Fighters from rival Japanese promotions Pancrase and Shooto stand together in the ring at "Vale Tudo Japan '09" for the announcement of the first inter-promotional clashes on November 23rd. Photo by GBRing.
During intermission at Friday's "Vale Tudo Japan '09," Shooto promoter Sustain revealed plans for what could be a seismic event in Japanese MMA. On November 23rd, "Revolutionary Exchanges 3" will host a planned five "Shooto vs. Pancrase" bouts, marking the end of a seven-year cold war which began with the International Shooto Commission's 2002 revocation of Pancrasists' Shooto licenses. ISC president and Sustain boss Kazuhiro Sakamoto told Sportsnavi that the card has been in the works since spring of this year; indeed, rumors began to surface months ago when it was discovered that "Exchanges 3" will be held at Shooto's "big show" venue, JCB Hall.
The first pair of interpromotional fights to be announced will see Shootors Kotetsu Boku and Shiko Yamashita squaring off with Pancrase veterans Koji Oishi and Takuya Wada in respective 154- and 167-pound bouts. Current welterweight King of Pancrase Wada began his MMA career in Shooto, but defected in 2002 and has largely competed in Pancrase since. UFC veteran Oishi has never entered the Shooto ring.
At "VTJ '09," flyweight King of Pancrase Mitsuhisa Sunabe entered the ring and declared his intention to participate in the November event. Sakamoto has also expressed a desire to see former Sengoku lightweight champion and long-time Pancrasist Satoru Kitaoka fight for Shooto, but with a November 7th bout against Jorge Masvial looming and his New Year's Eve particpation already announced, Kitaoka's dance card could be full.
Previously announced for the November date: a highly anticipated rematch between top-ranked 114-pounders Noboru "Shinpei" Tahara and Rambaa "M-16" Somdet. The winner will be crowned Shooto's first flyweight champion - essentially, the first meaningful 114-pound titlist in mixed martial arts.
Shooto: Revolutionary Exchanges 3
November 23, 2009
JCB Hall - Tokyo, Japan
Shooto Flyweight (114 lbs.) Championship Bout - 3R x 5 min.
Middleweight (167 lbs.) Bout - 3R x 5 min.
Welterweight (154 lbs.) Bout - 3R x 5 min.
Bantamweight (123 lbs.) Class A Bout - 3R x 5 min.
Featherweight (132 lbs.) Class A Bout - 3R x 5 min.
Welterweight (154 lbs.) Class A Bout - 3R x 5 min.
Welterweight (154 lbs.) Class B Bout - 2R x 5 min.
8-1-2 / Mach 1 Fight Club