The opening montage begins with legendary Japanese professional
wrestling icon Antonio Inoki coming to center stage to paint
kanji characters for "judgment," setting the tone of
tonight's Dynamite. Following Inoki is a long video montage
reflecting on the 10-year history of fight sport on New Year's Eve
in Japan, as 2010's Dynamite is the 10th anniversary of Inoki's own
To put it in context for the hometown crowd, the montage follows
the memories of a random fan, recounting his memories of each New
Year's event, tying them to the passing years of his life.
Throughout successive NYE events, our random "Taro" gets married,
and has a child. Today, and for the next 10 years, the three of
them will continue the New Year's tradition -- going to Saitama
Super Arena on NYE.
Furuki Round 1
Furuki pulls Ologun into the clinch to throw knees but comes up
slightly short. Furuki puts Ologun into the corner and tries to
take him down, but Ologun maintains his balance. Referee Samio
Kimura calls for action, but none comes and a break is called.
Ologun rails Furuki with a huge right hand, and the former baseball
player does the fish dance, swinging his fists in hopes of
returning the favor. Ologun misses a bunch of punches, but manages
to trip Furuki to the canvas. Regaining his faculties, Furuki
sweeps and is caught in a guillotine. Furuki passes to mount and
pops his head out, dropping punches to Ologun's ribs. Furuki
postures to drop punches and Ologun bucks to get him off. There
Furuki stays, mashing Ologun up until the bell.
Furuki closes in with punches, putting Ologun into the corner.
Furuki tries to wrangle Ologun to the canvas, but when he finally
gets him down, Ologun reverses to get top in half. Ologun drops a
few punches while Furuki reaches over to capture Ologun's left arm
for the kimura from bottom. Ologun is refusing to tap, instead
using his free arm to strike Furuki's ribs. Ologun reverses and
puts Furuki on his back in guard. However, Furuki puts Ologun in a
triangle. Before he can squeeze though, the bell rings, saving
Furuki pushes forward with punches. Ologun pulls Furuki into the
clinch and throws knees to Furuki's abdomen. Kimura calls the
break. Furuki charges with punches again as his corner calls for
him to throw knees when he gets into the inevitable clinch. Kimura
breaks them up again, but Furuki's fallen into a comfortable
pattern: charge with punches, put Ologun up against the ropes, and
then rest. Break. Repeat above pattern. Break. As Furuki presses in
on Ologun this time, he eats two grazing high kicks from the
Nigerian TV celebrity. Another break is called, and this time, when
Furuki charges in, Ologun lands two hard punches which send him
into a wild scramble. Ologun lands on top and racks up punches
until the bell. A large cut is open at the corner of Furuki's left
eye, leaving half his face bloody. Since this fight is not being
scores with the 10-point must system and is judged as a whole,
Sherdog.com sees the fight for Andy Ologun.
Official decision: judges Yasushi Miyake, Kaoru Todori, and Gen
Isono all score the fight Andy Ologun, for your winner by unanimous
In the prefight VTR for Miyata-Uno, Miyata claims, "If I win two
more fights, I think I'll be able to get the belt."
Uno, on the other hand comments on the late Ryusuke Moriyama, head
of the Wajutsu Keishukai Tokyo Headquarters.
"When I was younger, I didn't understand what Moriyama-san was
trying to tell me," said Uno. "But my understanding of his words
has grown with age."
Miyata tags Uno with a quick right hand, while Uno returns with a
push kick to the gut. Miyata paws with his jab, but the southpaw
Uno just comes straight through with a hard left straight. Uno is
the one on the hunt now, maneuvering Miyata into the corner. Uno
tags Miyata with a one-two and clinches up. Miyata spins Uno into
the ropes and then quickly disengages. Uno is racking up some nice
clean shots on his retreating opponent. Miyata pulls Uno into the
clinch again and lobs a knee up the middle. Uno arcs a knee around
into Miyata's thigh several times. They disengage and Uno gets back
to hunting Miyata down with his left straight. Miyata absorbs a
bunch of low-kicks from Uno as well. Miyata throws a low kick, then
a high, both of which Uno defends and counters with punches. Uno
surprisingly drops for a single as Miyata limp-legs, trying to box
Uno off. The bell rings shortly after.
