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Hioki Relinquishes Shooto Belt; Likely UFC-Bound


(Video courtesy of YouTube/EskriMMA)

Shooto featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki announced today that he has relinquished his belt and that he is moving on from the Japanese promotion in search of other challenges.

“At this time, I’ve returned the Shooto world lightweight title,” Hioki told Sherdog.com via email. “There is a pride in wearing the Shooto world title, but I think that, in the near future, I would like to challenge a new stage of pride.”

According to Sherdog, the popular 24-4-2 fighter, who holds a pair of wins over UFC featherweight contender Mark Hominick as well as one a piece over Takeshi “Lion” Inoue and Marlon Sandro, is being flown in to Vancouver, BC to attend UFC 131. I think we can all connect the dots on where he’s fighting next.

Unless he’s just a huge fan of Nick Ring or fellow countryman Michihiro Omigawa and we’re just reading into this all wrong, Hioki will be a welcome addition to the UFC’s somewhat vapid 145-pound class. When you scratch beneath the surface of plausible threats to champ Jose Aldo‘s strap like Hominick, Chad Mendes, Josh Grispi and Dustin Poirier, there are really no other viable contenders waiting in the wings. “Shooto no Ko” will provide the division with a much needed spark.

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wanhgxiaowe- June 2, 2011 at 7:46 am
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Abaxial- June 1, 2011 at 6:29 am
I don't know, I'd like to see how kenflo does at 131. With his bigger size he might be a threat to Aldo.
ExpectJesusBro- June 1, 2011 at 6:06 am
division^^^ how the F did I do that?
ExpectJesusBro- June 1, 2011 at 6:04 am
I can't see him as much of a threat to Aldo, but, at least it'll add another body to that diffision, should make some good matchups though, more the better. Oh, and, come on CP, Wake up fellas and take care of these russian spam bots, shit's getting ridiculous.
Bob Reilly- June 1, 2011 at 3:28 am
Faggot? That was un called for.
lolatyou- June 1, 2011 at 2:12 am
orly, like his training partner Sandro? watch and see faggot, aldo will be exposed PERIOD
Booosted- June 1, 2011 at 12:01 am
Sorry but Aldo would outclass this guy on the feet.
Jonny5- May 31, 2011 at 11:45 pm
Insta Aldo vs Hioki I say for the WIN!!!
Waldizzle- May 31, 2011 at 4:08 pm
Who isn't a huge fan of Nick Ring?
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