He relinquished Shooto's Pacific Rim title for one reason and that is to fight for Shooto's world title.
The championship at 132 lbs division is vacant since the former champ Kyoji Horiguchi signed with UFC.
However, for some reason, Yuta "Ulka" Sasaki has to wait bit longer to get that opportunity.
Instead of an immediate title shot, Sasaki is going to fight the current ZST 135 lbs champion Keisuke Fujiwara in January's Shooto event.
Well, I guess, better than being inactive. Sasaki is 14-1-2 so not a bad idea to get one more W.
However, Fujiwara is not exactly a walk in the park.
He is a veteran, with 26 pro fights under his belt. He is on a two-fight win streak. Even in his last loss, he took Shunichi Shimizu to a close decision.
But, obviously, "Ulka" is feeling very comfortable about this fight, "I heard he is saying that he never lost via ippon (submission) so I am thinking about putting him out with a rear naked choke" At the Shoots event held last week in Tokyo, Sasaki stepped into the ring and said this in front of Fujiwara. He even followed, "These days I have been winning in the first round so this time I am going to finish him in the first round."
I guess, one way to look at this is, if Sasaki must be thinking, if he is looking to ahead to do well in the UFC in the near future, he needs to finish a guy like Fujiwara without any problem.
If that is what "Ulka" is thinking then at least he has mind that could take him to the world class competition.
Lets see how he would do in this fight against Fujiwara.
Sunday, January 15th, 2014
At Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Confirmed Cards (Subject to Change):
SHOOTO World Flyweight (115 lbs) Championship Bout 5 min / 5R
Shinya Murofushi (Japan / SUBMIT Shizuoka) vs Junji Sarumaru (Japan / Shooting Gym Yokohama)
Featherweight (132 lbs) Bout 5 min / 3R
Yuta "Ulka" Sasaki (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai Suruga Dojo) vs Keisuke Fujiwara (Japan / Spinning Garage)
Lightweight (145 lbs) Bout 5 min / 3R
Shigeki Osawa (Japan / Freelance) vs Jungle Ito (Japan / Shooting Gym Yokohama)
Bantamweight (125 lbs) Bout 5 min / 2R
Kosuke "Rambo" Suzuki (Japan / Paraestra Chiba) vs Yasutaka Ishigami (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai Tokyo Dojo)
Welterweight (155 lbs) Bout 5 min / 2R
Yu Fujimaki (Japan / Paraestra Koiwa) vs Kazuya "Foreman" Tanaka (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai Tokyo Dojo)
Featherweight (132 lbs) Bout 5 min / 2R
Hideto Okada (Japan K'z FACTORY) vs Takafumi Maeda (Japan / Shooting Gym Osaka)
RS – 10,000 yen / SS – 8,000 yen / S – 6,000 yen / A – 5,000 yen
*500 yen at the door.
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)