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Hoshino vs. Munehiro
Kin Round 1
Officiating the first fight of the evening is Toshiharu Suzuki.
Hoshino throws a spinning high and middle kick to start things out.
They miss and Kin shoots for the double, but is stuffed. He puts
Hoshino against the corner for the meantime, busying himself with
knees to Hoshino's legs. Suzuki breaks the men up. Kin paws with a
jab as Hoshino circles the outside. Another Hoshino high kick
misses but a southpaw jab snaps Kin's head back. Kin catches a
Hoshino low kick and drives him into a corner, struggling for that
single leg takedown. He finally gets it but Hoshino sits back up on
his posterior and punches at Kin's ribs. Kin disengages and tries
to flurry with punches as Hoshino stands up. Kin then shoots for
another takedown right into the corner and gets it, but is stuck in
a lose guillotine. The bell rings shortly thereafter on a razor
thin 10-9 Hoshino round.
Hoshino fends off another takedown attempt with jabs and a sprawl.
He then foils another, this time clipping Kin with a kick across
the brow. The blow appeared grazing, but it seems to have connected
as Kin has tumbled backwards. Since he was on his knees during the
attempt however, Suzuki calls a temporary stop to assess the damage
of the unintentional illegal kick across Kin's face. A full two
minutes later, after consulting with doctors and subtracting a
point from Hoshino, the fight continues. A right high kick from Kin
puts Hoshino down momentarily, but Hoshino is back on his feet,
charging with punches and a knee that narrowly misses Kin's head.
They clinch up and the next knee from Hoshino lands, but this time,
to his groin. Kin takes another handful of minutes to recover from
the low blow while Hoshino loses yet another point. They resume and
Kin flies into Hoshino with a knee. In response, Hoshino flicks a
leg out to counter, and lands right in Kin's groin again. Kin has
fallen straight to the floor and Hoshino is promptly disqualified.
The DQ comes at 1:27 of the second period.
Matsumoto vs. Akira
Okada Round 1
Matsumoto charges to get right in Okada's face. Okada pumps his
southpaw jab at Matsumoto to keep him away. Matsumoto gets the
clinch and lifts Okada up and brings him down to the mat. Okada
reaches to his right side, looking for the kimura from bottom.
Matsumoto gets his arm free and advances to half guard where both
men aim punches at each other's ribs. Matsumoto works his way
around to Okada's back as Okada twisets to get away. Matsumoto's
hooks are in however, so Okada is able to slink a little further
down in the back mount, giving him room to angle punches upward at
Matsumoto's head. Matsumoto eventually gets put on bottom as Okada
turns into him. Okada breaks free and begins raining punches at
this juncture, trying to lay on the punishment in the final ten
seconds. A classic 10-10 Shooto round.
Okada lunges in with big swinging fists for the second round,
battering Matsumoto into a corner. Matsumoto circles out and
returns fire with quick punches and low kicks. Okada is still
lunging into his punches but is largely missing now. Matsumoto
tries to clinch and put Okada against the ropes, but the bigger,
stronger Okada simply chucks him off. Matsumoto, though tiring,
lands a nice three piece on Okada's face. Both men are trading in
the center here, so it's just a matter of time until one of them
really gets sparked. That person seems to be Matsumoto who crumples
into a takedown attempt off of a hard left hook from Okada. Okada
reverses and puts Matsumoto on his back. From top in guard,
Matsumoto begins throwing hammer fists. Matsumoto sits up and
drives forward, trying to end up in the clinch. Okada obliges him
and puts him against the ropes. Matsumoto jumps up onto Okada and
sinks a guillotine. It looks tight for a moment but no catch is
called. Matsumoto squeezes with all his might for the final minute,
but there is no tap. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Okada.
Official scores: The judges however, see it a little
differently. Judge Kyosuke Watanabe scores the bout 20-18 for
Okada, while Judge Tadashi Yokoyama scores the bout 20-19
Matsumoto. Referee Toshiharu Suzuki rules it a 19-19 draw for a
Horiguchi vs. Takahiro
Hosoi Round 1
They start out at the center and after trading low kicks and jabs,
Horiguchi unleashes with a massive four punch hook combo that sends
Hosoi dizzily to the canvas. Hosoi attempts to recover under fire
as Horiguchi rains down punches. He even gets to his feet long
enough to eat a bunch more punches, prompting Toshiharu Suzuki to
dive in and save the hapless Hosoi at 1:06 in the first period.