Both men trade low kicks. Uno charges in and hits a hard one-two on
Miyata, who defensively ducks down for a double. Uno defends, but
Miyata goes right to his back and gets the German suplex. Uno hops
back to his feet, but Miyata is still on his back. Uno turns into
Miyata, and Miyata disengages back to the middle of the ring.
Miyata is scoring with low kicks. Miyata shoots again, gets Uno's
back, and again goes for the German suplex. Uno sits up and works
at breaking Uno's grip about his middle. When Miyata disengages, he
fires off a big kick to Uno's head and connects a little too high.
Miyata fires another high kick and then shoots again to take Uno's
back. Uno turns into Miyata and they stall out. Referee Kenichi
Serizawa breaks them up and cleans blood from the bridge of Uno's
nose. When they resume, it's Uno that shoots, but Miyata deftly
reverses him and takes top in guard. Uno shrimps to put distance
between them as Miyata drops a few punches, but Uno gets to his
feet. Back in the center Uno chases Miyata down with punches. To
defend, Miyata pulls Uno into the clinch right as the bell rings.
It's a riveting second round for Miyata, who is basically splitting
rounds with Uno at this point.
Miyata starts off with two low kicks. Uno tries to flurry, but
Miyata ducks down for the double. Uno gives it to him, but Miyata
has other plans, once again taking Uno's back for another German
suplex. Uno tries to turn into Miyata, but Miyata persistently
remains in control, dropping a few punches from side until Uno is
finally able to scramble to his feet. Miyata shoots again after
landing a right straight and puts Uno down on his posterior. Uno
fights to his feet and they separate. Uno tags Miyata with some
punches, and then gives up another takedown. Miyata goes straight
to Uno's back, but Uno sits down to stop the suplex. It's the final
minute, and a frustrated Uno looks for the Sakuraba-style kimura
from the back clinch. He doesn't get it, but it does break them up.
In the following scramble, Uno lands more punches, but Miyata knows
where his strengths lie and thus continues the takedown fest right
until the bell. Sherdog.com scores the bout for Kazuyuki
Judges Masanori Ohashi, Hikaru Adachi, and Yasushi Miyake all score
the bout for Kazuyuki Miyata, your winner by unanimous
Watanabe Round 1
Watanabe charges right at Tokoro, but like any good matador, Tokoro
moves out of the way. Tokoro gets the takedown and Watanabe
reverses him. Referee Samio Kimura breaks them up shortly after.
Tokoro shoots again and puts Watanabe on his back and locks up side
control. Tokoro targets Watanabe's right arm but instead of going
for the armbar, he locks up a leg scissors choke on Watanabe.
Kimura jumps around, screaming, "Give up?! Give up?!" But Watanbe
gets it out. Tokoro changes tacks to go for the armbar again, at
which point Watanabe tries to slam Tokoro on his face. Tokoro
transitions to Watanabe's back. Watanabe flops backward in attempt
to slam Tokoro again. Tokoro sinks his right arm under Watanabe's
chin, but the K-1 fighter keeps a tight grip on his opponent's left
arm to keep him from finishing the choke. Tokoro briefly moves from
back, to side, to mount, and then gets reversed to his back.
Watanabe steps back and taunts Tokoro from the ropes, rolling his
eyes and sticking out his tongue, prompting the standup. Watanabe
charges Tokoro again and Tokoro ducks under for the takedown right
at the bell.
Tokoro gets the takedown and passes to side. He mashes with hammer
fists while passing to mount. Tokoro locks up the armbar, but
Watanabe hangs on until he can pull his arm out. He makes a bit of
a fool of himself afterward in trying to jump onto Tokoro, but a
Tokoro upkick sends him sprawling, unhurt, off to the side. The
audience laughs uproariously at the scene. Tokoro takes Watanabe's
back, but again, can't get the choke. Watanabe somehow worms his
way out again and prompts Tokoro to stand. Watanabe chooses the
oddest moment to gyrate his hips while taunting Tokoro, who just
takes him back down. From side, Tokoro again goes for the armbar.
Watanabe gives up his back instead and Tokoro tries for the choke
when Wantabe tries to headbutt Tokoro with the back of his head.
Again, Watanabe is able to hang on and not get choked out. The bell
rings a few moments later. It's becoming clear that despite having
very little MMA experience, Watanabe is at least able to survive
against an experience mixed martial artist. Either that, or Tokoro
is sandbagging for the benefit of a better show.
