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Friday, Jul 09, 2004

Shooto Soljah Fight Night:”hawaii & Japan Vs. The World!”

Shooto SOLJAH Fight Night:
"Hawaii & Japan vs. the World!"

Held July 9th, 2004 – Neal Blaisdell Arena
Results by Chris Onzuka
Photography by Keith Mills

Arguably the most talent-laden fight card to ever grace Hawaii, Shooto, under the guise of the title "Soljah Fight Night," returned to Hawaii. Hawaii has had many great MMA cards, but this may be the best card talent-wise due to hosting two current Shooto champions fighting top ranked contenders and crowning a third champion. Unfortunately they planned on a fourth champ, but perennial champ, Alexandre "Pequeno" Nogueira’s match fell through due to visa problems.

Vitor 'Shaolin' Ribeiro working an armbar on Mitsuhiro Ishida
Shaolin working an armbar on Ishida.

This event was highly anticipated for Hawaii fans as it includes some of Hawaii’s best fighters and match-ups that have fight fans’ interest piqued. The event delivered a ton of action. From Dave Yeung’s quick knockout of Jim Kikuchi, which ended with Kikuchi punching the referee by mistake to Ed Newalu and Kyle Takao going at each other for all three rounds.

Masanori Suda hitting Dustin Denes for a knockdown in round 1
Suda hitting Denes for a knockdown in R1.

The battle of the heavy hitters in Moreno and Dean was expected to be a slugfest, but it turned out to be more of a grappling match. A couple of the fighters that flew in to hopefully jump up to the next level of their fight career with a win is the always tough Bao Quach and ATT’s Dustin Denes. Both fighters stood to gain tons of notoriety with a win over Sato and Sudo respectively. However Quach found out how dangerous Sato’s submissions are and Denes received a gift of a majority draw.

Dustin Denes with a guillotine attempt on Masanori Suda in R3
Denes with a guillotine attempt on Suda in R3.

Jens Pulver vs. Stephen "Bozo" Paling was expected to be a striking war and it was. Paling threw everything but the kitchen sink, while Pulver showed how dangerous fundamental boxing technique and a heavy left hand can be.

Stephen 'Bozo' Paling (left) and Jens Pulver post-fight
Paling (left) Pulver post-fight.

The main event started out action packed with Shields and Cooper exchanging positions, until Shields was able to capitalize on a mistake when Cooper allowed Shields to secure a modified back mount and slip in a rear-naked. Shields claimed the vacant Shooto Middleweight title.

Jake Shields kicking Ray Cooper
Shields kicking Cooper.

On top of an incredible card, Shooto wanted to give back to the local community, so they partnered up with the Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge. Youth Challenge is a boot camp styled school for a lot of teens that took the wrong path in life. For many of the kids, this is their last chance to obtain their GED (high school equivalency diploma) and get their life back on track before it is too late. There is nothing like a great event supporting a great cause. It was a great night of fights and a fight fan’s dream with so many MMA fighters at the Blaisdell Arena.

B Class: Light Heavyweight 2R
Sydney Silva (Brazilian Freestyle) def. Sean "Tornado" Taylor (Grappling Unlimited)
Submission due to arm triangle choke at 4:57 into R1.

B Class: Welterweight 2R
David Yeung (HMC, Hawaii) def. Jim Kikuchi (808 Fight Factory, Hawaii)
KO (kick to the head) at 0:15 into R1.

B Class: Featherweight 2R
Ed Newalu (808 Fight Factory, Hawaii) def. Kyle Takao (HMC, Hawaii)
Majority decision [(19-19), (20-19), (20-19)] after 2 rounds.

B Class: Middleweight 2R
Mark "El Toro" Moreno (Bulls Pen, Hawaii) def. PJ Dean (Freelance, Hawaii)
Submission due to rear-naked choke at 3:09 into R2.

A Class: Lightweight 3R
Rumina Sato (K’z Factory, Japan) def. Bao Quach (Team Oyama, California)
Submission via armbar at 3:03 into R1.

A Class: Welterweight 3R
Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro (Nova Uniao, Shooto Welterweight Champion, Brazil) def. Mitsuhiro Ishida (Tops, Japan)
Unanimous decision [(30-27), (30-26), (30-26)] after 3 rounds.

A Class: Lightweight 3R
Jens Pulver (Miletich Fighting Systems, #6 ranked in Shooto, USA) def. Stephen "Bozo" Paling (Jesus is Lord, #3 ranked in Shooto, Hawaii)
KO via kick to the head at 1:47 into R3.

A Class: Shooto Light Heavyweight World Title Fight
Masanori Suda (Club J, Shooto Light Heavyweight and Super Brawl World Champion, Japan) drew Dustin "Clean" Denes (American Top Team, #1 ranked in Shooto, USA)
Majority draw [(29-28), (30-30), (29-29)] after 3 rounds.

A Class: Shooto Middleweight World Title Fight
Jake Shields (Cesar Gracie, #1 ranked in Shooto, USA) def. Ray "Bradda" Cooper (#2 ranked in Shooto, Hawaii)
Submission due to rear-naked choke at 3:29 into R1.
*Jake Shields becomes the Shooto Middleweight Champion.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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