Ex-Champ Ueda Meets Young Gun Horiguchi on Jan. 8 Shooto Card
By: Chris Nelson Nov 8, 2011
Leading Shooto promoter
Sustain this week began slating its final fights of 2011 and first
bouts of 2012, including a January showdown between two of the
Japanese organization’s top bantamweights.
Promotion officials Monday announced that former 132-pound world
Ueda will square off against unbeaten prospect Kyoji
Horiguchi on Jan. 8 as part of Shooto “Survivor Tournament
Final” at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The event will be headlined by
the titular tourney finale between Guy Delumeau
Miki, the winner of which will bring home Shooto’s vacant
Pacific Rim 143-pound belt.
Ueda, 33, has won four in a row since dropping his title, most
recently retiring Royler Gracie
in a September bout at 155 pounds. His opponent, 21-year-old
fireball Horiguchi, is perfect through six pro outings and knocked
out three straight opponents in 2011 after becoming a Shooto rookie
champion in 2010.
Meanwhile, Shooto’s latest batch of rookie champs will be crowned
Dec. 18 at Shinjuku Face in Tokyo. “The Rookie Tournament 2011
Final” will feature last year’s 115-pound standout, Masayoshi
Kato, taking on the division’s 2006 winner, Shinya
Murofushi, as well as rookie tournament finals in the 115-,
123-, 132-, 143-, 154-, 168- and 183-pound divisions.
Before 2011 draws to a close, Shooto will stage its first
professional event in Aomori prefecture with “Spirit Aomori.” A
143-pound matchup between “Jackknife”
Tsuneo Kimura and Yo Saito has been
confirmed for the Nov. 27 card at Aomori Prefectural Budokan in
Hirosaki, along with a 132-pound bout pitting Kota Onojima
against Takuya Ogura.