Tokoro ducks under a swiping hook from Watanabe and shoots.
Watanabe gives up an arm, but as Tokoro goes for the armbar,
Watanabe picks him up and throws him out of the ring. Kimura breaks
them up and warns Watanabe for this. Upon resuming, Tokoro puts
Watanabe down with a single and gives the armbar another try.
Watanabe shells up and turns, giving up his back instead. Watanabe
reverses into Tokoro's guard and throws a few short punches before
Tokoro reverses him and gets top in side. Tokoro tries once more to
get the armbar, and this time, he gets it real straight for the tap
at 2:50 of round three.
The victorious Tokoro takes his post-fight mic moment to appraise
the crowd of his friend, Tomoya
Miyashita, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. He asks for
everyone to cheer him on.
Izumi goes over a few old themes in his portion of the VTR,
basically saying, "I didn't want to be a fisherman. My dad was mad
with my decision to not be one."
As for Minowa, he basically explains how he really wants to do the
"1-2-3-Da!!!" cheer that Antonio Inoki made famous alongside the
Minowa throws a few non-committal right hands. Izumi feints and
keeps Minowa on the defensive. They trade punches, but both men
either glance or graze. Minowa lands an overhand right, but it hits
the top of Izumi's crown. Minowa charges with windmills, but Izumi
sidesteps and takes Minowa's back in the clinch. Izumi grabs
Minowa's right leg from behind and breaks him down until he gets
top in side mount. Izumi passes to mount, and Minowa turns, giving
up his back. Minowa gets to his feet and tries to take refuge in a
corner as Izumi punches at his head from behind. This continues
until the bell 30 seconds later.
Minowa pushes in with punches, which Izumi blocks before changing
levels to get the double. Izumi moves to side mount, where he
mashes Minowa with short punches to the head and body, coupled with
a few knees the ribs. Minowa gives up his back in order to get to
his feet and go to a corner, but Izumi just chucks him back to the
floor to continue the ground-and-pound assault. Again, Minowa gets
to his feet and retreats to a corner with Izumi attached in the
clinch, and again, Izumi trips him to the mat. Referee Kenichi
Serizawa repositions them in the center, with Izumi on top in
Minowa's guard. In the final minute, Izumi postures to drop
punches. Minowa scrambles to escape, but gives up his back again.
Izumi, on the other hand, seems content to mash on the pro-wrestler
from whatever angle he can, and does so until the bell rings.
Izumi gets the takedown and immediately locks up side mount. Izumi
mashes with short punches until Minowa gives up his back again. At
that point, Izumi starts throwing harder, looping punches to the
sides of Minowa's head. Minowa's face is clearly pained, but he's
gutting through it. Izumi increases the pace of his punches as
Serizawa watches closely. Minowa flops to his side and Izumi begins
dropping hammers and punches. It takes a long time, but Serizawa
finally takes mercy on Minowaman, jumping in for the save at
Kharitonov vs. Tatsuya
Mizuno Round 1
Mizuno circles on the outside, pawing with his southpaw jab.
Kharitonov walks him down, but doesn't commit to throwing anything
just yet. Mizuno lobs a few low kicks. Kharitonov swipes with some
big punches and throws a low kick of his own. Kharitonov connects
with a big right straight and right uppercut that put Mizuno on
rollerskates. Kharitonov closes in for the kill then, finishing
Mizuno with a massive right knee to the face. Kharitonov lands two
more punches to the supine Mizuno before referee Yuji Shimada jumps
in for the stop at 1:25.
The VTR promo poses this bout as an opportunity for Kyotaro to "get
revenge" on the MMA world for prior losses in K-1, examples being
Alistair Overeem's recent run and his one victory over Badr Hari,
and Mousasi over Musashi.
Kyotaro dances on the outside as Mousasi sends push kicks and right
straights the Japanese fighter's way. They begin trading low-kicks,
and Mousasi instinctively tries for a trip takedown. Referee
Nobuaki Kakuda warns him for this. Kyotaro lands a few hooks, and
Mousasi lands a right straight before the bell. Sherdog.com scores
the round 10-10.
