinya Aoki had encouraged the Paraestra Okinawa representative to request and that proved to be the right decision.
Taira improves to 7-0 and the undefeated prodigy demonstrated once again that he is one of the top prospects in Asia. Shimizu falls to 24-14-3 and sees his three fight winning streak snapped.
In a catchweight contest Satomi Takano scored a quick submission win over Megumi Sugimoto. She showed her superiority on the ground as her opponent gave up her back far too easily.
Sugimoto was cornered by her trainer and partner Hiroyuki Abe while Takano was seconded by veteran Satoru Kitaoka. But the latter man would have been the happier as Takano transitioned from a rear naked choke attempt to an armbar to force the submission after just 109 seconds.
Takano improves to 14-12 and the Deep-Jewels veteran has now won three out of her last four fights. Sugimoto drops to 5-3 after suffering back to back defeats for the first time in her career.
Best of the rest
Elsewhere Keita Ishibashi (10-8-2) grinded out a decision win over Akuri Ronda (5-4-1) in their featherweight fight. The two traded rear naked choke attempts with the Zeek Gym representative getting the better of the exchanges.
In strawweight action Ryohei Kurosawa (14-2 ) beat Kato Masayoshi (12-11-2) by a unanimous decision. He scored several knockdowns in the third round but couldn’t find the finish.
Featherweight Takahiro Ichijo (7-1-9) and Yoshizumi Kobayashi (2-4-5) fought to a draw. Both men looked disappointed with the result and a rematch could be in the offing.
Yuya Tsumura (2-2-1) and Jo Arai (6-9-2) met in flyweight action to open the show. The later prevailed via a unanimous decision after dominating the stand-up exchanges from the second round onwards.