Takeuchi vs. Mikihito
Yamagami Round 1
The two southpaws take to the center where they paw at each other
with jabs and low kicks. Yamagami is vastly taller though, so his
kicks are actually finding their mark while Takeuchi is just out of
range. Yamagami is easily racking up the inside low kick while
Takeuchi tries his best to touch him with his jab. A few outside
low kicks connect for the shorter "ATCH Anarchy" however. Niether
man looks ready to commit to ending the fight here, as this tense
dance at range continues. Then, just as Takeuchi throws a low kick,
he gets railed by a straight left, putting him on his rear. He
bounces back up and eats a left high kick right before the bell.
Yamagami cinches the 10-9 with these two blows.
Yamagami catches a low kick from Takeuchi and again smashes his
left hand into the shorter fighter's face. Takeuchi doesn't get
sent down this time, but he's still eating the lion's share of
damage here, between low kicks and the occasional counter punch up
top. Yamagami works Takeuchi into a corner and "ATCH" fires back
with overhand punches that whiff only at air. Takeuchi dances his
way out of the corner but still looks like he's at a loss for how
to navigate past Yamagami's optimum firing range. Yamagami
continues to stalk Takeuchi with low kicks, essentially paying
little heed to whatever "ATCH" throws at him. The bell rings just
after Yamagami throws a high kick that Takeuchi doesn't even have
to duck a little bit to get under. Sherdog.com sees it 10-9
The third frame continues what was begun in the first and second
periods: Yamagami stalks Takeuchi with low kicks while the shorter
fighter circles and throws the occasional overhand which,
unfortunately, miss by wide margins. Midway through the bout,
Takeuchi finally gets his breakthrough, clobbering Yamagami with a
big left hook. He follows Yamagami to the canvas to land a few
extra punches, but the rangy fighter is back on his feet quickly,
throwing more push and low kicks to keep the same from happening
again. Takeuchi steps up the winging punch attempts, but it's clear
that his right leg is starting to give him trouble. Whenever
Yamagami lands a kick on it, he gives an awkward hop before diving
in with another big punch. Despite giving Yamagami chase in the
final minute, Takeuchi can't seem to catch to catch Yamagami one
more time. The bell rings. Sherdog.com sees the round 10-9
Takeuchi, but has a 29-28 Yamagami scorecard.
Official scores: Judge Kyosuke Watanabe has it 30-27,
Tadashi Yokoyama has it 30-26, and Toshiharu Suzuki has it 30-27,
all for the winner by unanimous decision, Mikihito Yamagami.
Yuki Shojo vs.
Tahara Round 1
Both men get to it at the center, trading punches. Tahara closes
the distance and puts Shojo against the ropes. Shojo switches
positions with him and works some body-body-head punch action.
Tahara busies himself with knees in the clinch and an outside trip
attempt which goes nowhere. Tahara keeps at it and wrangles Shojo
to the canvas, but has his arms tied up so he can't punch. Shojo
pulls Tahara's head down to minimize the distance as he shrimps,
but Tahara is still able to pass straight to mount. Shojo gives up
his back and "Shinpei" sits across his back, locking up a crucifix
momentarily. Tahara then turns this into a submission attempt,
though appears to be undecided on whether it ought to be a triangle
or an armbar. In the confusion, Shojo breaks free and brings it
back to the feet. The bell rings before either man can get off any
offense. Sherdog.com sees the opening frame 10-9 Tahara.
Shojo flurries with punches, smashing Tahara into the corner with
them. Tahara clinches up and spins Shojo into the corner instead.
Shojo spins out again and breaks free, putting more punches on
Tahara's face and a few hard knees to his guts. Shojo is really
firing on all cylinders here, landing punches in between clinches
against the ropes. It's all Tahara can do just to clinch up to make
the punches stop for a few seconds. Shojo starts missing some of
his punches however, as he just can't keep up that kind of rate.
Tahara takes this opening to shoot the double and put "The Grass
Prince" on the canvas. Shojo gets to his feet and drives forward
for a single of his own, but Tahara stuffs it and works a loose
headlock. He gives up the single and goes back to pistoning punches
into Tahara's face, who in turn, is able to land some counter
punches of his own in between bursts. The bell rings and it's a
10-9 Shojo round on the Sherdog.com scorecard.
