41-year-old Junji Ikoma and reigning Pacific Rim ace Koetsu Okazaki both picked up Shooto
world titles when Japan's leading regional promotion returned to Tokyo on Friday night with Shooto's first major card since the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Also returning to action at the newly named Tokyo Dome City Hall, Sengoku and Shooto world champion Hatsu Hioki
and former strap-holder and fan-favorite "Lion" Takeshi Inoue
picked up solid wins, beating out King of the Cage champion Donald Sanchez and 143-pound Pacific Rim champion Taiki Tsuchiya respectively.
Defending Shooto 132-pound champion Shuichiro Katsumura's true status as "champion" was compromised in his last outing, a non-title bout TKO loss to DREAM Japan Bantamweight GP entrant Darren Uyenoyama. The American was never granted the rematch for Shooto gold though and instead title contender honors went to Pacific Rim champion Koetsu Okazaki.
Katsumura and Okazaki were essentially even until a counterpunch midway through the second round from the challenger sent Katsumura to the canvas. Okazaki's offense on the mat was enough to bring in the referee stoppage and enough to give him his first world Shooto title in two attempts.
With Sengoku's future still unclear, Sengoku featherweight champion and Shooto 143-pound champion Hatsu Hioki returned to his breeding ground to submit King of the Cage belt-holder Donald Sanchez.
Hioki's superlative ground game saw him take down the American champion and pass through to mount where he rained in punches and slapped on the triangle choke as Sanchez attempted to escape. The win cements Hioki's status as Japan's best featherweight and one of the very best featherweights in the world.
In the evening's main event, Former Shooto 143-pound champ "Lion" Takeshi Inoue derailed current Pacific Rim champion Taiki Tsuchiya, stopping the Rumina Sato protege with punches in the second stanza.
41-year-old Junji Ikoma seized the vacant Shooto 115-pound belt, taking a hard fought decision over Shooting Gym Yokohama's Junji Ito. Former 115-pound champion Rambaa "M-16" Somdet was forced to vacate his belt after sustaining an injury to his bicep.Shooto Tradition 2011 - April 29, 2011 at Tokyo Dome City Hall
Shooto 132-Pound World Championship
Koetsu Okazaki def. Shuichiro Katsumura by TKO (Punches) - Round 2, 2:24Vacant Shooto 115-Pound World Championship
Junji Ikoma def. Junji Ito by Unanimous Decision
"Lion" Takeshi Inoue def. Taiki Tsuchiya by TKO (Punches) - Round 2, 4:27
Hatsu Hioki def. Donald Sanchez by Submission (Triangle Choke) - Round 2, 1:36
Kuniyoshi Hironaka def. Takashi Nakakura by Unanimous Decision
Yuki Shojo def. Noboru Tahara by Unanimous Decision
Mikihito Yamagami def. Atsushi Takeuchi by Unanimous Decision
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Takahiro Hosoi by KO (Punches) - Round 1, 1:06
Koshi Matsumoto drew Akira Okada
Munehiro Kin def. Daisuke Hoshino by Disqualification (Kick to the Groin) - Round 2, 1:27