Last week, at the Gracie Barra academy in Tokyo, a formerShooto Pacific Rim middleweight (170 lbs) champion Yoichiro Sato held a mediawork out. Kinda rear to see media work out for the regular Shooto show?
Well, this is not for the Shooto show.
Sato is going to face Sojiro Orui on April 1st in the Pancrase. Yes, for aformer Shooto champion this is going to be his first appearance in this 19-yearold MMA promotion. Many moons ago, Pancrase and Shooto used to hate eachothers. Shooto actually went far as accusing Pancrase of doing worked bouts. Ofcourse, this was back in the 90's and apparently time has changed.
We are starting to see more Shooto fighters in the other shows because afterall, Shooto is not a promotion. There is no company called Shooto. There is oneperson who claims to be "the commissioner" and this individual is notofficially certified by everyone and also, really not functioning as "thecommission" so practically federation really doesn't exist. Shooto is aphilosophy, its a sport.
That is the stage "Shooto" is in right now.
And that is the reason why we are seeing guys like Sato, a former "Shootofighter" fighting in the different promotion.
After two-minute of sparring Sato talked to the reporters, "I never eventhought of getting an offer (from Pancrase) so I haven't really see Pancrasefights closely and I never really looked into any specific fighter inPancrase." However Sato obviously studied his opponent because he talkedabout Orui, "He is well-balanced, and got a good grappling skilltoo".
Orui currently sits at the fourth spot in the Pancrase's welterweight rankingso winning this fight, for Sato, could mean getting into the mix for the titleshot. However a veteran from Gracie Barra carefully stated, "If the timingis right, I will fight again. (in Pancrase) I have to produce good result inthis fight first. Until then I really can't say anything."
From these comments we can presume, Pancrase called Sato, and he took the offerbut its strictly a one-fight contract with no strings attached. Therefore, thisdoesn't mean Sato would continue fighting for the Pancrase but if he wins thisfight, there is a big possibility he may come back and fight for the Pancraseagain.
PANCRASE 2012 PROGRESS TOUR
Sunday, April 1st, 2012
At Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan
Doors Open - 14:45 / Fight Starts - 16:00
*"Gate Fight" Starts - 15:15
Confirmed Cards (Subject to change):
Lightweight King of Pancraes Title Match 5 min / 3R
Koji Oishi (Japan /Pancrase-ism) vs. ISAO (Japan/ Sakaguchi Dojo)
9th Match - Welterweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Sojiro Orui (Japan / SKAbsolute) vs. Yojiro Sato (Japan/ Gracie Barra Tokyo)
8th Match - Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Shigeo "Pit" Uchiyama (Japan/ GRABAKA) vs. Masato Sannai (Japan/ GUTSMAN Shooto Dojo)
7th Match - Lightweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Takefumi Ito (Japan /Pancrase-ism) vs. URAKEN (Japan/ Team ura-ken)
6th Match - Lightweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Kazuki Tokudome (Japan/ Paraestra Hachiouji) vs. JungHyun Jo (Korea / EXTREME COMBAT TEAM)
5th Match - Flyweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Tiger Ishii (Japan /Paraestra Kichijouji) vs. TakuyaEizumi (Japan / Bumon-kai)
4th Match - Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Kyoko Kimura (Japan /Sakaguchi Dojo) vs. Sung-Eun Kim (Korea/ INTERNATIONAL TEAM)
3rd Match - Lightweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Kota Okazawa (Japan /Nova Uniao Japan) vs. Junichi Ota (Japan/ GOKITA GYM)
2nd Match - Athena Rules Minium-weight Bout 5 min / 2R
Happy Fukuko (Japan / MMADojo Cobra-kai) vs. Naoko Omuro (Japan/ Wajyutsu Keishu-kai Tokyo Headquarters)
1st Match - Flyweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Yoshihiro Matsunaga (Japan/ Zendo-kai Shinjuku Dojo) vs. MasakazuUtsuki (Japan / Paraestra Koga)
VIP - 12,000 yen / SS - 10,000 yen / A - 8,000 yen / B - 6,000 yen
*500 yen more at the door.
Reportby Shu Hirata