Rumina Sato (佐藤 ルミナ, Satō Rumina, born December 29, 1973) (Japanese pronunciation: [satoː ɾɯmina], kanji for given name: 留美奈) is a Japanese retired mixed martial artist, famous for his career in the Shooto organization. In the past he fought mostly in the 155 lb division, but he moved down to the 145 lb division.

Rumina Sato
佐藤 ルミナ
BornSatō Rumina
佐藤 留美奈
(1973-12-29) December 29, 1973 (age 46)
Odawara, Kanagawa, Japan
Other names"Tsukiookami" (Moon Wolf), "Shooto Charisma"
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight143 lb (65 kg; 10 st 3 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight (145 lb)
Lightweight (155 lb)
K'z Factory (1994-2005)
Teacher(s)Satoru Sayama
Noboru Asahi
Noriaki Kiguchi
RankPurple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu[2]
Years active1994 - present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout5
By submission18
By decision3
By knockout10
By submission5
By decision2
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

After graduating from highschool, Sato had to spend a year as a ronin and started to train in shoot wrestling under Noboru Asahi and Noriaki Kiguchi in the Kiguchi Dojo, partnered with the Shooto promotion. He later moved to amateur wrestling after being admitted in the Nippon Sport Science University, and after graduating in 1994 and competing in the All Japan Amateur Shoot Championships, he joined professionally the company.


After honing his submission skills under Satoru Sayama, Sato made his professional debut in MMA on December 7, 1994, winning over Michael McAuliffe with a calf slicer, the first time the move had been used in mixed martial arts. He ascended fastly in the roster by winning 10 straight matches, becoming a fan favourite for his aggressive and spectacular style of grappling.[3] As soon as his fourth match, he submitted his opponent with a flying inverted triangle choke, and at his seventh, he gained worldwide fame by submitting the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ricardo Botelho, taking advantage of his guard usage to attack him with leglocks and submit him with a heel hook. Sato also defeated another big name of the art when he beat John Lewis, who he submitted in revenge for a match at the Vale Tudo Japan which ended in a draw. Sato would become a usual fighter for this event, representing Shooto in six out of the nine years it had place.

Sato's winning streak finally broke in 1998 when he lost a highly publicized match to Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Champion Joel Gerson by a surprising armbar in the first round of a non-title event in 1998. Sato avenged his defeat in the next Canadian Jiu-Jitsu open tournament the same year, where he faced Gerson again at the finals and submitted him with an ankle lock. After returning to Japan, Sato got also which is thought to be the fastest submission victory in MMA history when he submitted Charles Diaz in a mere five seconds with a flying armbar.[4]

At Vale Tudo Japan 1998, Sato went against Andre Pederneiras of the Nova União in a vale tudo rules match. Sato suffered the first takedown, but he almost caught Pederneiras with a persistent armbar. The two exchanged minor strikes in Sato's guard before the Brazilian grappler decided to stand-up, and the match seemed to go stall from their respective positions. However, suddenly Pederneiras sidestepped Sato and landed a soccer kick to the head, following with heavy punches to the face for the doctor stoppage.

On May 29, 1999, he would fight former trainee Caol Uno for the vacated Shooto Welterweight Championship. Sato captured Uno's back mere two minutes into the match and pursued the rear naked choke, but despite threatening to lock the hold at several points, Uno managed to escape free. Going into the second round, Sato controlled the stand-up, opening a cut on the right side of his opponent's face and scoring a takedown, but he found himself having to defend from his guard while Uno capitalized to land ground and pound. At the third round, Uno started controlling the wrestling game and solidifying his assault to Sato's guard, and ultimately, when a clearly tired Rumina attempted a takedown, Caol took his back and locked a rear naked choke for the tap out.

Sato returned to Vale Tudo Japan in 1999 fighting Rafael Cordeiro, founder and instructor for the famed Chute Boxe team. The match was short, as Rumina scored a belly to belly suplex and right after locked a kneebar, making Cordeiro tap out.

