Leading Shooto promoter Sustain has managed to turn a negative into a positive in bolstering their line-up for February 17's “Back to our Roots” bill in Yokohama.
On Friday morning inside the head offices of Sustain in Ebisu, Tokyo, Mitsuhiro Ishida (Pictures) handed over the Pacific Rim 154-pound championship title to International Shooto commissioner Noboru Urata. Ishida was due for his mandatory title defense this coming February and had hoped to compete on the February 17 card. However, due to his KO loss to PRIDE 160-pound champion Takanori Gomi (Pictures) on December 31, he will be unable to fulfill his duties as champion, as Shooto rules state that no competitor who has suffered a knockout loss 60 days prior can compete under its sanctioning.
Ishida said that it was his goal to defeat Gomi on New Year's Eve, defend his Pacific Rim title in February afterward, and be able to reign alongside his friend and teammate Tatsuya Kawajiri (Pictures), who holds the Shooto world championship at 154 pounds.
"I'm sorry, to the Shooto [154-pound] fighters, to the Shooto fans, and to the Shooto commission that I wasn't able to defend, and had to return the title," Ishida lamented. http://www.sherdog.com/news/news.asp?n_id=6537