Kyotaro covers up and lands some hard low kicks as Mousasi tries to
slug it out. Mousasi keeps up with the punches, but Kyotaro blocks
them well and continues to mash Mousasi up with low kicks. Mousasi
sparks his prey with a big left hook and sends him to the canvas.
Kyotaro gets back up for the count, but he's clearly rocked.
Kyotaro tries to clinch up, but Mousasi lands a bevy of punches on
him. Kakuda has to break them twice, but Kyotaro is hanging in
there, slowly coming to his wits. Kyotaro survives to the bell.
Sherdog.com scores the round 10-8, as do all the ringside judges.
The current scores are 20-18 across the board.
Mousasi parries some low kicks and ducks under Kyotaro's hooks.
Kyotaro continues the low kicks, and does manage to land some.
Kyotaro swarms with punches, but Mousasi covers up and counters
with a short hard hook. Both men look pretty tired now, so both of
their exchanges end in clinches which Kakuda has to break up.
Kyotaro continues to swarm with punches in this final round, but
Mousasi shells up and counters well. The bell rings, and the
fighters give each other a half-hearted embrace. Sherdog.com scores
the round 10-10.
Official scorecards are 30-28, 29-28, 29-28, all for Gegard
Mousasi, winner by unanimous decision.
The VTR promo makes particular note of Aoki attempting to invade
America, and failing. However, he may be able to invade Tokyo's
animation and comic capital -- and Nagashima's favorite geeky
neighborhood -- Akihabara, just fine. The video shows Aoki rolling
into Akihabara on his yellow motorcycle, where he mimes otaku-isms
such as posing for the camera with a peace-sign over his eyes.
He says with a wry smile, "A lot of people expect me to lose this
fight, but a lot of people also expect Nagashima to lose too."
Nagashima is quoted trying to bait Aoki, saying, "Aoki should try
trading with me in the second [MMA] round as well."
They touch gloves to begin the kickboxing round of the contest.
Aoki sucks Nagashima into the clinch and referee Yuji Shimada
breaks them up. Aoki clinches again and works some knees to the
body like a Thai boxer only to get broken up again. Aoki drops for
a double by instinct and the fans boo. Aoki tries for a drop kick,
and a flying middle kick, both times falling to the mat afterward.
Shimada has to stand Aoki up both times, but it's clear what his
strategy is -- waste as much time as he can by forcing Shimada to
jump in to stand him up. Aoki tries for more drop kicks, rolling
heel kicks, the whole gamut. Shimada gives Aoki a warning for these
tactics. Aoki uses the ropes to jump up and throw kicks which
Shimada warns him for as well. Thankfully for Aoki, it's only a
three-minute round, so this specific tactic has paid off. The bell
rings and Aoki is no worse for wear.
To begin the MMA round, Aoki dives for the double-leg takedown and
Nagashima launches right into a crushing flying knee. Nagashima
drops a number of hammerfists on Aoki, but he's completely out
cold, so the blows are academic. The official time is four
In his post-fight address to the fans, Nagashima turns to Masato
who is sitting ringside doing commentary for the Japanese PPV, "K-1
is strong, isn't it?" The implication here being that despite MMA
fighters' well-roundedness, it would be a mistake for MMA fighters
to look down on the otherwise one-dimensional K-1 fighters. It's a
pretty dangerous one dimension.
Alistair Overeem wants a third belt, bringing him to Dynamite this
evening as he's got a chance to lock up the Dream (interim)
heavyweight title. The VTR also makes mention of how the strongest
man in 6,000,000,000 -- a nod to Pride's heavyweight grand prix of
yore -- Fedor Emelianenko, lost earlier this year to Fabricio
Werdum by triangle. As such, they posit Overeem as the strongest
man in 7,000,000,000.
Their explanation of Duffee is interesting in that "he's a man with
the fastest knockout in the UFC, and was somehow released by
Duffee charges with big punches and Overeem ducks under them.
Duffee tries to flurry in close, but Overeem moves his head just a
tad to get out of the way. Then, Overeem laces Duffee with a big
knee to the belly, followed by a crushing right and left hook.
Duffee sits on his rear and falls asleep, slumping right out of the
ring. Referee Moritaka Oshiro calls the bout immediately
Your winner and new Dream interim heavyweight champion by way of
knockout a mere 19 seconds into round one, Alistair Overeem.
On the microphone, Overeem plays to the crowd.