Rumina rematched Uno on December 2000 for the title. In a cautious and tentative affair, Sato captured the back of his opponent while standing and attempted to lock a choke while Uno defended with a Kimura lock threat, but none was successful. However, when Sato finally released him, Uno capitalized on his bad position and landed a knee strike to the face and a right punch to the temple, knocking Sato out.

After his second defeat to Uno, Sato faced Marcio Ramos Barbosa of Barbosa Jiu-Jitsu, who had submitted Caol before the rematch. Sato won the fight by unanimous decision.

On December 2001, Sato faced rising star Takanori Gomi for the vacated Shooto World Lightweight Championship. Playing clinch to avoid his foe's dangerous striking, Rumina led the fight to the mat and besieged Gomi with submissions attempts, including armbars both from and against the guard, toeholds from inverted positions and an omoplata that almost finished the fight, but Takanori was consistently able of getting out of them. The second round saw Gomi landing damaging punches, as well as Sato utilizing an active guard to counterattack, and the striker eventually bypassing his defenses and controlling the pace. Come the third and final, Gomi landed the last punches against the guard before winning the bout by unanimous decision.

Despite PRIDE Fighting Championships and Ultimate Fighting Championship being both interested in signing him up, Rumina famously vowed to never compete in any other organization than Shooto (unless representing Shooto in special matches) until he won a title there.[3] He won the Shooto Pacific Rim Lightweight Tournament on March 11, 2005 from Makoto Ishikawa, but still remained in the promotion until his retirement on May 2014.

On July 10, 2009 Sato competed in a grappling super fight at the UFC 100 Fan Expo Grappler's Quest against Ulysses Gomez, winning by submission with an inverted triangle choke/wrist lock combination.

