A look back at Shooto Japan at No Limits

n Saturday August 18th the Shooto Japan was hailed simply as “The Arrival “by Promoter Jason Manley, and from the looks of it the fighters arrived at the No Limits MMA Center with an intent to let their fists bring the fury.On Saturday August 18th the Shooto Japan was hailed simply as “The Arrival “by Promoter Jason Manley, and from the looks of it the fighters arrived at the No Limits MMA Center with an intent to let their fists bring the fury. The night was filled with action packed bouts that featured everything you would want from an MMA fight. Vicious stand up exchanges that included superman punches, leg kicks and Muay Thai Clinches. The fighters were fearless in their ground game demonstrating great takedowns, followed up by offensive and defensive ground positioning. Once on the mat we saw brutal ground and pound along with great submissions. When you put this all together you get what a fight fan wants in any MMA event “Excitement”.

For the first bout of the night we saw light heavyweight contender Steve Grode (0-1-0) Look for his first win over Carlos Fuentes (1-1-0) in this ground war. For three round we saw a few striking exchanges but the stronger Grove was able to secure the Takedown almost every time a clinch occurred. On the floor we saw Grode keep top position and land some ground and pound that had Fuentes scrambling to regain either guard or half guard. Besides the few leg kicks landed by Fuentes early and the failed Kimura attempt, he was never able to get anything going. The strength of Grode grinded out a unanimous decision (30-27) victory.

The second bout of the night featured a pair of Lightweight fighters, Martin Bautista (4-3-0) vs. Albert Hill (3-15-0). The fight started with both throwing hard punches and kicks but as the fight wore on Bautista started to get the better of the exchanges and looked for a takedown that landed him in side control. Once on the ground Bautista locked Hill up in a Crucifix position Ala Matt Hughes and started to land punches causing Hill to scramble to regain guard. Hill at this point was never able to mount any kind of offense; Bautista finished the fight in back mount reigning punches down to the head that caused the Ref to stop it at 2:56 of the first round.

The third bout saw Raja Shippen (1-0-1) out of Jokers Wild Gym Take on the Fight Science gym fighter Leo Hirai who was making his pro Debut. Off the bat Shippen came with an aggressive striking style, throwing high kicks, superman punches and landing knees that had Hirai looking to take the action to the ground. He found himself having to pull guard to get the fight to the there and for the remainder of the round this is where most of the fight was fought. Shippen grounded and pounded attempting to get a dominate position and Hirai looking for a submission. In the middle of the second round Hirai got his change securing a heel hook that caused Shippen to tap at 1:32.

The forth fight saw fighter Travis McRoberts(2-2-0) from the HB training center take on Richi Collingham(1-3-0) out of the Universal Grappling academy. This 150bls match showcased both fighters clinch game while both were landing knees and looking for the takedown it was Collingham that took a step back and landed a lethal right hand that floored McRoberts. Collingham attempted to capitalize on his dazed opponent by rushing in and started to rein punches down while McRoberts tried to get to guard. As the action slowed McRoberts was able to recover he was able to scramble to his feet but only for a brief moment as Collingham scored another takedown. Collingham showed his strength as he picked up McRoberts and slammed him down twice to avoid the armbar. After letting go and probably still rocked McRoberts turtled up and Collingham secured the back mount position and finishes McRoberts with a Rear Naked choke to end the fight at 2:05 of the first round.

In the fifth fight of the night we saw Rick McKorkal from team Millennia take on HB training centers fighter Kelvin Nimsiriuengphal. Kelvin came in looking to push the pace with his strikes which made Rick look for the Takedown early and after a failed guillotine from the guard, Kelvin was looking to get back to his feet to avoid Rick’s ground and pound. After a quick scramble for the remainder of the round you saw both fighters looking to capitalize. In round two Kelvin came out and landed a hard right hand that forced Rick to shoot again and once again Kelvin looked for the choke. After Rick popped his head out of it he capitalized on a tired Kelvin eventually taking is his back and forcing the Ref to stop the fight due to punches at 2:17 of round two.

The sixth fight of the night brought us Brett Cooper out of Tracey Hes’s sub fighter team taking on Vince Guzman from Team Millennia. As the fight started you saw a quick exchange of strikes that caused Guzman to slip and fall. Looking to take advantage of the situation Cooper jumps on him and ended up in Guzman’s guard and after taking a few shots from Cooper, Guzman attempted to move and looked for a leg lock. Cooper defended it by rolling out of it at that point both fighters ended up on their Knees, waiting for the other to make a move. Cooper saw his chance and took the time to position his arms and rolls for an Anaconda Choke and finishes it at 1:58 of round one.

In the seventh fight CCC LW Champion Joe “plenty of skills” Camacho (8-11-2) took on Japanese fighter Akiyo “Wicky Akiyo” Nishiura (6-2-0) in what could have been considered a controversial decision. In this three round war the fans saw some unorthodox stand up and baiting by Wickey, from Camacho they saw Slick ground skills cobbled with some illegal tactics. From the get go Camacho was able to control most of the fight, being able to take the fight to the ground at will and working his Jujitsu skills. Wickey’s striking skill though unorthodox was entertaining, baiting Camacho by sticking his chin out and keeping his hands by his sides all the while looking for a KO with his wild punches. Wickey showed his experience in avoiding his opponents submission attempts over and over, but was dominated by Camacho who clearly had the better ground game. Camacho’s illegal tactics throughout the fight may have cost him the win, in the 2nd we saw the ref take a point away from him due to an up-kick that landed on Wickeys jaw. The judges saw fit to call the fight a Majority draw. A frustrated Camacho after the fight grabbed the Mic and promised in his next fight to finish his opponent.

The eighth fight of the night we saw a classic strength vs. technique match up. The strong wrestler named Brian Cobb (9-3-0) took on a Japanese submission fighter Kenichiro Togashi (7-4-4) in a lightweight match up. Early in the fight we saw Togashi take control of the stand up landing a few one two combinations but his success was short lived due to Cobb’s takedown ability and ground control. Togashi once on his back threw everything but the kitchen sink at Cobb, using the open and rubber guard to set up submission attempted that were foiled by Cobb every time. Once Cobb was able to flatten Togashi out he used forearms, punches and slams to ware out the Japanese fighter. Late in the fight we saw Cobb take advantage of an obviously tired Togashi. Cobb took him down again and establishing a dominate top position and reigned down strikes that made the Ref herb Dean call the fight at 2:20 of round number 3.

In the Main event we saw Team Oyama’s Bao Quach (9-8-1) take on Tenkei Fujimiya ( 7-1-2) fighting out of the shooting gym in Yokohama Japan. This was strikers duel and easily the fight of the night, both men came here for one thing and one thing only to KO their opponent. Aside from a few clinches and scrambles on the ground, this fight was mostly a kickboxing match. Both men threw heavy leather and landed kicks. Quach seemed to have the crisper punches, landing right hands at will throughout the match. Fujimiya showed us a grit iron chin in taking most of Quach punches and firing a lot back. Even though he played the counter puncher sometimes when he did fire back he landed vicious body blows that had Quach backing off. At the end of round three Fujimiya seemed to have Quach hurt with his body blows but due to the clock running out he was not able to capitalize on his obviously hurt opponent. This fight could have gone either way but the judges saw fit to award Quach with the spit decision. With the intensity and dedication that both fighters showed it is possible we could see a rematch in the future.

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Marlene Castaneda