(Check out the rest of the fight videos at IronForgesIron.com)
An absolute must see bantamweight battle from last weekend’s “Shoot the Shooto 2011″ card, which transpired in Tokyo, Japan and featured none other than Shooto legend Rumina Sato facing off with Belgian born fighter Nico Veressen. Sato, who you may remember as our Technique of the Year holder for 1999, has built his name off legendary battles with top competition like Takanori Gomi, Caol Uno (at the time), Joachim Hansen (again), and Hatsu Hioki. Veressan was 1-0 heading into the bout, with his lone win coming against a fellow 1-0 fighter. Think you know how this one went down? Well, you’d be wrong.
From the start, Sato showcases the mix of mindfuckery and vicious leg attacks that he has become known for, first trying to goad the younger man into a ground match with the infamous Fireside Pose Manuever popularized by Fabricio Werdum before launching into a series of submissions that is nothing short of dazzling. I counted three or four toe holds, an inverted triangle ala Braulio Estima, and maybe a calf slicer attempt thrown in just for fun.
But Veressen is no slouch, offering some solid submission defense, some nasty ground-and-pound, and a Brazilian kick for good measure. At one point, he literally has Sato on the ropes, performing a spot on impersonation of Jackson/Silva 2 in order to evade Veressen’s punches.
Once the fight gets back to the feet, however, Veressen is clearly the fresher of the two. A straight right later and this baby is all over. With the loss, Sato drops to just 2-6 in his last 8 fights, with 4 of those losses coming by way of (T)KO.
As a bonus, I’ve posted the rarely seen match between Sato and Isamu Osugi from an early Shooto event all the way back in 1995, featuring a finish that would make Toby Imada flush with jealousy. Enjoy.