KOP Featherweight Tourney: Maeda, DJ to Finals
TOKYO, June 6 — Despite not being in the spotlight when Japanese
and foreign fans mention top organizations from Japan, Pancrase
always finds a way to deliver one or two exciting matches that save
the night at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
On Tuesday, the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion began its
search for the first King of Pancrase featherweight champion.
The main event of the night, and part of the four-man featherweight
tournament, placed Pancrase poster boy Yoshiro Maeda (Pictures) against Killer Bee prospect
(Pictures) to determinate who would
advance to the finals at the upcoming Pancrase show in August 27 in
Both fighters started cautiously, circling each other and making
sure to be on distance before throw anything significant. Once both
fighters found their range the fight turned into a chess game with
both Maeda and Yamamoto trying to catch each other with a good
punch or kick.
The first round played out largely on the feet with a brief
engagement on the ground in the last minute when Maeda trapped a
kick from Yamamoto and turned it into a takedown. From there the
Osaka fighter landed some shot from top while Yamamoto was more
comfortable defending from the bottom.
The second round started in pretty much the same fashion as the
first round with both fighters circling and picking their shots,
but this was soon to change as Maeda scored a big right hook
followed by a front kick to sent Yamamoto back into a corner.
From there, Korakuen Hall witnessed of one of the most brutal
knockouts of 2006, when in quick fashion Maeda charged forward with
a flying knee that sent Yamamoto down cold from the impact.
With the win, Maeda advanced into the finals of the featherweight
tournament to face someone who stopped him just three months
Daiki Hata (Pictures) has established himself as a true
contender and somewhat of a “Featherweight Killer” in the Japanese
141-pound division, collecting big victories over the likes of
(Pictures) (former No. 1 SHOOTO
featherweight contender), Kenji
Osawa (Pictures) (current No. 1 SHOOTO
featherweight) and most recently a TKO over Yoshiro Maeda (Pictures) three months ago in Maeda’s
hometown of Osaka.
“DJ” Daiki’s opponent for tonight was solid PancraseISM contender
Miki Shida (Pictures), who was coming from a decision
victory over Diego
Sanchez (Pictures)’s teammate Damacio Page (Pictures) back at Pancrase Blow 3.
This match followed the same early line as Maeda-Yamamoto, with
both fighters circling and waiting for an opening. That moment came
when Shida decided to step forward with a lightning takedown.
Daiki, who is not well known for his ground game, displayed good
guard defense by tying up Shida’s arms while using his legs to
keeping the distance from Shida’s punches.
From there Daiki managed to reverse and punch Shida inside the
guard, as well as mix standing kicks and a solid flying stomp to
Early in second round action, Daiki really started to set the pace
of the fight by pushing forward with punches while Shida started to
show signs of fatigue after absorbing and defending Daiki’s attack.
This showed most clearly when Shida started to fall due to Daiki’s
punches, but without a clear knockout.
This scenario played out until 2:03 of the second round when Daiki
finally nailed a left straight that put Shida down on his knees,
forcing the referee to jump in and stop the action.
Both Yoshiro Maeda
(Pictures) and Daiki Hata (Pictures) will meet August 27 in Yokohama
to determinate the first King of Pancrase featherweight
KOP Heavyweight B-Block
(Pictures) took merely one minute 35
seconds to score a series of knockdowns that led to a stoppage
victory over Zendo Kai fighter Yasuaki Miura.
Arbocius will face Hawaiian’s Poai Suganuma (Pictures) August 27 to determinate the new
King of Pancrase heavyweight champion.
Female grappler Sayaka took a decision victory over Asuka Ito.
(Pictures) and Yuji Hisamatsu (Pictures) fought to a draw.
Netzler scored a brutal knockout over Seiji Ogura.
Naoki Seki (Pictures) fought his way to a doctor
stoppage over Sotaro
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