TOKYO -- Two-time Bellator
tournament finalist Toby Imada
stormed onto the Shoot Boxing
scene in 2010, capturing an incredible decision win over the best the sport has to offer in Andy Souwer and decisioning long-time veteran Hiroki Shishido earlier this year. The judoka's luck under the Shoot Boxing banner ran out at Korakuen Hall on Saturday night against Muay Thai stylist Bovy Sor. Udomson
, Imada falling once in each round en route to losing a unanimous decision. Imada was able to make the bout exciting though, scoring a down in the second stanza and landing a plethora of heavy punches.
fighters competing under the "standing vale tudo" rules were more successful however, Bellator veteran Jessica Penne scored a shocking upset, besting promotional postergirl and two-time S-Cup winner Rena Kubota while former Sengoku star Shigeki Osawa nudged out a close decision via throws over Yusuke Sugawara.
Former Rajadamnern Stadium Muay Thai champion Bovy Sor. Udomson (87-31 in kickboxing) went into his bout with Shoot Boxing upset-artist Toby Imada (3-2 in Shoot Boxing, 29-14 in MMA) on a five-fight losing streak, with many questioning if he was able to continue to competing at the elite levels of kickboxing. With his gutsy win over Imada, Udomson made a significant step towards proving those doubters wrong.
An extremely aggressive Imada put the pressure on Udomson from the onset, the mixed martial artist looking for a knockout with winging hooks and straights and to score Shoot points with his judo. Udomson stood his ground though, countering the judo perfectly with his Muay Thai clinch and delivering hellish hook counters, catching Imada and sending him to the canvas once in each stanza during the three round bout.
Imada was good enough to score his own knockdown though, Udomson caught hook across the jaw while taunting his opponent in the second. Although significantly down on the score cards Imada remained in the fight with his judo and relentless attacks but with as the final bell sounded, the points for Imada were nowhere to be found and Udomson took the decision.
Bellator veteran and Shoot Boxing newcomer Jessica Penne (9-1 MMA, 1-0 Shoot Boxing) scored a massive upset and another point for the MMA fighters, snatching a huge decision over promotional poster girl, 2009 Girl's S-Cup champ and 2010 Girl's S-Cup World Champion Rena Kubota (16-5-1 kickboxing). Although Rena managed to win rounds one and three with her kicks, Penne scoring a throw for a Shoot point in the second evened the score and saw the bout go to an extension round.
Rena controlled the first extension period, scoring again with her kicks but seeming very tight with her fists, consistently missing. Somehow, despite Rena's control and Penne looking winded and managing no offence, the judges rules that the bout go to a second extension period. Penne looked rejuvenated in the fifth and final round, scoring a throw midway through to give her a fight-winning Shoot point. Rena pushed to score a down or Shoot point herself but it was not forth-coming, the bout going to the judges.
One apparently distracted judge somehow scored the final round a draw for the hometown favorite but the other two got it right, awarding the bout to Penne for the huge upset.
Rena, whose younger sister Mio was victorious earlier in the night, is scheduled to rematch Erika Kamimura for a title under the RISE banner in November. It is not yet known whether tonight's result affects that bout.
Fellow MMA fighter and former Sengoku sponsored Shigeki Osawa (1-1 Shoot Boxing, 6-1-2 MMA) also managed to pull off a significant upset, besting J-Network Super Flyweight champion Yusuke Sugawara (21-12-2 in kickboxing) with throws to take the unanimous decision. Osawa clearly lost in the kickboxing department but Osawa's impressive throws score highly under Shoot Boxing rules and the wrestler was able to win the judges favor despite taking a beating.
No. 2-ranked Japanese super welterweight Satori Suzuki (6-7 in kickboxing) utilized a 4.5-inch height advantage (on paper) to brutalize No. 1-ranked Kenji Kanai (16-12 in kickboxing), dropping his opponent with punches three times in the first round to get the TKO referee stoppage in under two minutes. Kanai, although never noted as a real power-puncher, seemed to have no heat on his hands and proved easy pickings for the much taller Suzuki.
Top-ranked Japanese featherweight Naguranchun Masa M16's (14-5 in kickboxing) forward pressure and aggression proved too much for No. 2-ranked Akito Sakimura (9-9 in kickboxing) in a bout to fill the vacant Shootboxing Japan
featherweight title. Punches sent Sakimura to the canvas in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, with the final down leading to the referee calling the bout. The loss marks Sakimura's third title bout loss in as many attempts.