TOKYO -- Korean import Jang Yong Kim delivered a surprise technical knockout against UFC and Dream veteran Keita Nakamura Nakamura (15-4-2), who had never been finished in 20 previous fights, entered the bout as a heavy favorite against an opponent with just three bouts to his credit.
After “K-Taro” slammed two stiff jabs into Kim’s face, the Korean fighter snapped. Swarming straight forward on a backpedalling Nakamura, Kim’s strikes broke through to their target and sent the 24-year-old Japanese fighter crashing to the mat.
Kim (2-2) continued his angry onslaught of punches and forced the referee to intervene just as Nakamura’s corner threw in the towel. The end came 59 seconds into round one, as Kim snapped a two-fight losing streak and handed Nakamura his first defeat on Japanese soil.
In the co-main event, Hidetaka Monma and Andre Mafetoni took “Fight of the Night” honors in an exciting one-round war.
Mafetoni took Monma (15-8-3) to task early, sparking the Japanese fighter with a flurry of punches in the first 30 seconds of the bout. “Napao” chased Monma to the canvas and tried to finish with punches, but Monma recovered and made an unsteady return to his feet. There, he surrendered a back clinch to the Brazilian and was issued a warning after he grabbed the cage to prevent a suplex. Mafetoni (0-1) racked up a warning of his own when he kneed Monma in the groin soon after.
Upon resumption of the fight, Mafetoni sought to finish what he started with more big punches. Accepting he had nothing left to lose, Monma fired back with a crowd-rousing right hand that sent Mafetoni crashing to the mat. Monma lunged to finish his opponent, but the Brazilian weathered the heavy strikes, kicked off Monma and returned to a standing position.
Rocked and spent after going for broke in the previous four minutes, the two men traded more punches before Mafetoni dove for the takedown in the final seconds. Monma had the wherewithal to cinch a guillotine choke, however, and coaxed the submission 4:47 into the first round.
Meanwhile, World Extreme Cagefighting and Shooto veteran Kenji Osawa defeated Tomoya Miyashita with three rounds of conservative counter grappling and striking, as he picked up a unanimous decision.
Opening each round with punches that masked his takedown attempts, Miyashita (9-5-5) had Osawa against the cage in all three periods, but Osawa’s experience against stateside wrestlers served him well, and he reversed position every time. Osawa (14-8-2) also pinned and trapped a turtled Miyashita’s arms, ala Matt Hughes, and delivered punches from above in the second round. Finishing the final round with some tit-for-tat striking, Osawa earned the nod from all three judges.
In other action, Yasuhiro Urushitani won for the first time in more than a year and finished Kiyotaka Shimizu early in the first round, albeit by an anticlimactic doctor stoppage.
Though Shimizu (0-1-1) scored with unchecked low kicks, Urushitani (15-4-6) returned with grazing punches and kicks. One of his high kicks grazed Shimizu’s right eye, cutting him bone-deep and prompting the doctor to step in 3:06 into the first round.
Kim, Monma and Urushanti were not the only Cage Force participants to finish fights.
Yukiya Naito stopped Alex Silva in the first round of their middleweight bout, as he pounded out the jiu-jitsu fighter 4:29 into the match.
Despite some position exchanges, Silva (1-1) took Naito’s back, but the Japanese Judoka escaped through the back door and brought the fight to a standing position. Silva was unable to bring the fight back to the ground, however, and paid for it. With a hard right hand, Naito (14-4-2) crumpled Silva and followed up with hammer fists for the technical knockout. Naito has won five consecutive fights.
When the going got tough for Takenori Sato, he turned to takedowns.
Sato’s opponent, Rikuhei Fujii, was the better stand-up fighter, but, despite landing some punishing punches on the Kazushi Sakuraba-trained Sato, Fujii (3-3) was still no match for him on the canvas.
Sato (7-5-4) secured a double-leg, passed Fujii’s guard and dropped elbows and punches from side control in all three rounds. By bout’s end, Sato’s complete control earned him a nod from all three judges.
In welterweight action, Powergate hero Hiroki Tanaka dropped a unanimous decision to hometown journeyman Keitaro Maeda in a three-round affair that saw a stalking Maeda land repeated flurries to his opponent’s head.
Unable to take down Maeda (3-3-1) in the opening rounds, Tanaka (14-5-3) reverted to tying up Maeda in the clinch and putting him against the cage. Maeda’s forward-pressing flurries found their mark in the third round, however, as he widened his lead on the scorecards en route to a unanimous decision.
Finally, Naoto Miyazaki kept Daisuke Hoshino on his toes with distracting hand motions and hard low kicks.
Ultimately, Miyazaki (1-1-1) pushed Hoshino against the cage, where a quick transition from the clinch to back control opened an opportunity for Miyazaki to sink the rear-naked choke. The previously unbeaten Hoshino (4-1) tapped out 1:48 into round two.
Yoshiaki Takahashi def. Arata Fujimoto -- Technical Submission (Armbar) 1:07 R1
Masamitsu Sato def. Yuta Yasunaga -- TKO (Strikes) 2:26 R1