Three Shooto Title Fights Announced For May 30thLeading Shooto promoter Sustain has confirmed a trio of title fights for its upcoming Shooto: “The Way of Shooto 3” event on May 30th. The card will be headlined by a Shooto Lightweight (143-Pound) Championship bout between “Lion” Takeshi Inoue and Sengoku standout Hatsu Hioki.

Also on the impressive card, Yasuhiro Urushitani and Ryuichi Miki will clash for the third time for the vacant Shooto Bantamweight (123-Pound) Championship, while Willamy “Chiquerim” Freire defends the Shooto Welterweight (154-Pound) Championship in a rematch with Yusuke Endo.

Inoue (18-3-0) has been a Shooto mainstay since his MMA debut in 2003. He is the current Shooto World Lightweight Champion as well as the Shooto Pacific Rim Lightweight Champion and holds notable wins over Akitoshi “Ironman” Tamura, Antonio “Pato” Carvalho and current UFC star Cole “Magrinho” Miller. Recently, he dispatched of Shooto legends Rumina “Moon Wolf” Sato and Antonio Franca “Pequeno” Nogueira in back-to-back 2009 bouts. He will put his title on the line against submission specialist Hioki, but may enter the bout as an underdog.

Hioki (20-4-2) has also spent much of his career in Shooto, but captured the TKO Featherweight Championship from Mark “The Machine” Hominick in 2006. He later defeated former WEC standout Jeff “The Big Frog” Curran in PRIDE and successfully defended his TKO title on two occasions. Hioki was the favourite to win the 2009 Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix until an injury forced him out of the final. He was later defeated by Michihiro Omigawa in a highly questionable decision at Sengoku: “Eleventh Battle.” Like Inoue, Hioki has never been stopped in his career.


Urushitani (16-4-6) has faced the best of the best in Shooto during his nine-year career. He split bouts with perennial top contender and current KOTC Junior Flyweight Champion Mamoru Yamaguchi and later battled former Shooto champ Shinichi “BJ” Kojima to a Draw on two occasions. He first faced Miki at Shooto: “Tradition 1” in May of 2008 in a bout that was controversially ruled a Draw. Most observers felt that Urushitani had won the fight, but he got his revenge in a rematch last September. He will face Miki for the third time, but this time with a title on the line.

Miki (10-3-3) began his career with a 1-2-1 record against high-level competition, but reigned undefeated through ten fights from 2006 to 2009. Much like Urushitani, Miki is known as a decision king and has gone the distance in all but two of his fights. After losing to Urushitani in the pair’s rematch last year, Miki rebounded with an impressive victory over Masaaki Sugawara at Shooto: “Revolutionary Exchanges 3” on November 23rd. With the win over Sugawara, Miki avenged his first career defeat. He will look to do the same against Miki.


Freire (15-2-0) is one of the top fighters in Shooto today. The Brazilian has not lost in well over two years and has finished 11 of his opponents to date. A mainstay of Shooto Brazil events, Freire has won ten straight fights and already holds a victory over upcoming challenger Endo. Freire defeated Endo by submission due to a guillotine choke at the very end of the first round when they first met at Shooto: “Tradition Final” last May. He has won three more times since then and will look to hand Endo another defeat when he puts his title on the line.

Endo (13-3-2) has split time between Shooto and Greatest Common Multiple and picked up a big victory over former Strikeforce champ and current UFC competitor Clay “The Carpenter” Guida in 2006. Though just 3-2-1 in his last six fights, Endo has battled elite competition during that time. He fought Koutetsu Boku to a Draw in January 2009 and submitted Boku in a September rematch for the Shooto Pacific Rim Welterweight Championship. The victory set up the second meeting with Freire and a win would give Endo his first Shooto World title.


Shooto: “The Way of Shooto 3” takes place on May 30th at JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Shooto legend Rumina “Moon Wolf” Sato is also expected to compete on the card against a soon-to-be-named opponent.


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