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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, Hatsu Hioki, declined an offer to duel against DREAM featherweight champion – Hiroyuki Takeya – at DREAM 17. The former also announced last Tuesday that he will be vacating his lightweight title to head on to UFC 131 as a guest. His associate and representative, Shu Hirata, also added that all signs point to contract negotiations.

Hatsu Hioki is also a Sengoku featherweight champion with one remaining fight left on his contract with its promoter, World Victory Road. However, it is still unknown whether Sengoku will ever return due to its current financial crisis. Hatsu Hioki won the SHOOTO 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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World Victory Road Postpones SRC 17

Written on February 02, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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Due to negative publicity caused by an article written by Japanese press member named Manabu Takashima, World Victory Road postpones the SRC 17.

Last Tuesday, the promoter of Sengoku Raiden Championship, World Victory Road, posted a statement on their website, stating that SRC 17 will be postponed. The reason for such delay is caused by a media negativity coming from an article written by Japanese press member — Manabu Takashima.

The article in question, written for Gong Kakutougi magazine, features a seven-page interview with SRC featherweight champion, Hatsu Hioki. Presented in a question-and-answer format, Hatsu Hioki said in the interview that World Victory Road’s “Soul of Fight” event was poorly organized.

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DREAM.16 Adds Ishii-Minowa at the 11th Hour

Written on September 23, 2010 by Markham Mencken

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The DREAM.16 line up is not yet polished, as the FEG and World Victory Road added the Ikuhisa Minowa vs Satoshi Ishii bout for the upcoming event. Will Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa flails his Minowaman fashion against Ishii?

Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) and World Victory Road officials held a last-minute press conference last Wednesday, to announce an Ikuhisa Minowa vs Satoshi Ishii open weight match for DREAM.16. According to previous reports, Ishii is set to fight for Sengoku Raiden Championship later this year, but no solid plans was revealed by neither the fighter nor the promotion.

But World Victory Road President, Toru Mukai, said that Ishii has only one fight left on his contract — one which allows him to contend in other promotions provided that SRC held first right to negotiations. However, SRC gave the fighter a wider reign to compete in other MMA promotion as they change the clause in the fighter’s contract. Due to that, Satoshi Ishii is keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to fight in the K-1 world grand prix someday. And as it stands, the Minowa – Ishii bout rounds the DREAM.16 lineup.

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