Shojo steams forward with the punches, and Tahara drops and drives
for a takedown. It goes nowhere but into a ring corner, allowing
Shojo to again break free and throw more punches. Valiant as the
effort to finish with these machine gun punches are, he's getting
tired however. The punches are now more of a staccato burst rather
than full auto, but Tahara is still eating shots and getting less
in the way of counters in. His takedown attempts are also now being
stuffed more frequently. Shojo locks a sloppy guillotine, but loses
position. He manages to get Tahara down on bottom again, but is
forced to escape an armbar attempt. He does so and sits in Tahara's
guard, dropping punches. He passes to side and works over Tahara's
ribs. Shojo really trying to finish with ground-and-pound here, but
Tahara hangs on until the bell. Sherdog.com sees it 10-9 Shojo,
giving him the bout 29-28.
Official scores: Kyosuke Watanabe has it 29-28, Tadashi
Yokoyama has it a close 30-29, and Toshiharu Suzuki has it a wide
30-27. All three cards are for the winner by unanimous decision,
Nakakura vs. Kuniyoshi
Hironaka Round 1
A very flat-footed Nakakura meets Hironaka in the center, switches
his stance from southpaw to orthodox then back. He sucks the UFC
vet into the clinch momentarily until Hironaka breaks free.
Nakakura tags him with a jab on his way out. Hironaka dives for a
double, and Nakakura sprawls, almost falling out of the bottom
rope. Hironaka uses this awkward position to change his grips and
wrangle Nakakura to all fours. The former Shooto world champ gets
to all fours and crawls to a corner. The Cage Force lightweight
champ yanks him away however and hops onto his back, sinking the
hooks in. Nakakura works at Hironaka's hands, trying to break his
grip. Hironaka obliges him, engaging his hands in punches to the
head instead. The Cage Force champ has the body triangle now and
appears to be aiming for the rear-naked choke. Nakakura ties up his
hands and forces the stalemate to the bell. The opening round is
10-9 Hironaka on the Sherdog.com scorecard.
Hironaka misses a spinning high kick and Nakakura lands two jabs
followed by a double leg attempt. Hironaka stuffs it and puts the
former Shooto champ up against the post. Undeterred, Nakakura jumps
up for the guillotine, but it's not tight. Hironaka breaks free and
stands up. Nakakura throws an up-kick which he uses to flip
backward and reset for a double leg attempt. It's stuffed and he's
again put againt the ring post. He tries once more for the
guillotine, but Hironaka pops out and starts racking up the
ground-and-pound. Nakakura tries his upkick, backflip, takedown
once more and is instead reversed and driven right out of the ring.
Toshiharu Suzuki resets them back in the center. Nakakura lands a
hard right hook which forces Hironaka to drop for a takedown.
Nakakura shucks him off and pursues with a one-two, middle kick,
putting him against the ropes. They disengage and Nakamura shoots
again, this time ducking under and taking Nakakura's back in the
rear waistlock. The BJJ black belt drags Nakakura to the canvas and
both trade punches. Nakakura rolls for a leg, but the bell rings
before he can really do anything. Sherdog.com has it all even after
a 10-9 Nakakura round.
Both men trade single punches at the center, and both land
head-snapping right hands. It's Nakakura however that follows this
up with a successful takedown. Hironaka stays in close, punching at
the head and body of Nakakura. The Cage Force champ then stands,
chucks his opponent's legs to the side and takes his back. Nakakura
throws punches behind him, landing blind shots. Hironaka returns
the favor, battering the side of Nakakura's head, but oddly enough,
it's Nakakura that's now scoring the majority of punches from this
position. The former Shooto champ almost spins his way into guard,
but Hironaka is right there with him, following the spin to
maintain back control. Nakakura walks forward, looking for a way to
escape. Then he just lunges forward and rolls for a leg again, but
no submission avails itself in the final ten seconds. 10-9
Hironaka, for a 29-28 scorecard for the UFC vet.
Official scores: Kyosuke Watanabe sees it 29-28, while
Toshiharu Suzuki and Tadashi Yokoyama have it 30-28 for the winner
by unanimous decision, Kuniyoshi Hironaka.
