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Japan Gets Embarrassed By Shoot Boxing's S-Cup

There’s a belief in the fight community that when you go to Japan that you need to be prepared for anything. You could say that for any fighter going into another country where they are to fight local fighters they have their backs against the wall and fear the “hometown decision,” but in Japan it always seems amplified. A part of that is the marriage of professional wrestling and professional fighting that has existed for a very long time in the world of “kakutougi.”

In fact, if you were to look at Shoot Boxing’s S-Cup event there was a professional wrestling bout on the card featuring New Japan Pro Wrestling Junior Heavyweight sensation Kota Ibushi against former DDT Pro Wrestling colleague Michael Nakazawa. It was originally labeled as an “exhibition match” under Shoot Boxing rules and was scheduled to be against Kazushi Sakuraba, but that fell through thanks to Metamoris 5. 

That should set the tone for you.

This S-Cup was one of the few that I’ve seen more than the usual fans excited over, which was in part due to the card that they put together. Mosab Amrani, Pornasae, Hiroaki Suzuki, Michiko Omigawa, Hiroki Shishido and American Muay Thai fighter Kevin Ross were all a part of the tournament, while legend Andy Souwer and Shoot Boxing hero RENA were in Super Fights. 

It felt like one of the bigger shows that Shoot Boxing had put on in a very, very long time and then Shoot Boxing went and put on a shameful display for all of the world to see. 

The draw for American fans was muay thai standout Kevin Ross being in the tournament. Ross went into the tournament against his toughest test by the way of former Sengoku, DREAM and UFC alumnus Michihiro Omigawa. Omigawa was a champion Judoka who rose to prominence in the Japanese MMA scene and after his UFC stint gave a shot at Shoot Boxing. Much like Toby Imada in the past, his grappling skills were able to help him against seasoned kickboxers and 2014 was his second attempt at Shoot Boxing gold.

By all accounts Omigawa was winning the first round handily thanks to his throws, which score heavily under Shoot Boxing rules, but there was a clash of heads that led to a nasty cut on Omigawa's face. In the second round the cut was a major factor, leading the ref to stopping the bout. The referee awarded the fight in favor of Ross due to the stoppage, while backstage there was a different story and Shoot Boxing organizers informed Ross that the fight was being rendered a No Contest and that he would not continue on in the tournament. 

The rules are a bit unclear at a time like this, where it isn’t clear who was at fault, or if it was accidental. What the referee most likely saw and ruled was that the cut was due to Omigawa’s own “negligence” (section 10) and ruled it in favor of Ross. Shoot Boxing might have been arguing that it was due to both men, which would make things a lot muddier. The truth of the matter is, the referee awarded Ross the win in the ring and any time the decision is reversed backstage it will be a tough sell to anyone that it was on the up-and-up.

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, then there is the story of Zakaria Zouggari. Don’t know who Zakaria Zouggari is? Neither did we, but we sure as hell know now. Rob Emerson of MMA fame (fame?!) was scheduled to take part, but at the last minute was unable to secure a visa, which left Shoot Boxing in a bind and called up relative unknown Zakaria Zouggari to fill in for Emerson in a reserve bout. 

Zouggari defeated Shoot Boxing’s resident punching bag Bovy Sor. Udomson via cut stoppage in round two and, thanks to the Kevin Ross/Omigawa shenanigans, was called upon to fight in the tournament moving forward. 

That led to a fight with internationally-renowned Houcine Bennoui and for this amazing display.

Seriously. God damn.

So this unknown would move onto the finals. According to Andy Souwer after the event Zouggari literally got off of the plane, dropped his bag off in his hotel room then hopped on a bus and headed to the event without time to rest, eat or get acclimated. This was the man who went on to the finals against 2013 65kg S-Cup Champion Hiroaki Suzuki. This is where things went from bad to worse. Zouggari clearly had the fight won after three rounds, only for an extension round to be ordered. When that was too close a SECOND extension round happened where Suzuki was finally able to score a TKO over Zouggari and it looked like Shoot Boxing’s hand-picked champion had won again.

It was almost like they weren't trying to hide the favoritism and that they really, really wanted Suzuki vs. Omigawa in a rematch of last year's finals. 

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S-cup 2014 Results

There is still time to order the S-cup if you havn't already, the step by step instructions here will help you out. Otherwise we will post Results for you here as soon as they happen.