Fighting styleEdit

Sato was primarily a grappler whose main strength was found in his offensive skills.[3] He would attempt submissions relentlessly from unusual positions and entries, and was prone to try and often accomplish low percentage moves, among them flying holds, intrincated leglocks, and several variations of triangle chokes, which he utilized to set up ground and pound and other submissions.[3] His technique was praised by Rickson Gracie, labelling it as "excellent."[5] Though later years showed a weakened chin as his main weak spot, Sato was also an aggressive striker, sometimes indulging in moves like spinning backfists and axe kicks.[6]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
45 matches 26 wins 17 losses
By knockout 5 10
By submission 18 5
By decision 3 2
Draws 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 26–17–2 Hideo Tokoro TKO (punches & elbows) Vale Tudo Japan 2012 December 24, 2012 1 0:39 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 26–16–2 Nico Verresen KO (punch) Shooto: Shooto the Shoot 2011 November 5, 2011 1 4:17 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 26–15–2 Masakatsu Ueda TKO (kick to the body) Shooto: Shootor's Legacy 3 July 18, 2011 1 4:23 Tokyo, Japan
Win 26–14–2 Ryota Matsune TKO (knee & punches) Shooto: The Way of Shooto 3: Like a Tiger, Like a Dragon May 30, 2010 2 0:21 Tokyo, Japan
Win 25–14–2 Corey Grant TKO (punches) VTJ 2009: Vale Tudo Japan 2009 October 30, 2009 1 3:20 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 24–14–2 Takeshi Inoue TKO (punches) Shooto: Shooto Tradition Final May 10, 2009 1 4:41 Tokyo, Japan For Shooto Lightweight (143 lbs.) Championship
Loss 24–13–2 Hatsu Hioki TKO (punches) Shooto: Shooto Tradition 4 November 29, 2008 1 3:32 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 24–12–2 Akitoshi Tamura Submission (north-south choke) Shooto: Shooto Tradition 1 May 3, 2008 3 2:37 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 24–11–2 Hideki Kadowaki Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: Back To Our Roots 5 September 22, 2007 1 4:09 Tokyo, Japan
Win 24–10–2 Augusto Frota TKO (cut) Shooto: Back To Our Roots 2 March 16, 2007 1 1:21 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 23–10–2 Antonio Carvalho TKO (punches) Shooto: The Victory of the Truth February 17, 2006 2 0:49 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 23–9–2 Gilbert Melendez TKO (cut) Shooto: Alive Road August 20, 2005 1 1:32 Kanagawa, Japan
Win 23–8–2 Makoto Ishikawa Decision (unanimous) Shooto: 3/11 in Korakuen Hall March 11, 2005 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan For Shooto Pacific Rim Lightweight Championship
Win 22–8–2 Katsuya Toida KO (punch) Shooto: Year End Show 2004 December 14, 2004 2 1:21 Tokyo, Japan
Win 21–8–2 Bao Quach Submission (armbar) Shooto Hawaii: Soljah Fight Night July 9, 2004 1 3:04 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 20–8–2 Erikas Petraitis Technical Submission (triangle choke) Shooto 2004: 5/3 in Korakuen Hall May 3, 2004 2 2:20 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 19–8–2 Alexandre Franca Nogueira Submission (guillotine choke) Shooto: Year End Show 2003 December 14, 2003 1 0:41 Chiba, Japan
Win 19–7–2 Ryan Ackerman Submission (heel hook) Shooto 2003: 6/27 in Hiroshima Sun Plaza June 27, 2003 1 2:12 Hiroshima, Japan
Loss 18–7–2 Joachim Hansen TKO (punches) Shooto: 3/18 in Korakuen Hall March 18, 2003 1 2:09 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 18–6–2 Takumi Nakayama Draw Shooto: Treasure Hunt 11 November 15, 2002 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 18–6–1 Javier Vazquez Decision (unanimous) Shooto: Treasure Hunt 7 June 29, 2002 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Loss 18–5–1 Takanori Gomi Decision (unanimous) Shooto: To The Top Final Act December 16, 2001 3 5:00 Chiba, Japan For Shooto World Welterweight (154 lbs.) Championship
Win 18–4–1 Marcio Ramos Barbosa Decision (unanimous) Shooto: To The Top 7 August 26, 2001 3 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Loss 17–4–1 Caol Uno KO (punch) Shooto: R.E.A.D. Final December 17, 2000 1 2:21 Chiba, Japan For Shooto World Welterweight (154 lbs.) Championship
Win 17–3–1 Takuya Kuwabara Technical Decision (unanimous) Shooto: R.E.A.D. 9 August 27, 2000 2 5:00 Kanagawa, Japan
Win 16–3–1 Yves Edwards Submission (rear-naked choke) SB 17: SuperBrawl 17 April 15, 2000 1 0:18 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 15–3–1 Rafael Cordeiro Submission (kneebar) VTJ 1999: Vale Tudo Japan 1999 December 11, 1999 1 0:58 Chiba, Japan
Win 14–3–1 Phil Johns Submission (toe hold) Shooto: Renaxis 5 October 29, 1999 1 0:54 Osaka, Japan
Loss 13–3–1 Caol Uno Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: 10th Anniversary Event May 29, 1999 3 4:02 Yokohama, Japan For Shooto World Welterweight (154 lbs.) Championship
Win 13–2–1 Charles Diaz Submission (flying armbar) Shooto: Devilock Fighters January 15, 1999 1 0:06 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 12–2–1 André Pederneiras KO (soccer kick & punches) VTJ 1998: Vale Tudo Japan 1998 October 25, 1998 1 4:20 Chiba, Japan
Win 12–1–1 Michael Buell Submission (armbar) Shooto: Shoot the Shooto XX April 26, 1998 1 0:31 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 11–1–1 Joel Gerson Technical Submission (armbar) Shooto: Las Grandes Viajes 2 March 1, 1998 1 3:53 Tokyo, Japan
Win 11–0–1 John Lewis Submission (armbar) VTJ 1997: Vale Tudo Japan 1997 November 29, 1997 2 1:23 Chiba, Japan
Win 10–0–1 Maurice Corty Submission (kimura) Shooto: Reconquista 4 October 12, 1997 1 2:01 Tokyo, Japan
Win 9–0–1 Alan Fried Submission (armbar) Shooto: Reconquista 3 August 27, 1997 1 0:59 Tokyo, Japan
Win 8–0–1 Ali Mihoubi Submission (heel hook) Shooto: Reconquista 2 April 6, 1997 1 2:21 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–0–1 Ricardo Botelho Submission (heel hook) Shooto: Reconquista 1 January 18, 1997 3 1:24 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 6–0–1 John Lewis Draw VTJ 1996: Vale Tudo Japan 1996 July 7, 1996 3 8:00 Chiba, Japan
Win 6–0 Kyuhei Ueno Submission (rear-naked choke) Shooto: Vale Tudo Junction 2 March 5, 1996 1 4:04 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–0 Masato Suzuki Technical Submission (armbar) Shooto: Vale Tudo Junction 1 January 20, 1996 1 3:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 4–0 Isamu Osugi Technical Submission (flying inverted triangle choke) Shooto: Vale Tudo Perception September 26, 1995 1 2:01 Tokyo, Japan
Win 3–0 Ron Balicki Technical Submission (armbar) Shooto: Complete Vale Tudo Access July 29, 1995 1 2:14 Saitama, Japan
Win 2–0 Katsuaki Yano TKO (punches) Shooto: Yokohama Free Fight June 4, 1995 1 2:23 Tokyo, Japan
Win 1–0 Michael McAuliffe Submission (calf slicer) Shooto: Vale Tudo Access 2 November 7, 1994 2 2:18 Tokyo, Japan

