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Category: MMA

Hatsu Hioki Vacates SHOOTO Belt for UFC

Written on June 01, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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Hatsu Hioki vacates his post as the SHOOTO lightweight champion to head on to UFC. Will the promotion acquire another top-ranked featherweight talent?

Japanese featherweight fighter, , declined an offer to duel against DREAM featherweight champion – Hiroyuki Takeya – at . The former also announced last Tuesday that he will be vacating his lightweight title to head on to as a guest. His associate and representative, Shu Hirata, also added that all signs point to contract negotiations.

Hatsu Hioki is also a featherweight champion with one remaining fight left on his contract with its promoter, . However, it is still unknown whether Sengoku will ever return due to its current financial crisis. Hatsu Hioki won the belt a year ago by defeating Takeshi Inoue via split decision. Last December, he added the Sengoku belt on his shelf with a unanimous decision win over Marlon Sandro. That said, Hatsu Hioki has long been considered as one of the best fighters in the 145-pound division.

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