"Genki desu ka? ('How are you doing?') Thank you for coming to see
my fight. This year, I won three world titles. Strikeforce, then
K-1, and now Dream, and I promise you all that I'm going to keep
giving you great fights! Arigato gozaimasu!"
The VTR for Ishii-Le Banner is fairly standard. It recounts Ishii's
history -- debuting against Hidehiko Yoshida and otherwise severely
underperforming as a heavyweight mixed martial artist. He's got
wins over middleweights, and doesn't say things that are
particularly funny, despite his efforts at being the class clown.
One of the unfunny things he says is, "Next year, I want to take
Alistair Overeem's K-1 title."
Le Banner basically claims he'll smash Ishii.
As Ishii will be fighting another heavyweight for once, the hope is
that he can turn things around here.
Le Banner walks Ishii into the corner. Ishii drops for the double,
takes the Frenchman down and stays in close, passing to side
control. Le Banner recovers to half guard, but Ishii throws a few
hammerfists and passes again to side. Ishii's corner encourages him
to take Le Banner's back and he does. Le Banner gets to his feet,
but Ishii wrenches him back down and starts mashing with punches.
Le Banner gets to his feet and stalls the fight out, prompting a
break by referee Yuji Shimada. Ishii charges in for the takedown
again, but is rebuffed. Le Banner lands a knee to Ishii's belly and
head from the clinch. Ishii tries to trip Le Banner to the mat, but
is foiled by the ropes -- Le Banner bounces off of them and uses
the momentum to reverse and get top in mount on Ishii. Ishii gives
up his back to escape through the back door where he recaptures Le
Banner's back. They disengage when Le Banner turns into Ishii
decides to bang it out with Le Banner in the final 30 seconds and
gets marked up for it. The round ends with Ishii diving for the
Ishii swings with a big hook in order to close the distance for the
clinch. No takedown comes, so Shimada breaks them up. They clinch
again and Ishii looks for a trip while Le Banner throws a few tired
punches at Ishii's head in the clinch. Ishii gets the gassed
Frenchman to the mat with a trip and passes to half guard to drop
hammers. He's barely connecting as Le Banner is blocking well, but
that doesn't stop Shimada from asking if Le Banner "gives up."
Shimada repositions the two men at the center. Ishii moves back
into Le Banner's guard to pull out a leg for a heel hook attempt.
Le Banner pulls his leg out and reverses his way into Ishii's
guard. Shimada breaks them up. Ishii gets the takedown and goes for
the Achilles hold on Le Banner's right leg this time. Le Banner
takes the moment to catch a breath or two. Le Banner sits up, frees
his leg and then starts mashing Ishii up with his huge fists from
guard. The audience chant "Hey! Hey! Hey!" with every punch until
Both men are extremely gassed. Ishii dances around the outside,
throwing sloppy punches and low kicks. His takedown attempts turn
into brisk walks into the clinch. From there, he can at least trip
Le Banner to the mat. After a moment's rest in Le Banner's guard,
he passes to side. Ishii flails hammerfists at Le Banner's head,
then locks up a kimura. His first attempt doesn't work, nor does
his second. The crowd goes, "Awww!" at this failure. Ishii tries
for a third time in between elbowing Le Banner's thigh. He gives
that up in the final minute to try and punch Le Banner out from
mount and back mount. Sherdog.com scores the bout for Satoshi
Judges Gen Isono, Masanori Ohashi, and Yasushi Miyake unanimously
give the bout to Satoshi Ishii. The crowd bursts into a round of
audible boos at the decision. It seems Ishii really has outstayed
his welcome in kakutogi.
The video package for the Dream welterweight championship bout
between Zaromskis and Sakuraba asks the question, "Is Sakuraba
"Finished?" he says. "I don't think I'm finished."
The video notes that this is the first time Sakuraba has cut weight
to fight, citing also that he's had a history fighting far outside
of weight, ranging from heavyweight against guys like Mirko "Cro
Cop" Filipovic to welterweight today against Zaromskis. It also
notes how his first "middleweight belt" in Pride was a toy belt,
but how this evening, Saku has a chance at a real belt.
For his entrance, Sakuraba again reenacts and parodies a scene from
the popular 90' anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion, which itself is now
making a comeback in Japan thanks to the release of theatrical
remakes and a successful series of slot machines.
