“Lion” Takeshi Inoue (file photo) headlines Friday’s Shooto card. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
The weigh-in for Shooto Tradition 2011 went off without a hitch in Tokyo on Thursday, as all 20 competitors -- including two main-eventers, one champion and three title contenders -- hit their appointed marks.
Set to take place Friday at Tokyo Dome City Hall (nee JCB Hall), the 10-fight card will raise funds for those regions of Japan devastated by March’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The show will be headlined by a clash of former Shooto 143-pound world champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue (142.4 pounds) and current 143-pound Pacific Rim titlist Taiki Tsuchiya (142.6).
The man who dethroned Inoue in May 2010, current Sengoku featherweight ace Hatsu Hioki, came in at an even 143 pounds for his non-title three-rounder with King of the Cage bantamweight champ Donald Sanchez (143.3). Known as the “Son of Shooto,” Hioki has not lost inside the promotion’s ring since 2007. The New Mexico-based Sanchez, meanwhile, enters his first international match on a seven-fight win streak.
Two world title bouts bolster the bill, as 132-pound champ Shuichiro Katsumura (132) will put his belt on the line for the first time against once-beaten Koetsu Okazaki (132.2), and Junji “Sarumaru” Ito (114.6) will tangle with Junji Ikoma (114.4) for the 114-pound throne vacated by Rambaa “M-16” Somdet earlier this month.
Notable undercard matchups include onetime Shooto 154-pound world champion Takashi Nakakura (154.3) returning from a career-threatening eye injury against current Cage Force lightweight belt-holder Kuniyoshi Hironaka (153.6) and world-ranked flyweight Yuki Shojo (122.8) taking on former 114-pound title challenger Noboru “Shinpei” Tahara (122.8).
Shooto Tradition 2011
Friday, April 29
Tokyo Dome City Hall,
Taiki Tsuchiya (142.6) vs. Takeshi Inoue (142.4)
Shooto 132-Pound World Title Bout
Shuichiro Katsumura (132) vs. Koetsu Okazaki (132.2)
Hatsu Hioki (143) vs. Donald Sanchez (143.3)
Shooto 114-Pound World Title Bout
Junji Ikoma (114.4) vs. Junji Ito (114.6)
Takashi Nakakura (154.3) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (153.6)
Yuki Shojo (122.8) vs. Noboru Tahara (122.8)
Atsushi Takeuchi (114.4) vs. Mikihito Yamagami (114.4)
Kyoji Horiguchi (131.4) vs. Takahiro Hosoi (131.6)
Koshi Matsumoto (158.5) vs. Akira Okada (157.2)
Daisuke Hoshino (153.9) vs. Munehiro Kin (154.3)