Post-fight, a teary-eyed and relieved Hironaka notes that he was
mulling retirement before this bout, and that should he have lost,
he would have decided to call it a day in the ring.
Vacant Shooto 115-Pound World Championship Junji
Ikoma vs. Junji
Ito Round 1
Ikoma throws a push kick and Ito catches it, looking for the
counter. Ikoma yanks it back but gets another kick caught, eating a
grazing jab as punishment. Ikoma switches to punches, landing a few
jabs, but missing the looping right hand followups. Sarumaru is
getting tagged here, but he's looking unfazed, returning with jabs
of his own. An Ito high kick snaps into Ikoma's head. Ikoma doesn't
look jarred by it and lands a hard left hook in response, sending
Ito to the canvas. Ito hops back to his feet but is taken down.
From above, the elder Shooto vet advances to half guard and starts
laying on the short punches. This is unfortunately interrupted by
the ring ropes as both men slip through the bottom. Ito scrambles
to his feet and retakes the center of the ring. Ikoma lands a hard
one-two, but Ito continues to circle and lob low kicks and jabs. A
lunging overhand right from "Sarumaru" misses its mark, but a more
precise right straight lands clean for him. Both men are landing
jabs consistently now, but Ikoma is starting to look stiffer with
every blow he receives. An overhand right from Ito opens a cut at
the corner of Ikoma's left eye. Blood streams from it. The bell
rings on a surprisingly close 10-9 round for Ikoma.
They trade jabs at the center until Ito lands a high kick. Ikoma
buckles a bit but punches back to keep Ito off of him, smiling. Ito
recovers under fire and then turns it on, throwing reckless, wild
punches while chasing the younger fighter down. Ito has to
backpedal clear across the ring just to evade the onrushing Ikoma.
Luckily, this onslaught doesn't last long. Ito begins firing back
when Ikoma tires, targeting head and body with hooks. Ito really
finding his rhythm here, smashing punches and high kicks into his
41-year-old foe. Ikoma's face is several good punches shy of
turning into hamburger, but he's still throwing with the intent to
put Ito away. Ito has backed off some, and as a result, is eating
more jabs than he's delivering. Ikoma goes for a final rally in the
last ten seconds, and though Ito works some good head movement in,
he's still getting caught. The bell sounds, ending a close 10-9 Ito
round on the Sherdog.com scorecard.
As explosive as the action is here, it's clear that Ito is
registering the most damage. Both men land jabs and right hands,
but it's Ito that's walking Ikoma down. Just as I write this
however, Ikoma bashes Ito with a solid right hand that sends him
careening into the ropes. He lunges to finish, but Ito is back on
his feet and they're back at trading punches. An Ito high kick
again snaps Ikoma's head to the side. It's a numbers game now,
however. Despite the knockdowns, no man is looking close to being
finished. Ikoma appears to be landing more punches, while Ito seems
to be landing harder, more damaging blows. Given how Ito dances
around Ikoma, picking his shots, it's clear that he's got the
greater stamina in this final round. The bell rings on what is so
far the "Fight of the Night" and further proof that 115 pounds
isn't too small for MMA. The round goes 10-9 to Ikoma, and the
fight 29-28 to Ikoma, on the Sherdog scorecard.
Official scores:All three judges -- Toshiharu Suzuki,
Kyosuke Watanabe and Tadashi Yokoyama -- see the bout 29-28 for the
new Shooto world 115-pound champion, Junji Ikoma.
Hatsu Hioki vs.
Sanchez Round 1
Hioki misses a kick to the body and eats a few jabs for his
trouble. Hioki connects on the following two push-kicks however.
Hioki maneuvers Sanchez into a corner. Sanchez circles outs and
lands some low kicks. They trade jabs. Hioki connects with a
one-two, but has high high kick blocked. Sanchez throws a high kick
and Hioki ducks under it for a takedown. Sanchez catches Hioki in
the guillotine, but the SRC featherweight champ pops out and passes
to half guard, and then to mount. The Japanese fighter wisely
maneuvers the both of them away from the ropes before sitting up to
drop punches and set up a top-side triangle. It doesn't catch as
Sanchez bucks up and gets to his feet. Sanchez snaps off some jabs
and low kick, and Hioki returns in kind before hitting another
double leg. From top in guard, the SRC and Shooto champ rains with
punches until the bell. 10-9 Hioki.
