High Fives: Three Submissions, a Rampaging Hulk and a Brutal Beatdown

By: Guy Portman
Jul 29, 2019
UFC 240 was not the only event of significance during the weekend of July 26-28. Rizin Fighting Federation staged a strong card on Sunday in Saitama, Japan, and there were a pair of emphatic finishes under the Legacy Fighting Alliance banner on Friday in Phoenix. Rizin 17 and LFA 72 supply the material for this edition of High Fives.

GETTING NORTH AND SOUTHShintaro Ishiwatari met Yuta Sasaki at bantamweight in the Rizin 17 co-main event. In the second round, Ishiwatari dropped his fellow countryman with two right hooks. The former King of Pancrase then followed with knees to the head from the north-south position before transitioning to the winning choke, which elicited the tap at the 3:58 mark of Round 2. Ishiwatari moved to 26-7-4, while Sasaki fell to 22-7-2.

HEAVY-HITTING HULK … Russia’s Ivan Shtyrkov squared off against South Korea’s Hoon Kim in a light heavyweight showcase at Rizin 17. With a minute remaining in the second round, Kim found himself turtled on his side with his powerful adversary on top of him delivering left hooks to his head. The referee called a halt to the beatdown at the 4:10 mark of Round 2. The debuting Shtyrkov upped his record to 16-0-1, while Kim slipped to 10-13-2.

BRUTAL BEATDOWN … America’s Johnny Case met Japan’s Satoru Kitaoka at lightweight on the Rizin 17 undercard, with a place in the promotion’s 155-pound grand prix up for grabs. Late in the first round, Kitaoka snatched his opponent’s left leg and futilely attempted to drag him to the mat. Having eaten a barrage of right elbows to the head, the Japanese pugilist found himself on his side with Case laying into him with ground-and-pound. The beatdown culminated in the towel being thrown in by Kitaoka’s corner at the conclusion of the round. Case qualified for the organization’s forthcoming lightweight grand prix and in the process rose to 26-6-1. Kitaoka, 39, dropped to 42-20-9.

CHOKE JOB … LFA 72 was headlined by a middleweight duel between American’s Daniel Madrid and Chris Harris. The beginning of the end came via a right hook to the head, which sent Harris reeling backwards. After driving Harris across the cage, Madrid secured a takedown and then went to work with ground-and-pound before spinning to his overwhelmed opponent’s back and sinking the rear-naked choke. He elicited the tap 51 seconds into the first stanza. Madrid improved to 16-6, while Harris dipped to 10-4.

BANTAMWEIGHT BULL … The LFA 72 co-main was a bantamweight clash pitting Anthony Birchak against Brazil’s Raphael Montini de Lima. In the first round, Birchak took his standing adversary’s back along the cage. From there, he secured a rear-naked choke, which forced the Brazilian to concede defeat 1:34 into Round 1. Birchak rose to 15-6, while Lima fell to 4-3.

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