Big Changes in Shooto’s Future

Courtesy of GONG; Toshiharu Suzuki announces big changes

 

International Shooto Commission secretary general Toshiharu Suzuki made some major announcements this weekend and reported via GONG.  Shooto will be making some big changes to the promotions rule set.  In 2008, the ISC made some major changes to the Shooto rule set by taking away strikes to the back of the head and the knockdown rule.  The two major changes for the promotion were made for the safety of the fighters, but also had another effect, the almost impossible to overcome 10-8 round wouldn’t necessarily be a 10-8 due to a knockdown.  This drastically changed the way fights could play out, especially in a Shooto B-Class bout which is only 2 rounds.

Coming up on the 30th anniversary since Shooto’s conception in 1985, the ISC will make some drastic changes.  Toshiharu Suzuki announced the Shooto will be changing the weight class limits.  Shooto currently has divisions divided by the international system of units (SI) from 52kg up to 83kg.  Shooto will be making the move to the unified weight classes used in almost every other MMA promotion.  Most of the weight classes are within 1-2lbs of the proposed weight limits, so the change won’t be significant.  But the significant changes again lie in a change to Shooto’s rule set.

Suzuki announced that ISC will be moving to the unified rules of MMA.  The rule set will add elbows to a grounded opponent’s head, which will be a major rule change for the promotion.  The next big change and most likely the largest change for the live audience, the ISC has decided events will move from a ring to a cage.  Suzuki stated that these changes were to better produce talent that can compete and win in the UFC.

These are major changes that will change, much like Pancrase, the look of the promotion for the Japanese audience.  Will the Japanese audience accept these changes?  Will this be another step forward in the resurgence of Japanese MMA?  Only time will tell if the fans accept these changes.

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Categories: Asian MMA, Japan, MMA, Shooto, UFC

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