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Yoshihiro Koyama Claims Shooto Pacific Rim Title

It took less than two minutes for Yoshihiro Koyama to bring an an end to a two fight losing streak and seize the Shooto Pacific Rim 154-pound Belt at Shooto: Shootor's Legacy 1 at Korakuen Hall on Monday. Shinji Sasaki was bringing all the moment into the title bout but a left hook only one minute in dropped the grappler and from there Koyama pounded to bring the quick referee stoppage TKO. Stakes were high for the Paraestra Matsudo product fighting under the hugely successful Team Kurofune banner as Koyama revealed post fight that if he would have lost the bout, he may have retired.

Current 143-pound Shooto Pacific Rim Champ Taiki Tsuchiya, former 154-pound Pacific Rim Champs Yusuke Endo and Kotetsu Boku and former 132-pound Shooto World Champ Masakatsu Ueda also all picked up impressive victories over Tony Hervey, Daisuke Sugie, Yukinari Tamura and Ralph Acosta respectively.
143-pound Shooto Pacific Rim Champion Taiki Tsuchiya stood strong against former King of the Cage Champ Tony Hervey to score an impressive first round TKO.

The Rumina Sato pupil endured flashy kicks and hard, one-punch KO attempts from Harvey but Tsuchiya's more refined striking wore down the American. As Tsuchiya's hands were taking their toll, Hervey literally had to try and run to get out of the corner or faced being knocked out. His attempts at sprinting to safety were counter-productive though as Tsuchiya chased down the American to hook him and send him to the canvas. From there, Tsuchiya pounded away to eventually bring the referee stoppage.

Tsuchiya revealed post fight that he had intended to call out 143-pound World Champ Hatsu Hioki, but after seeing his December 30th Sengoku Featherweight Title match, he decided he was not ready.

Yusuke Endo pushed grappling great Daisuke "Amazon" Sugie to the limit and then some in his majority decision victory.

Endo easily defended weak takedown attempts from Hatsu Hioki's stable mate and landed clean punches on the happless grappler time and time again in the first and second rounds. One would have expected the third round to be more of the same but a shocking counter from Sugie stunned Endo and sent him scrambling to the canvas. Sugie attempts to finish were fruitless but continued positional domination and aggression with his punches despite his obvious exhaustion evened up one judges score cards but the other two sided with Endo.

After the final bell rang, Sugie was unable to stand or even move for some time and it looked as though a series of hammer fists from Endo late into the fight may have knocked out the Nagoya based fighter although no one was aware of it during the bout.

Masakatsu Ueda made another strong step forward on the road towards reclaiming his 132-pound World Shooto Title as he ran through an outclassed Ralph Acosta.

Ueda found himself on his back early after a Acosta takedown but an inverted armbar led to a sweep and that early reversal was the beginning of the end for the American Top Team representative. Brabo choke attacks for the rest of the round cranked the neck of Acosta and after the first round, the American looked to be drained and mentally defeated.

The second round saw Ueda score well with boxing, forcing another takedown from Acosta but this time with much less conviction and success. Ueda easily sprawled on the sloppy shoot and another brabo choke brought an end to Acosta's night at 1:13.

Number one ranked Shooto welterweight Kotetsu Boku was slow to start but a strong finish courtesy of his boxing ensured that he got past Yukinari Tamura and will no doubt have a title match in his sights in 2011.

Outclassed on the feet, Tamura opted to bring the Krazy Bee striker to the mat and through the first and second round did a good job of neutralizing Boku. The third round though saw Tamura start to fade as Boku found some space to strike and the bout grew lopsided as the K-1 and DREAM vetereen teed off on Tamura's skull with punches to take a unanimous decision.

In rookie tournament action, Takuya Ogura scored a sickening KO over Satoshi Kogure.

The lanky Kogure was scoring well on the feet initially but a knee from Ogura left him slumped unconscious on the ropes taking unprotected punches. Kogure was out for a worrying amount of time and the image of him sitting upright, drooling while unconscious is certainly a memory the will haunt the rookie fighter.

Shooto - Shootor's Legacy 1 - Jan. 10, 2011 at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Shooto Pacific Rim 154-Pound Championship

Yoshihiro Koyama def. Shinji Sasaki by TKO (Punches) - Round 1, 1:20

Taiki Tsuchiya def. Tony Hervey by TKO (Punches) - Round 1, 4:25
Yusuke Endo def. Daisuke Sugie by Majority Decision
Masakatsu Ueda def. Ralph Acosta by Submission (Brabo Choke) - Round 2, 1:13
Kotetsu Boku def. Yukinari Tamura by Unanimous Decision
Shinichi Hanawa def. Toshimichi Akagi by Unanimous Decision
Koji Matsumoto def. Norio Tokuhisa by Unanimous Decision
Koji Nishioka def. Daisuke Hoshino by Majority Decision

2011 Shooto Rookie Tournament Opening Round Matches
Hiroshi Osato def. Takeshi Saito by Unanimous Decision
Chuji Kato drew Kensuke Nakamura
Takuya Ogura def. Satoshi Kogure by KO (Knee) - Round 1, 2:39
Shinichi Yoshioka def. Hiroshi Nakamura Unanimous Decision

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