Shooto Announced 2017 Rookie Awards

Kunihisa Sasa, “Captain America”, and Ryosuke Honda

On Monday, the Professional Shooto announced the Three Awards of 2017 rookie tournament.

“Captain Africa” from MMA Dojo Cobra-kai was chosen as MVP.

Technical Award went to Kunihisa Sasa while Fighting-Spirit Award went to Ryosuke Honda.

All three winners are students of UFC veterans.

“Captain Africa” is from Dokonjonosuke Mishima’s gym, Sasa is a student of Ryo Chonan, and Honda is from the team founded by Mizuto Hirata.

All three of them are undefeated. Sasa has the best pro record to of three, with 3-0, and has a next fight confirmed on February 24th. “Captain America” is 2-0 and also has a fight confirmed. A big chance because he is fighting former Pancrase welterweight champion Shingo Suzuki at 155 lbs on March 25th. Honda is also 2 wins, and with 1 draw.

The following is the list of rookie tournament winners from all weight classes. This year, only one fighter from Tokyo conquered tournament. All the other winners are from other cities – Osaka, Niigata, Fukuoka, Okinawa, and Gunma.

  • Strawweight – Ken Asahina (Japan / Paraestra Okinawa)
  • Flyweight – Ryosuke Honda (Japan / CAVE)
  • Bantamweight – Kunihisa Sasa (Japan / TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A.)
  • Featherweight – Yutaka Hoshino (Japan / SAI-GYM)
  • Lightweight – “Captain Africa” (Japan / MMA Dojo Cobra-kai)
  • Welterweight – Yuki Ueno (Japan / AACC X SPIDER)


Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (