With the Girls S-Cup coming in two weeks and the men's S-Cup following in November, only one "road to S-Cup" event remains this year, Shootboxing 2012 Act.4 on September 17th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo and Shootboxing has announced what presumably will be the headlining fights for the event, as well as a couple familiar, albeit not to Shootboxing, competitors who are looking to make their way into the S-Cup.
In a rematch of a fight from 2010, Shootboxing legend Hiroki Shishido will take on former boxer Satoru Suzuki. The two first met at Shootboxing ISHIN 2 in 2010 with Shishido welcoming Suzuki in his Shootboxing debut with a 2nd round finish via front choke. Since, however, the slumping Shishido (48-11-0, 20 KO) is just 2-6, losing four in a row and 6 of his last 7, most recently losing to Shootboxing Lightweight champ Hiroaki Suzuki in June. Suzuki (8-11-0, 5 KO) is 5-5 since their first fight and has lost two in a row, to Andy Souwer and Toby Imada. The fight will likely take place at 70kg, although Shishido dropped down to 65kg for his last fight. It was not stated whether or not the fight was for an S-Cup spot, as it would be hard to imagine Shootboxing leaving Shishido out despite his recent skid and Suzuki has become one of their more popular fighters thanks to exciting performances, most notably in his win over Bovy Sor. Udomson.
In the other announced matchup, RISE Super Featherweight champion Kosuke Komiyama will clash with recently crowned Shootboxing Super Featherweight champion Akifumi Utagawa in Komiyama's promotional debut. Komiyama (18-2-0, 11 KO) has made a name for himself in RISE with wins over Kan Itabashi and Sergio Wielzen and has made a case for being the best 60kg fighter in Japan not in Krush. This fight somewhat makes sense as he seems far and above his weight class in RISE and outside of fighting some guys at 63kg, doesn't have many options left in that organization. Komiyama has fought exclusively in RISE and K-1, meaning he has never fought with clinching allowed, let alone to the extent it is used in Shootboxing, so Utagawa definitely has a good shot at winning this fight. Utagawa (32-13-1, 1 NC, 15 KO) has won 4 in a row dating back to Shoot the Shooto 2011, with his most recent wins in a rubber match against Takeshi Ishikawa and a rematch with Koji Ikegami to win the Super Featherweight title. His key to victory is using his experience with the Shootboxing ruleset to make Komiyama uncomfortable. If he allows Komiyama to stay outside and work his kickboxing, he will have trouble winning a round, let alone the fight.
Also announced as participants to the card are former PRIDE star Akihiro Gono and K-1 and It's Showtime veteran Hinata, both looking to earn entry into this year's S-Cup. After retiring from MMA, Gono returned, somewhat, to his kickboxing roots, taking a fight under Shootboxing rules last month at Deep Tokyo Impact and winning by decision. Hinata infamously debuted at Shootboxing 2 years ago, losing to Andy Souwer in just 48 seconds by choke. His most recent fight, a 1st round KO of Korean Kang Jung-woo, was under Shootboxing rules. Both men will be looking for a win to get into the S-Cup in what would definitely bring more name value and attention to an already popular tournament.
Also added to the Girls S-Cup card on August 25th is a single fight between 15 year old Seira Arigaki and Rio Kamikaze. Arigaki is another in the line of promising young female talent, joining the likes of Rena, Erika Kamimura, Mizuki Inoue and MIO, and holds amateur titles at 40kg and 50kg in M-1 as well as the J-Girls U-15 Mini Flyweight championship. Her opponent Rio most recently fought Ai Takahashi in the semifinals of the 53.5kg Girls S-Cup, losing by decision.