Cage Force Tournaments Progress
TOKYO, Sept. 8 -- A busy week of Japanese mixed martial arts was
capped off Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd of just over 1,200
at Differ Ariake with the fourth installment of Cage Force's
welterweight and lightweight tournaments.
With the lofty goal of sending tournament winners to the UFC, Cage
Force chose to adopt the Unified Rules of MMA, however an
unintentional side-effect forced lightweight semifinalist Artur Oumakhanov (Pictures) off tonight's card due to a
90-day suspension following the Russian's knockout loss at the last
Thus, tonight's main event between Koutetsu Boku (Pictures) and Eiji Mitsuoka (Pictures) served as the lone lightweight
Coming in with the aim to box, Boku was put down early by a
Mitsuoka double-leg and defended from the bottom as the Wajyutsu
rep rained down punches and elbows.
Boku opened his guard in an attempt to hip his way out from
underneath Mitsuoka, who stubbornly stayed in the center where he
was able to drop hooks, hammers, and more elbows. With Boku
escaping only toward the round's end, a Mitsuoka knee to the face
followed by elbows against the cage closed out a dominant first
Sticking to his guns, Boku returned to the striking plan in the
second stanza, meeting with a bit more success as he convinced
Mitsuoka to stand with him.
Although Boku's technical boxing skills ensured that his constant
jabs found their mark, it was Mitsuoka's harder punch counters that
evened out the exchanges. Winging punches as either man charged in,
Mitsuoka looked to transition from the clinch to takedowns, but his
growing fatigue helped Boku remain standing.
Boku's patience and continued barrage of jabs paid off by the third
period as the Killer Bee continued to sting with multiple lefts and
the occasional right straight, further sapping the energy from a
tiring Mitsuoka. Otherwise unable to continue taking his opponent
down or offer much more in the form of accurate counter punches,
Boku pulled ahead and took the third round.
With the first period clearly going to Mitsuoka, and the third to
Boku, the point of contention came down to the middle round, as two
judges scored the bout in favor of Boku, with one dissenting and
With this win, Boku advances to the finals to face the winner of
(Pictures) and Tomonori Kanomata,
whose fight date has not been announced.
In one half of the eve's welterweight tourney semifinals, not even
(Pictures)'s countless submission
attempts could stop Cage Warriors' Dan Hardy (Pictures) from smashing his opponent into
submission after three rounds of blistering ground-and-pound.
Looking savvier on the feet than Monma, Hardy sent his opponent to
the canvas in each round and continued pounding on the Japanese
fighter. Paying no heed to Monma's nigh-innumerable
triangle-to-armbar attempts, the Briton wasted no time by escaping
and charging back into his opponent's guard to dish out further
punishment, busting Monma up with hammer fists, body shots, and
lunging punches from standing.
By the third period, a tired and thoroughly battered Monma fell
prey to a smashing three-punch counter combo that rocked and put
him back on the mat. In the face of even more punishment, Monma's
corner threw in the towel 28 seconds in, giving Hardy the win to
advance to the welterweight tournament finals.
In what was largely thought to be a tournament tailor-made for the
Killer Bees, judoka Yoshiyuki Yoshida
(Pictures) surprised by derailing the
team's welterweight offering in Akira Kikuchi (Pictures), pounding him out in devastating
With Kikuchi pursuing the takedown after being rocked by a quick
high kick in the opening moments, Yoshida kept his cool and
reversed position from under the mount by initially giving up his
back only to shake Kikuchi onto the mat, where he began pounding
with powerful shots from standing.
Under the pressure of Yoshida's assault from above, Kikuchi looked
to isolate his opponent's punches by holding his wrists, to which
Yoshida wisely responded to by swiveling his arms around for
crushing elbows to the face.
Despite Kikuchi's best efforts to trap an arm for the armbar under
this new onslaught, Yoshida's elbow blitz smashed the Bee for
nearly one whole minute before the referee intervened to call the
bout at 4:33 in the first round, awarding Yoshida the dominant TKO
victory. Yoshida now advances to the finals of the welterweight
tournament to face Hardy.
Before being unceremoniously knocked out by Japanese bomber
(Pictures), Jarrod Card gave his opponent a
decent workout by forcing him to defend repeated takedown
Answering Takaya's assaults with clinches against the cage followed
by single-leg attempts, Card's quest to put the fight on the floor
were all but in vain as Takaya refused to go down, maintaining good
balance and spinning out to take the center of the ring upon
The end came when Takaya, after breaking out from the clinch,
delivered a picture-perfect left hook to the jaw that put the
American flat out on the mat. After two more punches to the
unconscious Card, the referee stepped in to call the bout at 3:02
of the first round.
Oishi (Pictures) and Taiyo Nakahara (Pictures) had a brief but heated bout. Both
men charged to the center of the cage and neither gave room for the
other to back down as they traded heavy and well-timed counter
With Oishi cutting off the cage and pursuing with powerful
combinations, Nakahara surprised by responding in kind, which
escalated the exchanges. Though both men's punches more or less
found their marks, it was Oishi who took home the victory by merit
of landing a shot that closed his opponent's right eye completely
shut, forcing the doctor stop at 3:55 in the first round.
(Pictures) made Kentaro Imaizumi (Pictures)'s night a little worse after
outworking the samboist for a three round unanimous decision.
Showing good balance early in the fight by keeping the tenacious
Mizugaki from taking him down, Imaizumi eventually conceded and
tired under the constant pressure of having to defend Mizugaki's
heavy bombs from above.
An Achilles lock attempt in the second stanza was Imaizumi's lone
bright spot. As the fight progressed into the third Mizugaki's
top-position blitzes dominated Imaizumi, allowing the 2005 Shooto
rookie MVP to take his back and pound him out till the final
Purebred's ISE took home a unanimous decision victory against
(Pictures) after two rounds of
hard-fought positioning and pounding.
With either man scoring takedowns on each other throughout the
bout, it was ISE's positional dominance and tendency to stand out
of Nishino's guard to drop heavy hands from on high -- paying no
heed to the risk of getting up-kick KO'd -- that won the judges
Opening a cut above the right eye of his opponent in an early
exchange, Do Won So defeated Tetsuo Sato by referee stop at 1:28 in
the first round.
In the evening's preliminary bouts, Yuji Fujioka knocked out Shuji
Morikawa at 3:19 in the first round with a right hook.
Daisuke Hoshino took out KEN-1 at the 2:47 mark in the first via
armbar, with Naoki
Miyamoto executing the same against Atsushi Masukura at 1:50
into the first round.
Killer Bee's Hiroshi
Arakawa notched a win over Junji Komatsu after a two round
In line with his previously cryptic statements regarding
"practicing to use his elbows," Pancrase welterweight golden boy
(Pictures) notified tonight's audience
of his intention to participate in Cage Force's December card. No
opponent was indicated, however.
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