Katsuyori Shibata reflects on UWF Rules match with Tom Lawlor at INOKI BOM-BA-YE x Ganryujima

Originally published at Katsuyori Shibata reflects on UWF Rules match with Tom Lawlor at INOKI BOM-BA-YE x Ganryujima

Shibata is glad he got to honor Antonio Inoki. 

It was first reported by Tokyo Sports that the late Antonio Inoki had it written in his will that the INOKI BOM-BA-YE event return. 

The event took place on December 28th in Tokyo, Japan in conjunction with the mixed martial arts event ‘Ganryujima’. Closing out the show was Katsuyori Shibata versus Tom Lawlor in a UWF Rules match. 

After Shibata got the win, he spoke to the press and NJPW has a recap of his post-match comments on their website. He felt he did all he could and when he watches his matches back, he’s always critical of his performance. He also brought up that he was back in the same building where he suffered a subdural hematoma that put him out of action in 2017. 

I think only people who were ‘called’ by Antonio Inoki are here today… I didn’t see any reason for me not to come, so it means a lot to me that I was able to compete here today. And like I said before, I got injured in the same venue in Ryogoku, but I think I proved that I can come back to the center of the ring again like this.

Today, under these rules, I decided to do a match that I could do at this time, and I gave it my all, and that’s how it turned out. Even when I watch my matches, I think there are many things I should have done better, and I am always reflecting on what I did… As I said at the press conference, there is no place for me to participate in other martial arts events. But today’s show is INOKI BOM-BA-YE in memory of Antonio Inoki, so I did it. Thank you very much.

He said working with Lawlor was great and is glad it was Lawlor who he faced. He added that a day like that will never come again as far as being able to honor Antonio Inoki for the first time after he passed. 

He was great. I am really happy that it was Tom Lawlor. This timing with Tom Lawlor, this day, this day will never come again. The first INOKI BOM-BA-YE after the Chairman passed away, a memorial event will never happen again, so I was able to get in the ring and have a match with Tom Lawlor. I think this is the ‘fighting spirit’ that I can do now.

Hiroshi Tanahashi provided guest commentary for the Lawlor versus Shibata bout. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett scored a victory at the event as well.