1/18 Shooto Tradition 5 - Warm-Up

Saturday, 17 January 2009

After Shooto announced the fight between Boku and Endo, I have been looking forward to this event. Even if its not a title fight, there is little doubt that the fight is a worthy main event. But this event has more than a very good main event.

Jess Taitano (and I am happy to see that Sherdog has updated the profile for the occation!) is a very good fighter, on his last visit to Japan he faced Urushitani. This time he is facing THE top Shooto fighter at the weight, Shinichi "BJ" Kojima (maybe he should change nickname to "Velcro"?).

Well, determined to actually finish this post I wont preview all the fights (I start one of these a couple times a month, but think I am yet to actually finish one...) I will jump straight into it.

Fight #8: The main-event: Yusuke Endo 12-2-1 vs. 13-5-1 Kotetsu Boku

These are two fighters that very rarely lose.

-Kotetsu Boku- has lost 2 on the trot though, and I will call him the "challenger" here. In a very competitive Cage Force Tournament in 2007 Boku reached the final by defeating Eiji Mitsuoka in the semi-final. The final was a very close decision loss to Artur Oumakhanov (who defeated Tomonari Kanomata, there was some controversy around that one though).

Before his loss in the Cage Force final, you have to look back to 2003 (10 fights) to find another loss.

Boku's last fight was against Joachim Hansen in the DREAM lightweight tournament, and to be honest, I think a lot of sites didn't show Boku the proper respect in front of that fight. It was an awesome performance by Hansen, yet he was unable to put away Boku. Hansen is a world class fighter, and he knew not to underestimate Boku.

Kotetsu Boku's career highlight is winning the welterweight Shooto Pacific rim tournament in 2004/2005. In the final he defeated Ryan Bow and claimed the Shooto Pacific title, a title he never lost in the ring.

Notable wins: Eiji Mitsuoka, Hermes Franca, Ryan Bow, Alexandre Franca Nogueira
Losses: Joachim Hansen, Artur Oumakhanov, Kenichiro Togashi, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Takaharu Murahama.

Kotetsu Boku highlight by Bestrafer7

-Yusuke Endo- is the current holder of the title Boku never lost. Endo claimed the title by defeating Kenichiro Togashi last year. At the time, the title had been vacated by Takashi Nakakura who upgraded to the world Shooto title. Endo lost to Nakakura in November 2007, in a fight that was the same title Endo was to claim just 8 months later.

When Boku was competing in the welterweight Pacific tournement (2004), Endo was just starting his career. He won the Shooto rookie tournament that year, defeating Heima Hashimoto, Kenichi Hattori and Seiki Uchimura in the process.

Notable wins: Clay Guida, Ganjo Tentsuku, Kenichiro Togashi
Losses: Ganjo Tentsuku, Takashi Nakakura

Fight # 7: Shinichi "BJ" Kojima 9-3-4 vs. 4-2-1 Jess Taitano
Just for the record, this fight is Class B rules (2x5min.). This is obviously because this is Jess Taitano's Shooto debut.

-Jess Taitano-
I dont know why, but I believe there will be an upset in this fight (gut feeling), I saw Jess Taitano agaist Yasuhiro Urushitani on his last visit to Japan, and know that this guy should not be underestimated. Taitano is from Japan, and that is also where he has done most of his fighting. But a win against "BJ" here, would certainly open doors.

Taitano has 2 career losses, the first came in his debut (according to Sherdog, I have a feeling he has had more fight than what is recorded) against Takeyasu Hirono, a loss he later revenged. His other loss was in his last fight against Shooto veteran Hiroyuki Tanaka.

Taitano has never been finished, and I dont think "BJ" will put him away either (unless he has grown a fro since I last saw him). All the kidding aside, Taitano would like this fight standing and his takedown defence will be key.

Notable wins: Takeyasu Hirono
Notable Draw: Yasuhiro Urushitani
Losses: Hiroyuki Tanaka, Takeyasu Hirono

Just for fun, here is a review I wrote after his previous fight in Japan (more than a year ago). It is just interesting looking back at that card as a whole, the quality was just unbelievable.
Cage Force 5 Results

Jess Taitano promotion video (a bit old, but all I could find)

-Shinichi "BJ" Kojima-
Kojima is the undisputed champion at 56kg, and he has only lost once at that weight. That loss was to Junichi Sase, a name to take note of for the next time you want to start a "Why did he stop fighting" type thread.

If "BJ" is unbeatable at 56kg, he cant by a win at 60kg, he lost 2 fights trying to make that transition, a project that now seems to be put on ice.

"BJ" was not able to claim the Bantamweight title on his first try, at that time Mamoru "The Fro" was the champion, but the fight ended in a draw. Just 6 months (on October 14. '06) later "BJ" got another shot, this time he needed just 1 minute and 38 seconds to put away the champion. Mamoru had the title for almost 3 years, and the rivalry is still healthy.

"BJ"s last fight was a title defence against Mamoru, it looked to be going to a decision and maybe a Mamoru win when the he got caught in a guillotine choke. "BJ" has beaten them all in the bantamweight division, and there is one similarity.

Both these fighters have fought and drawn against Urushitani.

This is not a title fight, "BJ" is facing a fighter that is unranked. I have a feeling "BJ" might not be as prepared as he was in his last fight. I guess for "BJ", the question is really who is the next challenger? Currently, it would be Yuki Shoujou, but I think Taitano has a chance to change that here.

Notable wins: Mamoru Yamaguchi, Setsu Iguchi, Yasuhiro Akagi
Losses: Junichi Sase, Eduardo Dantas (at Featherweight) and So Tazawa (at Featherweight)

"BJ" Kojima vs. Yusei Shimokawa

LIVE results tomorrow!


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