Shooto Hong Kong has released details for its next two amateur mixed martial arts tournaments, locking in December this year and May 2017.
The second instalment of Shooto Hong Kong is set for 17 December at Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, where gyms from across the city to go head-to-head.
Yung Ka Wai, chairman of the Hong Kong Shooto Association, also confirmed 21 May 2017 for the organisation’s third instalment.
In addition, Yung said there are plans to launch a no-gi grappling tournament in 2017, but details are still in the works.
“We want to build a platform for young fighters in Hong Kong,” he said.
“It’s a huge benefit. They can get experience and have the opportunity to fight in Japan.”
One of those rising MMA fighters is Max Leali, who will represent Hong Kong in Shooto’s All Japan Championship on 9 October.
“There are so many promotors in Japan who are looking for the next big MMA star,” Yung added. “A lot of amateurs can go on to fight professionally for the likes of Shooto or even Pancrase.”
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Rumina Sato, chairman of Shooto Japan and a pioneer of early Japanese MMA, is pushing for his organisation to expand their amateur leagues across the region.
“The fundamental part of Shooto is to raise the next generation of fighters,” Sato told ROUGH on a recent trip to Hong Kong.
“We started this concept of MMA 25 years ago, long before the UFC and even Pride. I want Shooto to be a big part of the next 25 years and see this sport become as big as English Premier league.
Amateur combat sports in Hong Kong have found an exciting new level of interest, thanks in part to the growth of white collar MMA and boxing tournaments.
Just recently, Hong Kong MMA promotion IMPI held several amateur fights as part of IMPI 4.