Tatsuro Taira is quickly emerging as one of the most exciting young mixed martial artists to come out of Asia. The 21-year-old won the first title of his career on Sunday, submitting Ryuya Fukuda with a triangle choke at Shooto 0704.

The event in Osaka had originally been scheduled for June but was pushed back a few weeks due to Covid-19 regulations. A small crowd was in attendance at the Mielparque Hall to see the new champion crowned.

Taira wasted no time in shooting for the double leg at the start of the fight and had the champion pushed against the side of the cage. The younger fighter went for the body lock but Fukuda found his feet.

Tatsuro Taira takes down Ryuya Fukuda

Keisuke Takazawa / Fightgraph

Big takedown

Undeterred, Taira scored with a big takedown before moving to side control and then mount. Fukuda returned to guard and took a punch to the body.

From there, Taira was able to pass guard and move in for the triangle. The Okinawa-born fighter locked it in and got the tap with less than 30 seconds remaining in the round.

Seven of his nine wins have come by way of either submission or ground and pound. Taira has been the distance just twice as a professional and this was the sixth first round finish of his pro career.

Tatsuro Taira pounds Ryuya Fukuda

Keisuke Takazawa / Fightgraph

Statement win

It was another statement win for the 21 year old who also submitted Yoshiro Maeda at Shooto 0320. He snatched the flyweight title from Fukuda in emphatic style and will surely move on to bigger and better things.

Fukuda slips to 12-6-1 after losing via stoppage for the first time since 2013. Maeda moves up to 9-0 and seemed to confirm he would be looking for international fights in the future,

“We will fight in the world from now on. We will defeat strong opponents as Okinawa representative, Japan representative, and Shooto,” he said.

Tatsuro Taira champion

Keisuke Takazawa / Fightgraph

Best of the rest

Elsewhere on the card there was a big win for strawweight prospect Shuto Aki (6-3-1). The 20-year-old got finished in the first round by Keito Yamakita at Road to ONE 7 in February.

He bounced back here to ground out a unanimous decision win over Koyuru Tanoue (5-1). It was the first defeat of the 19 year old’s career.

Every single fight went the distance with the exception of the main event. Ryoga Terayama won the 119lbs kickboxing tournament beating Keito Naito in the semi final and Shoa Arii in the final.

Shooto 0704, Osaka, July 4th
Tatsuro Taira def Ryuya Fukuda via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:31 of R1 (Wins flyweight title)
Kickboxing: Ryoga Terayama def Shoa Arii via Decision (Split)
Shuto Aki def Koyuru Tanoue via Decision (Unanimous)
Ken Asahina def Masayoshi Kato via Decision (Unanimous)
Hikaru Kamimura def Hideaki Nakajima via Decision (Majority)
Kosuke Eda def Kiyoyuki Sakai via Decision (Majority)
Kickboxing: Ryoga Terayama def Kanta Tabuchi via Decision (Unanimous)
Kickboxing: Shoa Arii def Takuro Nagano via Decision (Unanimous)
Mark Moleke def Shutaro Debana via Decision (Unanimous)
Derricott Yamamoto def Takanori Takahashi via Decision (Unanimous)
Daiki Tsubota def Hiroki Takaoka via Decision (Unanimous)
Koshia Aoyagi def Kazuhiro Kishida via Decision (Unanimous)
Kickboxing: Ryoga Terayama def Keito Naito via Decision (Unanimous)
Kanta Tabuchi def Yosuke via Decision (Split)
Kickboxing: Shoa Arii def Ryunosuke Omori via Decision (Unanimous)
Takuro Nagano def Etsushi Kinoshita via Decision (Unanimous)