Shooto Shooting Disco 4 ~ Born in the * Fighting 2/23/08 Tokyo Shinjuku FACE
-2hr. Q=TV Master

2008 Featherweight Rookie of the Year Decision Tournament 1st Round: Masumi Tozawa vs. Haruo Ochi R1 3:11. Ochi quickly dropped his opponent with a left hook, though the knockdown was at least partially due to Tozawa being off balance from trying so hard to retreat in time to avoid Ochi’s charging combo. As a whole, Tozawa was the better striker with a good kick and knee game, but he didn’t get to use it often as Ochi’s wrestling was too good. Tozawa appeared to be straight out of the UWF, with the bad pro-wrestling habit of trying to control his opponent with a side headlock rather than through clinching, which got him taken down once when they were against the ropes. Ochi had room later, so he figured he might as well throw his opponent if he’s going to expose his hips. Tozawa fought this backdrop, but couldn’t adjust his hips to roll Ochi and wound up being hoisted up and planted for the spectacular KO.

2008 Light Heavyweight Rookie of the Year Decision Tournament 1st Round: Naoji Mikoshiba vs. Taijiro Iseki 2R. Pretty good matchup with Mikoshiba being the superior wrestler, but after losing the first round Iseki stepped it up, going all out to get the takedown. Iseki would get stuck in the clinch once he backed Mikoshiba into the ropes, but if the bout was a bit stalled, it was intense even in its inactivity. Mikoshiba eventually got the takedown in the second, stealing a close round to earn the majority decision. Above average match.

2008 Featherweight Rookie of the Year Decision Tournament 1st Round: Yuki vs. Nakashi 2R (R1 skipped). A dull tentative fight. Nakashi was clearly losing due to Yuki’s right hook knockdown early in round 2, but he still lacked any sense of urgency. Finally, after a restart, Nakashi tried to turn it on, but by this point there were only a few seconds remaining. Yuki coasted to a 20-17 decision on all 3 cards. Below average match.

2008 Light Heavyweight Rookie of the Year Decision Tournament 1st Round: Daiki Tsuchiya vs. Hidenori Nishino R2 2:54. One advantage MMA has over pro-wrestling is greenhorns are capable of having as good a match as anyone else. Tsuchiya & Nishino’s combined experience is one match, but I haven’t seen an MMA match from 2008 that I enjoyed more. Great all out fast-paced action from bell to bell. Tsuchiya has a go for broke style, taking all kinds of chances such as diving onto his downed opponent with a punch in the process of keeping the pressure on and trying to finish the fight. He pulled off a belly to back suplex and a cartwheel guard pass, while Nishino had a neat omoplata reversal. There was a great sequence where Nishino spun the waistlock trying to get the takedown, but Tsuchiya kept his balance and used the momentum to swing for his own takedown, only to have Nishino plant and drop down into the mount. It didn’t matter though, as Tsuchiya reversed with the buck and roll before Nishino could take advantage. Both were good in standup with Nishino possessing more power, but Tsuchiya being explosive and lightning fast in all areas, flying around with superman punches. Tsuchiya knocked Nishino down with a straight combo then in the ensuing exchange took him out with a right straight/left cross combo. Excellent match.

Shinpei Tahara vs. Tiger Ishii 2R. Tahara controlled the first round with an early leg trip takedown, but Ishii always made it interesting, starting by bucking him off. Ishii drove forward to try to take control before Tahara could get back to his feet, but Tahara rolled through and regained the top. Ishii was active on the bottom, nearly reversing and coming close to a triangle, shifting to the omoplata though Tahara retained enough leverage to throw reverse punches. Ishii got his striking going at the start of round 2, landing a high kick and flurrying with straight punches, but Tahara took him down. Again Ishii was active, but in a way this actually worked against him as he did such a good job of moving the action never stalled enough to prompt a restart. Ishii came close when he pushed Tahara off after he mounted, but Tahara took side mount before Ishii could get off his back. Ishii nearly had a push and roll, but the danger is you expose your arm, and the bout ended with Ishii trapped in a cross armbar, potentially moments away from tapping. Ishii had his moments and did a lot more to make the bout interesting than his victorious opponent. Good match.

Masatoshi Kobayashi vs. Tomonori Taniguchi R1 3:01. Aggressive, fence swinging standup bout. Kobayashi knocked Taniguchi off his feet with a right hook, but slipped on his high kick followup, allowing Taniguchi to gain control and recover. Soon after Kobayashi got free, he put Taniguchi down with a left straight. The replays revealed the two overhand rights Kobayashi landed in the lead up were actually more devastating than the knockdown blow, as they were direct hits to the eye, which quickly swelled shut, causing the stoppage. Pretty good albeit one-sided match.

Kazuhiro Ito vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari R1 2:17. Ito wanted no part of exchanging, so he’d disengage whenever Ishiwatari tried to attack, float in with his own combo later. He tried for a Kimura takedown, but Ishiwatari rolled him to the mat when Ito’s trip failed. Ito still had the arm, so he tried to transition into the cross armbar. However, Ishiwatari maintained his squatting base, eventually standing up and delivering a wicked face first slam that jarred Ito’s neck back at least to the brink of its flexibility for the KO win.

Ryuichi Miki vs. Kenji Hosoya 2R. Hosoya consistently outwrestled Miki, but was unable to mount any sort of offensive as Miki would squirm back to his feet. Near the end of R1, Miki landed some good ground punches after escaping then rear mounted, but the round ended as he was ready to extend the arm. Miki was again outwrestled in the second, though he did score a takedown late. A close fight with Miki getting the end for his late first round success. Average match.

Hiroki vs. Akihiro Murayama 2R. Murayama was very deliberate, all about getting the takedown and applying the submission, but Hiroki defended well with some nice escapes. Murayama worked the clinch game, but it would take him quite a while to get Hiroki down from this position. After a three minute struggle, Murayama dropped into rear mount, but Hiroki was able to avoid the choke through wrist control. Round 2 saw a lengthy exchange of takedowns and standouts. Murayama finally took advantage of the mount with a cross armbar with a minute left, bringing the fight to a bizarre close where Hiroki made no attempt to escape but Murayama couldn’t get enough leverage to force him to tap, so Hiroki just rode it out only to then lose via unanimous decision. The bout was completely one-sided – one judge scored it 20-16 – and there wasn’t even much offense, but Hiroki kept it interesting with his momentary escapes. Average match.

Mamoru vs. Yuki Shoujou 3R. Uneventful, repetitive contest that was all standup, but contained few exchanges in the first two rounds as one fighter would always tie the other up and drive them into the ropes where the bout would stall until their opponent slipped out or they simply gave up. They opened up in round 3 as so little had happened it was anyone’s guess who the rounds were going to, with Mamoru getting his counter punching game going, landing some good left hooks. I wouldn’t have wanted to score this, but as it turns out it wasn’t even close, with 2 of the 3 judges giving every round to Mamoru. Below average match.