Sanchez catches a Hioki middle kick, but the Japanese fighter
punches his way free. Sanchez lands a hard right hand, but Hioki is
unfazed. Hioki drops for a single and slams Sanchez to the canvas.
He passes to side, and then mount again. Hioki sits up high,
trapping Sanchez's right arm. He drops a few punches before Sanchez
flips him over, unfortunately falling right into his trap. Hioki
closes the triangle for the tap at 1:36 of round two.
Shooto 132-Pound World Championship Shuichiro
Katsumura vs. Koetsu
Okazaki Round 1
Katsumura circles on the outside, lobbing low kicks. Okazaki snipes
from center-ring with the jab. Okazaki then lunges witha right
straight to Katsumura's body. The champ, strangely, responds with a
downward chopping hand and a backhand. Okazaki lunges for a big
punch and Katsumura ducks under and spins onto his back latching
the rear-naked choke, his legs snaked around Okazaki's right leg.
It's a tense moment as the choke looks tight, but Okazaki is soon
able to free himself and spin into Katsumura's guard. The champ
turns on the rubber guard and hammers the top of Okazaki's head.
The challenger pushes his way through the rubber guard to posture
up. Katsumura works wrist control, but Okazaki gets his hands free
to drop some blistering ground-and-pound. Katsumura pulls him back
down, and so Okazaki chins him in the eye to make distance. Still,
Katsumura latches on the rubber guard again and racks up a few
small punches to the dome until the bell. 10-9 Katsumura, if
Katsumura closes with those strange chopping hammers and backhands,
but none connect. Okazaki slams a right hand into the breadbasket
and is sucked into the clinch. The challenger puts the champ
against the corner and throws knees to the thigh. Okazaki
disengages and Katsumura gives chase with a flurry. He's caught
with a counterpunch however and falls to his back. Okazaki lunges
to finish and lands big brutal shots. Katsumura is reaching up to
try and pull Okazaki down to close the distance, but Toshiharu
Suzuki has seen enough and steps in to call the bout at 2:24.
Despite looking like too early of a stoppage, a wobbly Katsumura
can barely stand up straight after the stop. Still smiling, the
defeated former champ falls into an embrace with the new champion,
Tsuchiya vs. "Lion" Takeshi
Inoue Round 1
Tsuchiya is looking feisty, getting right up in Inoue's face. They
trade jabs and dance around each other. Tsuchiya misses a left
hook, but lands one to the body. Inoue responds with low kicks and
a jab that snaps the Pacific Rim champ's head back. Tsuchiya
continues to press onward though, pressuring "Lion" into corners.
He misses a spinning back kick and "Lion" slams a kick into his
legs. The former 143-pound world champ parries some of Tsuchiya's
punches and throws a kick to the body. Tsuchiya catches it, but
"Lion" blasts him with a hard right hand, sending him stumbling
backward. Tsuchiya shakes it off and pushes forward with more
punches, faking another spinning back kick. Both men feint with
jumping and stance switching, but no offense results. Inoue fakes
with his hands, trying to draw Tsuchiya's attention away before
throwing punches. Tsuchiya isn't so easily distracted however,
landing a few stiff punches as evidence just before the bell. A
very tight 10-10 round on the Sherdog.com scorecard.
Tsuchiya closes the distance and works three punch combinations in
close. "Lion" has apparently settled into single punch jab counters
and low kicks. Tsuchiya dances a bit and throws a side push kick
followed by a three-piece up top. Inoue still only countering with
single shots. Inoue snaps Tsuchiya's head violently back with one
of his jab counters, but the Pacific Rim champ continues to walk
the former champ down, unfazed. Both men are shuffling their feet
now, feinting. Tsuchiya lands a hard body punch followed by more
lunging, winging blows. "Lion" barely escapes the latter. Tsuchiya
grazes with another side kick, and "Lion" blasts him with a huge
right, straight down the center. His fearlessness is beginning to
show on his face however as bruises appear to be forming on
Tsuchiya's left cheek. Tsuchiya flies back into the ring ropes,
stumbling the last few steps before collapsing to through the
ropes. "Lion" follows him down and lands a few head-dribbling
punches before Toshiharu Suzuki lunges for the save at 4:27.