Zaromskis flies at Sakuraba with a kick, but "The IQ Wrestler"
brushes him away. Sakuraba indulges Zaromskis on the feet for a
bit, connecting with push kicks and hooks. However, Zaromskis'
sharp punches connect on Sakuraba as well. One punch seems to open
up Sakuraba's legendarily cauliflowered right ear. Referee Moritaka
Oshiro calls a brief break to get him cleaned up. When they resume
at the center, Sakuraba takes the center and continues to work his
punches. Sakuraba's guard is very tight and high, his hands aren't
connecting, while Zaromskis' are. Oshiro steps in to have
Sakuraba's ear cleaned up again, but this time, Sakuraba is cupping
his hand over it. The crowd lets out a collective groan of
disappointment as the ringside physician tells Oshiro that Sakuraba
Though we can't see the ear, word is that Sakuraba's ear has become
partially separated from his head. The official time of the bout is
2:16 of the first round. Marius Zaromskis successfully defends his
Dream welterweight title for the first time.
With his head wrapped in bandages and tape, Sakuraba takes to the
microphone and says in rapid-fire Japanese, "Sorry, but my ear kind
of came off, dammit. Zaromskis is a great fighter. Thanks for
coming out to support me, and I'll continue to do my best. I think
I'm still improving so I want to continue fighting."
K-1 Rules Bout Akiyo
Nishiura vs. Tetsuya
Yamato Round 1
Nishiura dances into range and blocks some kicks to the body and
checks some low kicks. "Wicky" twitches a bit and lunges with a big
right hook which ends in a clinch. Yamato hits a quick right
straight on Nishiura and follows up with more body kicks. Nishiura
blocks them and throws a high kick. Nishiura starts varying his
kicks, throwing low kicks, push kicks, and body kicks in the final
minute before the bell. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-10, as do
all three ringside judges.
Nishiura snaps off low kicks while Yamato throws kicks to the body.
Nishiura tries to lunge with another big right hand, but misses.
The fight becomes a war of low kicks for a moment before "Wicky"
pokes Yamato in the face with a quick right, and another Nishiura
snaps Yamato's head back with a sharp left hand, but eats a right
of Yamato's in the last 10 seconds. Nishiura lands another punch,
catches a Yamato kick and pushes him to the floor, following him
down and landing in mount. The bell rings and Nishiura hops off,
apologizing to Yamato who shoots daggers at him with his eyes.
Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Nishiura. The K-1 judges differ
and see it another 10-10 round.
Yamato more active this round, landing punches and low kicks.
Likewise, Nishiura steps up his workrate and lands his fair share
of right hands and low kicks. Nishiura gives his best Leonard
Garcia impression, swinging with abandon, occasionally railing
Yamato with hard lefts and rights. Nishiura's inner beast is
starting to show as he slowly stops giving regard to the rules: he
attacks after the ref tries to step in for a break, throws a clinch
knee, for which he's warned. Yamato, thoroughly angered, starts
landing his big shots, and the rock the Shooto stand-up. Nishiura
survives to the bell, but he's on wobbly legs, taking punches all
the way. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Yamato, for a 29-29
Two judges rule the bout a 30-30 draw, with one favoring Yamato
30-29. There is no extension round, making the bout a majority
In the High-Sakurai VTR package, Sakurai clains, "I have no excuse
for losing [to Nick Diaz]." Then after a brief pause, he says,
"Well actually, wait, I do. The cage was there." He elicits some
laughs as he demonstrates how the cage foiled his ability to escape
Though Dream welterweight grand prix finalist High is his next
opponent, Sakurai reflects that he wouldn't mind facing Sakuraba or
Kiyoshi Tamura sometime in the future, nor would he mind throwing
his hat in for some lightweight K-1 action.
They touch gloves and after a brief exchange of low kicks and
grazing punches, High shoots, but botches the takedown. Sakurai
capitalizes and reverses, putting High down and taking top in half
guard. Sakurai elbows High's leg and throws short punches to the
side of his head. High attempts to shrimp out, but Sakurai stays
tight on him, keeping him close. Referee Kenichi Serizawa calls a
break and gives Jason High a yellow card for stalling. Back on the
feet, "Mach" lands some low kicks and puts High into a corner. High
wrenches Sakurai to the mat whereupon he starts working some
ground-and-pound inside Sakurai's guard. High stays in close and
doesn't do much damage. The bell rings moments later to close an
otherwise fairly even round.
