TOKYO, March 26 -- As the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics
played the second game in their series right next door in the Tokyo
Dome, Pancrase lit up MMA mecca Korakuen Hall on Wednesday with the
second event in its 2008 Shining Tour.
The main event featured a battle for the featherweight division's
No. 1 contender spot between Pancrase veteran Miki Shida (Pictures) and Brazilian prospect Marlon Sandro (Pictures).
Sandro used his reach well, forcing Shida to backpedal for the
majority of the fight. In the second round, the Brazilian connected
with a well-timed uppercut that had Shida staggered. The Nova Uniao
fighter capitalized on the advantage, charging forward with punches
and eventually scoring a takedown.
Shida worked his way back to his feet, but the end was close at
hand. Just as the Japanese fighter was coming in, Sandro connected
with a textbook flying knee to the head. From there, Sandro rushed
in with punches to finish off his dazed opponent via knockout at
the 4:19 mark.
With the win, Sandro will move on to face current Pancrase
featherweight champion Yoshiro Maeda (Pictures) later this year.
Former Rings and Pride fighter Hiromitsu Kanehara
(Pictures) stepped out of retirement
to take on current Pancrase middleweight champion Izuru Takeuchi (Pictures).
Sporting a 14-18-1 record, Kanehara doesn't look like that great of
a fighter on paper. One has to keep in mind, however, that
throughout his career he has been thrown into the ring against the
toughest fighters of many different promotions. No matter how badly
the cards are stacked against him, the Japanese journeyman always
gives 100 percent.
His bout against Takeuchi didn't really set the ring on fire,
though, largely due to Takeuchi's style of pinning him to the mat.
Kanehara spent most of his time going for a kimura, and Takeuchi
constantly pushed him into the corner and got around to his
Throughout the fight Takeuchi got the takedowns and pretty much
controlled the pace. Toward the end Kanehara received a yellow card
from the referee for holding the ropes to prevent a takedown.
The somewhat drawn-out bout went the full three rounds, with the
unanimous decision being awarded to Takeuchi, 30-29 and 30-28
Russian fighter Alavutdin Gadzhiyev
(Pictures) proved just what kind of
power he has in his hands during his battle against the
ever-eccentric Hikaru Sato
(Pictures). None of Gadzhiyev's four
fights in Pancrase have gone more than 65 seconds, and three have
ended by TKO.
However, Sato got the takedown early and quickly transitioned to
the mount. As the Pancrase veteran started raining down punches,
Gadzhiyev basically split the atom in MMA terms -- punching up from
the ground and actually knocking out his opponent.
The knockout, which came at the 1:20 mark of the first round, was a
true testament to the power that the Russian has behind his
punches. It's nearly impossible to throw a punch off your back, let
alone knock someone out with it, and to do all this while your
opponent is sitting on top of you throwing punches is truly
With the incredible win, Gadzhiyev will almost surely get a shot at
(Pictures)'s middleweight title.
Pancraseism's Takafumi Ito
(Pictures) faced off against Nova
Uniao's Hacran Dias
(Pictures) in a tough bout. Both
fighters displayed very good takedown defense in the first and
second rounds, but the most exciting action happened in the
After briefly scoring a takedown, Ito went for a rolling kneebar
attempt. Dias escaped and took his opponent's back, but Ito quickly
twisted into the guard before the Brazilian could capitalize on the
position. Ito once again went for the leg submission in the final
seconds, but he couldn't sink it in before the final bell.
The fight went to the judges and was ruled a draw.
Kenji Arai (Pictures) and Shinsuke Shoji (Pictures) put on a great performance in
their lightweight battle. Arai displayed good timing with his
hands, often catching his opponent with punches as he was coming
in. He also used his knees to nullify Shoji's takedown
For his part, Shoji put on a dirty boxing clinic, peppering Arai
with short hooks and uppercuts in the clinch. Arai took a lot of
damage from this tactic in the first, and he was looking pretty
rough during the intermission. The Pancraseism fighter rallied
back, though, and landed a big high kick in the opening of the
third before rolling for a nice kneebar attempt.
Arai looked as if he had the match in the closing seconds of the
third. He caught Shoji with a big jumping knee, but the iron-jawed
Krazy Bee fighter shrugged it off and kept pushing forward all the
way to the final bell.
The fight went to the judges, and Shoji took the unanimous
decision, 30-28 on all three cards.
Shoji's teammate, Michihisa Asano (Pictures), displayed his wrestling prowess
Shirai (Pictures) by constantly shooting in and
getting the takedown. Although Shirai had some good triangle
attempts off his back, he couldn't really compete against Asano's
Asano kept the Krazy Bee fighter reacting to his pressure and took
the majority decision, 19-19 and 20-19 twice.
Toryu (Pictures) was quite good at getting the
takedowns in his bout against Takenori Sato (Pictures). He didn't do anything on the
ground, though, other than punch from the guard.
Sato was active off his back, always going for kimuras and armbars,
but he couldn't manage to finish the submission attempts he
started. His best chance came toward the end of the first when he
had a strong armbar attempt. However, Toryu performed an equally
impressive bridge to escape the technique, and the fight was
eventually scored a draw.
In other action, Takada Dojo's Tomoyoshi Iwamiya
(Pictures) slugged it out with Tomoki
Honda. After two rounds, Iwamiya picked up the decision, 20-18 and
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