Results

65 kgs Tournament

Final - Hiroaki Suzuki vs Zakaria Zouggari  - Hiroaki Suzuki Wins by TKO 2nd EXT Rd (Zakaria had this fight won at 3 rounds, this was bad.. AGAIN)

Semi Final 2 - Houcine Bennoui vs  Zakaria Zouggari - Zakaria Zouggari Wins by KO Rd 2 (Right hand)

Semi Final 1 - Hiroaki Suzuki vs Mosab Amrani - Hiroaki Suzuki Wins by Decision (Mosab should have won this fight clearly)

Hiroki Shishido vs Houcine Bennoui - Houcine Bennoui Wins by Decision 

Michihiro Omigawa vs Kevin Ross - Kevin Ross Wins by TKO Rd 2 (cut stoppage due to clash of heads) (later ruled a no contest reserve winner advanced instead)

Mosab Amrani vs Nishiura Wicky Satoshi-sei - Mosab Amrani Wins by Decision

Hiroaki Suzuki vs Pornsanae Sitmonchai - Hiroaki Suzuki Wins by KO Rd 3 (right hook)

Superfights

Andy Souwer vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka - Andy Souwer Wins by TKO Rd 3 (corner threw in the towel)

RENA vs Isis Babikku - RENA Wins by Decision

Fushimi Kazuyuki vs Naito Taiki - Naito Taiki Wins by KO (flying knee to the chin)

Sakamoto Yuki vs Uchimura Yojiro - Sakamoto Yuki Wins by Decision

Kaito vs Ishihara Yasha Bow - Kaito Wins Decision Ext Rd

Tournament Reserve - Bovy Sor Udomson vs Zakaria Zouggari - Zakaria Zouggari Wins by TKO Rd 2 (cut stoppage)

 

 

 

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Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke Wants to Become First Lumpinee Champion to Win an MMA Title

Rambaa Somdet saw his UFC dreams dashed recently when an 11 fight win streak which had lasted 14 years was snapped by a split decision defeat but there is another Thai waiting in the wings to take his role as the country’s blue chip MMA prospect.

Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke is already 3-0 and will be looking for a fourth straight win when he takes on Wushu world champion Rene Catalan at ONE FC: Warrior’s Way in Manila next month.

Somdet’s most significant achievement during his Muay Thai career was winning a Channel 7 title but Dejdamrong reached the very pinnacle of the sport by becoming a champion at Lumpinee Stadium.

His Muay Thai days might be over but Dejdamrong is enjoying a new lease of life as an MMA fighter and says his interest in fighting has been rejuvenated,

“At Lookbanyai Gym which was my Muay Thai team the training was very heavy and it was the same every day but MMA is different because there is so much to learn. It’s exciting.”

During his Muay Thai days Dejdamrong competed mainly at 108 lbs, winning the Lumpinee title in this division but he has been making waves in ONE FC’s highly competitive 125 lbs division.

While Dejdamrong has been holding his own so far with three straight stoppage wins he believes he would be better suited to fighting at 115 lbs,

“It’s very easy for me to fight at 125 because I don’t have to lose any weight and I can eat what I want but the fighters are always taller than me. If ONE FC decides to start a 115 division I think I would drop down, in MMA the weigh in is one day earlier than Muay Thai so losing 10 lbs would not be a big problem.”

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Dejdamrong’s recent ascent up the ONE FC flyweight rankings is how many of his wins have come by submission. His last two opponents have both tapped out and he feels he is becoming increasingly comfortable on the ground,

“I started training with the team at Evolve MMA for fun but I enjoyed it and when they asked me if I wanted to try fighting I said ‘yes’. I work every day with Brodinho (Leandro Issa) from Brazil and he is very good at BJJ, he teaches me something different every day.”

Dejdamrong’s success in MMA has brought him some recognition in his native Thailand, where ONE FC is screened live on Fox Sports, and he says the media is beginning to show an interest in the sport,

“There have been some articles about me in some Muay Thai magazines in Thailand, people know that ONE FC is a very important MMA event and they are happy to see a Thai fighter is having success.”

ONE FC: Warrior’s Way is set for the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on December 5th and sees Dejdamrong face an opponent who has won numerous world titles in Wushu in what promises to be an intriguing clash of styles.

The Thai might have complete confidence in his Muay Thai but says he will be prepared for whatever his opponent brings to the table,

“Even if he is very good at the Chinese style of fighting it will be difficult for him to beat me in a Muay Thai match but this is MMA and there are many more ways to win. My coaches at Evolve MMA are preparing me for everything and I am very confident I will win.”

Interview and translation courtesy of Evolve MMA .

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Kevin Ross Captaining K-1's Upcoming USA vs. China Event on January 1st

Since K-1's event last December in China there has been a lot of hushed talk about the future of K-1 in China. The year 2014 has been a lot better to K-1 than other years and there have been a lot of deals talked about that could possibly make K-1 not only a major player in China, but huge in China. From what we've seen, K-1 has been training referees, judges and other officials on top of lending a hand to train fighters in China over the last year and on January 1st K-1 will make their return to China with a huge USA vs. China event.

It'll take place in Golden Eagle Culture City, Changsua, China and as I stated before, the theme will be USA vs. China. While we don't know all of the names just yet, we have heard that Kevin Ross has signed to be the Team Captain of Team USA and will be fighting, which is pretty big news considering that Ross was being courted by K-1 years ago and GLORY last year only for nothing to come of it. We've also been told that Canadian Gabriel Varga is scheduled to appear on the card, which is interesting considering there was talk of him competing for GLORY's Featherweight Championship soon. 

Tiffany Van Soest is also announced for the card.

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