They clash at the center as Sakurai throws a low kick and High
punches. This turns into a clinch, from which Sakurai gets the trip
takedown. From top in half guard, Sakurai stays in close, mashing
with short punches and elbows to High's ribs. High rolls and
reverses Sakurai, smashing him with three big punches. High cradles
Sakurai's head with his right hand and postures up to punch his
left. High tries to punch while passing to side, but Sakurai pulls
him into full guard. High passes back to half, mashing the whole
way with punches. In the final minute, High postures up and lands
some heavy shots on Sakurai. From his corner, Muhammed Lawal urges
High, "Sprint! Sprint!" The bell rings shortly afterward. High
pulling slightly ahead this round.
Sakurai pursues High to a corner and launches a knee to the guts.
High absorbs it and runs for a takedown but doesn't get it. They're
broken up, and High tries for another takedown, but is reversed
this time by Sakurai who puts him on his back. Sakurai passes to
mount, but High bucks and puts Sakurai on his back. High passes to
half and taps at Sakurai's head with short punches as his corner
urges him to "sprint." Serizawa breaks them up. High puts Mach back
down on the canvas. With one minute remaining, Serizawa stands them
up and gives Sakurai a yellow card for stalling this time. High
circles on the outside and gets sparked by a Sakurai left hand. He
has just enough wits about him to get the takedown as Sakurai tries
to finish with the knee. Once getting him down however, High is
able to safely ride out the final three seconds of the fight.
Sherdog.com scores the bout for Jason High.
Judge Akira Shoji sides with Hayato Sakurai, however judges Gen
Isono and Yasushi Miyake give their nods to Jason High, the winner
by split decision.
The pre-fight VTR promo for Thomson-Kawajiri introduces Josh
Thomson as "the no. 2 lightweight" in Strikeforce, having gone
one-and-one with current lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
Since then however, Shinya Aoki has made an unsuccessful campaign
in America. Thus, the video package focuses on Kawajiri as
something of a second hope for Japanese fighters to represent in
the United States.
"Not Aoki, but Kawajiri," says the VTR narrator. "Go to America and
bring back our Dream."
Kawajiri swings some wild hooks and evades a high kick from
Thomson. Thomson nails Kawajiri with a kick to the guts. Kawajiri
ducks under a high kick and puts Thomson against the ropes in the
clinch. Kawajiri wrangles Thomson to the canvas and lands short
punches. Kawajiri punches to the head, freeing his leg and passing
to full mount. Kawajiri triangles his legs around Thomson's and
tries to maintain balance and punch him in the face at the same
time. Thomson wriggles his legs out to get back to butterfly guard.
Both men punch each other, but Kawajiri is getting in the better
shots from on top. Kawajiri attempts to pass again and eats an
upkick but is unfazed. Bell.
Thomson misses a "Superman" punch and flying kick right off the
bell. Kawajiri clinches up and puts the high-flying Thomson down on
his back. Kawajiri lands in mount and locks on what looks to be a
very tight arm-triangle choke, but Thomson survives through it.
Kawajiri passes back to mount, but Thomson scurries back to his
feet. "The Punk" looks for a takedown of his own, but he loses
balance, pulling Kawajiri into his guard instead. Kawajiri returns
to mashing with short and big punches alike. Thomson almost manages
to reverse and take Kawajiri's back, but the "Crusher" thwarts him.
Kawajiri's nose is bleeding considerably. Thomson scrambles out
from bottom and captures Kawajiri's back. Kawajiri holds onto the
AKA product's right arm to keep him from threatening with the
choke. Referee Yuji Shimada breaks them up in the last minute of
the round. Neither man engages before the bell, ending another
solid round for the "Crusher."
