Takeuchi Takes Middleweight King of Pancrase Title
TOKYO, Nov. 28 -- It was a tough night for Izuru Takeuchi at Pancrase's
final event of this year's "Rising Tour."
The main event on Wednesday featured a title match between SK
Absolute fighter Takeuchi and middleweight King of Pancrase
(Pictures). This fight was in fact a
rematch of a December 2006 bout, in which Nakanishi took a
unanimous decision to become the sixth middleweight KOP.
Since that match, Nakanishi has become one of the most obscure
champions in Pancrase, fighting only once -- a loss outside of the
promotion to Tim McKenzie
(Pictures) in the Bodog Fight
This meant that Wednesday's rematch against the very man Nakanishi
beat almost a year ago to attain the title was also Nakanishi's
The bout was definitely more of a technical battle than an all-out
slobberknocker. Both the first and second rounds played out almost
exactly the same: The two fighters would joust a little, then
Takeuchi would get a clinch at the ropes, eventually trip his
opponent to the mat, end up with side control and basically pin him
there until Nakanishi eventually put him back into guard in the
last 20 seconds.
The third round saw a bit more excitement. After a break by the
referee, Nakanishi landed a clean one-two combination that sent
Takeuchi staggering to the ropes. However, the middleweight
champion could not capitalize on the advantage before his opponent
had him wrapped up in a clinch again.
The referee continued to be more proactive in the third, breaking
up the fighters much sooner than before. A few more clashes ensued,
and the two fighters traded punches in the final 10 seconds before
The judges' votes were tallied, and this time Takeuchi walked away
the victor, becoming the seventh middleweight King of Pancrase.
Daiki "DJ Taiki" Hata faced Nova Uniao's Marlon Sandro in a non-title
Sandro came out swinging for the fences in this one, connecting
with a solid one-two punch combination seconds after the opening
bell that had Hata staggered. The Brazilian kept the pressure on,
charging forward with excellent flurries of punches that forced
Hata to cover up and backpedal to avoid the shots.
Hata survived the initial storm, collected himself and slowed the
pace of the fight somewhat, but Sandro continued to connect with
hard jabs from a distance as well as grazing crosses and hooks to
From about the middle of the first round until the end of the
fight, the Brazilian scored every takedown he attempted. Hata
generally prefers to stand and trade with his opponents and can
usually avoid most of the takedowns thrown at him, but Sandro put
him down at will.
On the mat the Nova Uniao fighter threw punches to the head and
body, but Hata would eventually tie him up and wait for the referee
to stand them.
Hata couldn't seem to connect with his opponent, though. Sandro
kept the charge going all the way to the final bell and walked away
with a unanimous decision that kept his undefeated record
In the evening's only heavyweight battle, U-File Camp's Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures) squared off against New Japan
Factory's Masayuki Kono
Since former heavyweight KOP Kestutis "Tiger" Arbocius no-showed
for an October title bout against current champion Assuerio Silva (Pictures) and now seems to be out of the
promotion, this match pretty much served as the unofficial No. 1
contender bout for the division.
Mizuno put on a good grappling clinic in the opening few minutes.
He scored the takedown, moved all the way to the mount, applied a
triangle followed by a strong heel hook attempt and finally
finished with his opponent's back before being signaled to stand by
Once on the feet, Mizuno connected with a huge left hand that sent
Kono crashing to the mat. From here the U-File Camp fighter
followed his opponent to the ground and unleashed a barrage of
punches until the referee stopped the fight at the 3:28 mark.
With his win, it looks as if Mizuno will have to face Assuerio Silva (Pictures), the man who beat him for the
Killer Bee's Michihisa
Asano (Pictures) displayed some excellent
wrestling, often getting AJ Gym's Tomoki Murayama to the mat
with lightening-fast shots. On the ground Asano did a very good job
of controlling his opponent's legs, keeping him pinned to the mat
and working for the pass.
To his credit, Murayama worked back to his feet several times and
nearly caught Asano with a flying knee, but he just couldn't escape
the textbook takedowns. Even when he sprawled, Asano would still
push forward and eventually get him to his back. In the end, Asano
took the decision after controlling throughout.
SK Absolute's Takuya Wada
(Pictures) avoided Seiki Ryo (Pictures)'s long legs and arms to score
takedowns in their welterweight battle. Once on the ground, Wada
displayed some good timing, taking the mount just as his opponent
bridged to escape the bottom. On top, Wada fired down some strong
punches en route to a unanimous decision.
It didn't take long for Killer Bee's Shinsuke Shoji (Pictures) to take down Wataru Takahashi (Pictures) in the Team Sakurabatake
fighter's Pancrase debut. From within the guard, Shoji picked up
and slammed his opponent into the mat, then followed up with a
flurry of punches.
Takahashi couldn't answer back, forcing the referee to stop the
bout at 52 seconds into the first frame.
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