Rumina “Moon Wolf” Sato retires, plus full results of Shooto: 4th Round 2014

Yesterday marked a special day under the red, white and blue ropes of Shooto. With the promotion gearing up to celebrate twenty-five years on top later this month.

We said farewell to fan favorite and living legend Rumina “Moon Wolf” Sato yesterday evening.

One of Mixed Martial Arts true pioneers officially hanged up his gloves in Tokyo, Japan at Shooto: 4th Round 2014 – Rumina Final.

Rumina Sato began his career back in November of 1994 when Mixed Martial Arts was frowned upon and misunderstood. An unknown fighter at the time, who burst on to the Asian MMA scene. Rumina instantly made an impact on the sport racking up an impressive run of wins (11-0-1) under the Shooto banner, before eventually losing his first professional bout of his career, to a debuting Joel Gerson.

Sato, 40, who was known for his aggressive style and savvy submissions entertained fans in a number wars and fought a who’s who of the sport, including notable names Caol Uno, Takanori Gomi, Joachim Hansen, Gilbert Melendez, Hatsu Hioki, Takeshi Inoue and Masakatsu Ueda.

A fan favorite from beginning to end, Sato put his body on the line for almost twenty glorious years. The Japanese superstar fought all but one (Super Brawl 17 – Yves Edwards) of his forty-five bouts under the bright lights of Shooto.

After challenging for the Shooto Welterweight (154-lbs) title in three highly entertaining contests with Caol Uno (twice) and Takanori Gomi. Sato eventually claimed Championship gold in 2005 when he defeated Makoto Ishikawa for the Shooto Pacific Rim Lightweight crown. But that was short-lived, as the Champion had to vacate the belt after sustaining an unfortunate injury.

In 2009, Rumina was matched-up against Shooto Featherweight (143-lbs) Champion, Takeshi Inoue. Sato, would once again fall short of claiming the prestigious prize after getting stopped in the first round via TKO. This would prove to be his last shot at Championship gold.

As age and nagging injuries began to take it’s toll on Rumina. The talented grappler decided to take one last fight in 2012 against fellow countrymen Hideo Tokoro. Unfortunately, Sato was again stopped in quick succession to end his career on a three-fight losing streak. But as the legend leaves the sport he loves, fans will never forget the style Rumina Sato brought to the ring that gained him a massive following across the globe.

Prior to the evenings main event (Caol Uno vs. Taiki Tsuchiya), the charismatic Sato gave an emotional speech for his retirement ceremony. Admired by his peers, Sato was greeted by the likes of Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Takanori Gomi and Enson Inoue inside the famed ring.

The former Shooto Pacific Rim Champion remains heavily involved in the sport, training young up-and-coming fighters out of his respected gym at ROOTS, located in his hometown of Odawara.

*We here at Fight Sport Asia wish Rumina “Moon Wolf” Sato the best of luck on his future endeavors.


Shooto, 5/5/14
“Shooto: 4th Round 2014 – Rumina Final”
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

Lightweight Bout
Caol Uno def. Taiki Tsuchiya by Unanimous Decision

Lightweight Bout
Akiyo Nishiura def. Ryogo Takahashi by Unanimous Decision

Bantamweight Bout
Takashi Soya def. Kyung Jung Joo by KO at 3:01 in Round 1

Flyweight Bout: Infinity Tournament Quarterfinals
Ryuto Sawada fought Atsushi Takeuchi to a Unanimous Draw

Lightweight Bout
Shigeki Osawa fought Fumiya Sasaki to a Majority Draw

Lightweight Bout
Mitsuhiro Toma def. Kazuhide Shirota by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:34 in Round 1

Welterweight Bout
Yu Fujimaki def. Kazumasa Sugawara by TKO at :14 in Round 2

Welterweight Bout
Joji Mikami def. Dai Sudo by Unanimous Decision

Photo credit: Yoshinori Ihara
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