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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
B Class: Welterweight 2R
B Class: Featherweight 2R
B Class: Middleweight 2R
A Class: Lightweight 3R
A Class: Welterweight 3R
A Class: Lightweight 3R
A Class: Shooto Light Heavyweight World Title Fight
A Class: Shooto Middleweight World Title Fight