Mixed martial arts exhibition recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Draw 0-0-1 Hayato Sakurai Technical Draw World&Wild 1 April 4, 2008 1 3:00 Tokyo, Japan

Submission grappling recordEdit

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Notes
Win   Hideki Mizutani Submission (neckscissors) All Japan Masters 3 2015
Win   Hirokazu Saito Submission (achilles lock) All Japan Masters 3 2015
Loss   Yoshihiko Matsumoto Points Shooto Gig Saitama 01 2009
Win   Ulysses Gomez Submission (reverse triangle wrist lock) UFC Fan Expo 2009
Win   Masakazu Imanari Submission (rear-naked choke) 7th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championship -76 kg 2001 Finals
Win   Shigefumi Matsunaga Submission (rear-naked choke) 7th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championship -76 kg 2001 Semi-finals
Win   Torushi Kuroda Submission (kneebar) 7th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championship -76 kg 2001 Quarter-finals
Win   Yuki Takaya Points 7th All Japan Combat Wrestling Championship -76 kg 2001 Opening round
Loss   Tito Ortiz Technical Submission (north-south choke) ADCC 2000 Openweight 2000 First round
Loss   Vitor Ribeiro Points ADCC 2000 –77 kg 2000 First round
Loss   Marcio Feitosa Points Canadian Jiu-Jitsu 1998 Finals
Win   Joel Gerson Submission (ankle lock) Canadian Jiu-Jitsu 1998

Kickboxing recordEdit

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fight Finder: Rumina Sato". Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  2. ^ Japanese MMA Legend Rumina Sato Talks JMMA, Shooto, And The Sport of Jiu-Jitsu
  3. ^ a b c d Snowden, Jonathan. MMA Encyclopedia, ECW Press, 2010
  4. ^ "Rumina Sato's flying armbar on Charles Diaz (misnamed as Charles Taylor, チャールズ・テイラー, on the video title)". (in Japanese). 1998-01-15. Archived from the original (flv) on 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  5. ^ Rickson Gracie interview 2,
  6. ^ Chris Nelson. "Shooto Tradition Final Results, Notes and Videos". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2009-05-10.

External linksEdit