Caol Uno used to fight at 155 lbs but after released by the UFC he felt it would be better off at the featherweight therefore he went down to 145 lbs.
Yet he was still 1-2 in this new weight class, although he fought only Japanese fighters, at his homeland.
On the other end Shintaro Ishiwatari is a current King of Pancrase at 135 lbs. Needless to say, this means, Ishiwatari is smaller. Also, in the experience department, Uno is far superior, therefore, on paper, UFC veteran was supposed to have a pretty good shot at getting back into the winning track.
However a 27-year old Ishiwatari looked much faster and stronger than Uno.
In the first round, Ishiwatari picked up and threw Uno twice. In fact, the second throw was, what the Japanese pro-wrestling fans would call "German Suplex" so when Ishiwatari executed this move, 2,000 plus fans at Korakuen Hall went wild.
Both fighters moved well but Ishiwatari was landing way more punches, and also often took a top position on the ground, basically scored more shots in all three rounds.
Uno did use his stamina and wisdom, and in the third round, he was able to take Ishiwatari's back twice, and almost snapped on a rear naked choke, but in overall, on this day, Ishiwatari was a better fighter.
Ishiwatari is now on a six-fight winning streak with King of Pancrase belt and a win over Uno at 145 lbs in his resume, and this means he maybe the closet to making it to the UFC.
The new owner of Pancrase didn't seem to mind letting their champ go to the UFC, therefore, in that sense, the only obstacle maybe settling a score with Motonobu Tezuka.
Ishiwatari fought Tezuka in August 2011 and Ishiwatari won via split decision however many feels this one was a very close affair, therefore, Ishiwatari agreed to do another fight against a 25-year old from team Cobra-kai.
To prepare for this fight, Tezuka has already flown to Chicago area to train at Jeff Curran's Academy, therefore, this fight will happen sometime soon. The source closed to Ishiwatari's team mentioned a possibility of pushing the date back because of the injury Ishiwatari sustained in the Uno fight but either way, Ishiwatari vs Tezuka 2 will happen sometime this year.
In today's Japanese MMA, at the bantamweight division, Takeya Mizugaki is in the UFC, Hiroshi Iron Nakamura is in Bellator, and Masakatsu Ueda in the ONE FC, and if the rumor about Hiromasa Ogikubo going down to 125 lbs is true, then, in terms of fighters that is currently fighting for the Japanese MMA promotions, besides the current DEEP champ Yoshiro Maeda, the battle between Ishiwatari and Tezuka, has to be the fight to determine who is one of the bests at 135 lbs today.
At Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
The Main Event - SHOOTO World Flyweight Championship 5 min / 3R
Mikihito Yamagami (Japan / STF) vs. Junji Sarumaru (Japan / Shooting Gym Yokohama)
Winner: 2R 1'36" Mikihito Yamagami by Submission (rear naked choke)
7th Match - SHOOTO Bout 5 min / 3R *contract weight TBA
Caol Uno (Japan / UCS vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari (Japan / CAVE)
Winner: 3R Shintaro Ishiwatari by Decision (28-29, 27-30, 27-30)
6th Match - SHOOTO Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Kenta Takagi (Japan / PUREBRED Kawaguchi ReDips) vs. Yukinari "Hibiki" Tamura (Japan / Paraestra Osaka)
Winner: 3R Yukinari "Hibiki" Tamura by Decision (30-28, 28-29, 28-29)
5th Match - SHOOTO Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Hiroyuki Abe (Japan / AACC) vs. Shigeki Osawa (Japan / Freelance)
Winner: 1R 4'12" Shigeki Osawa by KO
4th Match - Infinity Tournament 2012 Semi-Final Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 2R
"Rambo" Kosuke (Japan / Paraestra Chiba) vs Masumi Tozawa (Japan / GRABAKA)
Winner: 2R Masumi Tozawa by Decision (19-20, 18-20, 19-20)
3rd Match - SHOOTO Bantamweight Bout 5 min /2R
Masatoshi Abe (Japan / AACC) vs. Takeshi Saito (Japan / K'z FACTORY Atsugi)
Winner: 1R 4'37" Masatoshi Abe by KO
2nd Match - 2012 Rookie Tournament Semi-Final Welterweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Masatsugu Sakaki (Japan / KRAZY BEE) vs Kenta Konishi (Japan / KING GYM)
Winner: 2R Masatsugu Sakaki by Decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)
1st Match - 2012 Rookie Tournament Semi-Final Lightweight Bout 5 min / 2R
Yutaka Saito (Japan / Paraestra Koiwa) vs Yuta & Rock (Japan / Akimoto Dojo Jungle Junction)
Winner: 2R Yuta & Rock by Decision (19-20, 18-20, 18-20)
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of GBR (grbing.com)