This morning the bombshell dropped. Kazuhiro Sakamoto, owner of Sustain, the largest professional Shooto promotion, which also organizes "Vale Tudo Japan", announced that the German Shooto featherweight champion Markus Held will make his debut at Shooto Japan on 27.01.2019 in Tokyo!
Just six hours after winning the title, when he choked the reigning champion Tobias Huber unconscious and took the title, the offer came from Japan. And this has it in itself. As his first opponent in Japan in professional Shooto, Markus is allowed to compete against none other than the reigning Pacific Rim and World Champion Yutaka Saito. A mighty challenge, considering that Saito beat former Shooto Champion and RIZIN fighter Takeshi Inoue in his last fight and has also defeated UFC fighter Caol Uno among others. With 20 professional fights (15-3-2) since 2011, Saito definitely has the experience on his side, but in his own words, our "Hero" is "really up for the fight" and is looking forward to his first professional outing in Japan. And as is well known, Markus loves the role of the "underdog", as was the case recently at the All Japan Shooto Championships, when he was the first German to fight his way into the medal ranks and bring silver back to Germany. The man from the German Top Team is always good for a surprise and wants to recommend himself with this fight in any case in the direction of title fight in Shooto in Japan.
Together with coach Peter Angerer, Markus will fly to Tokyo on January 23 and we are already keeping our fingers crossed for him.