They trade punches at the center. Kawajiri pulls Thomson into the
clinch and begins fighting for the outside trip. He gets it and
lands on top in half. As Kawajiri works to pass, Thomson throws
punches from bottom. Kawajiri drops a few punches to loosen
Thomson's grip and finally passes to side control. Kawajiri does
his best to pin down the wily Thomson, but is unable to secure the
mount or riding time until they get tangled in the ropes. Shimada
repositions them in the center in half-guard, which Kawajiri passes
to take side control soon after. Kawajiri lobs some knees to the
top of Thomson's head. Thomson scrambles to his feet and put some
big punches on Kawajiri. Kawajiri looks rocked and skates around,
searching for the takedown. He eats two big knees to the face
before he does put it down. Face bloodied, Kawajiri passes to mount
and again looks to lock up the arm-triangle choke again. However,
Thomson's hand is to his ear, and Kawajiri is unable to finish. The
bell rings just as Thomson scrambles out of the choke. Sherdog.com
scores the bout for Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Judges Matt Hume, Masanori Ohashi and Hikaru Adachi all turn in
scorecards for Tatsuya Kawajiri, the winner by unanimous
The video package for Takaya-Fernandes gets a little personal with
Takaya talks about his father and his troubled past, running with
motorcycle gangs and being a menace to society. Such a menace, in
fact, that his father fled to the Northern island of Hokkaido to
escape his son's reputation.
"This will be the first time I'll wear a belt, so I want my father
to see this," says Takaya.
While living in Hokkaido, the community Takaya senior lives in
receives word of the younger Takaya's successes in Dream and how
he's basically turned his life around.
The champion Fernandes makes note of his own troubled upbringing,
and how he himself fights because it was a way of life for him
growing up in impoverished Manaus. Short videos and images of
Brazilian favelas are played in the background.
The 10-minute opening round begins with Takaya throwing low kicks.
Neither man can connect with punches. Fernandes drops and drives
Takaya to the mat. Bibiano mashes with short punches, and referee
Yuji Shimada calls for action. Takaya scrambles and gets to his
feet. "Evil Fist" dances out of range of three looping Bibiano
punches. Shimada warns both men to put up more action. Bibiano
throws a wild one-two, which Takaya evades and counters with a
right. Takaya continues to work the low kick, the only successful
strike of the round thus far. Fernandes drops for a single, but
Takaya jumps back and out, getting put against the corner.
Fernandes throws knees to Takaya's thighs. Shimada breaks them up.
Takaya ducks under a winging overhand right and pumps his jab at
Fernandes. Takaya misses a big right and eats a sharp uppercut. He
retreats a few steps and blows out an exasperated breath. Upon
resuming, Fernandes drops and drives, but Takaya sprawls at the
Takaya begins chasing Fernandes down with punches, but the
Brazilian is constantly out of range. Fernandes lands a few jabs of
his own, but his big rights miss their mark. Fenandes lands a
swiping right hand. Takaya lands a low kick. They trade on the
feet, but neither really land any big shots. Fernandes smiles at
Takaya and drops for a takedown. Takaya defends and Shimada breaks
them up from the clinch. Fernandes tries again and get Takaya to
his posterior for only a few seconds. Takaya pops back up and
retreats to a corner, where Fernandes throws knees at his legs.
Shimada breaks them up again. In the final minute, both men paw
with jabs until Takaya surprisingly drops for a takedown. He
doesn't get it, but he puts Fernandes against the ropes until the
Takaya opens the round swinging and missing. Fernandes counters
with punches of his own and connects. Fernandes shoots and Takaya
sprawls out of the ring. Shimada breaks them up. Fernandes shoots
again and puts Takaya on his posterior against the ropes. Fernandes
keeps a tight grip on Takaya's waist, knowing that as soon as he
lets go, Takaya is hopping to his feet. Takaya does just that, and
so Fernandes pulls guard instead. Takaya sits up and lands a few
punches, but Fernandes gets on controlling the distance. Comically,
Shimada yells, "No holding! No holding!" when neither man is
holding. Shimada repositions both men in the center. There's some
argument as to whether Fernandes had his guard open or closed, but
Fernandes just closes it anyway when they resume. It's the final
minute, and the crowd starts with a Takaya chant, as he continues
to rack up punches. Shimada asks Fernandes if he gives up, when
clearly, Fernandes isn't, since he's still fighting to control
distance and punch. The bell rings shortly after. Sherdog.com
scores the bout for Hiroyuki Takaya.
Judges Matt Hume and Hikaru Adachi rule the bout for Hiroyuki
Takaya. The crowd explodes into raucous applause, masking the name
of the final judge, who also votes for Takaya, the new Dream
featherweight champion. The in-arena cameras cut to Takaya's
father, who now wears a slight smile on his face.