In victory Fukuda avenged his decision loss to Nakanichi in May 2008, when Nakanichi originally won the title at Deep 35 Impact's middleweight tournament.
While Fukuda took the title by split decision, his performance was less than convincing. Throughout all three rounds, the southpaw Fukuda chased Nakanishi and looked to wing big left hands for the knockout. Nakanishi played a counter game, maintaining distance to land with counter rights and a myriad of solid kicks to the body. For every solid left straight that Fukuda stung Nakanishi with, there were at least two body kicks or a one-two waiting for him in response.
A standout wrestler, Fukuda only attempted four takedowns over the three rounds, opting instead to seek the knockout. While Nakanishi defended all the takedown attempts and played a smart counter game, it appeared as if Fukuda's forward momentum and handful of clean lefts won him the bout on the scorecards of judges Samio Kimura and Kenichi Serizawa. Only judge Koichi Takemura ruled the bout for the defending champion, Nakanichi.
Dream and K-1 Hero's vet Kazuyuki Miyata powered his way to a majority decision over Dream vet Takeshi Yamazaki in one of the evening's fight of the night candidates. Though Yamazaki had Miyata in trouble with a tight kneebar into heel hook combo in the first period, Miyata evened things up with big punches and top control over the remaining two rounds. Miyata also soccer kicked Yamazaki in the head in the first, suplexed him late in the third period and generally ground him up with punches on the mat to convince judges Kimura and Serizawa that he deserved the win, though judge Takemura curiously ruled the bout a draw.
Deep mainstay Ryuta Sakurai and Japanese MMA veteran Hiromitsu Kanehara fought to an entertaining draw. After Sakurai controlled with takedowns, dominant position and kimura attempts in the first round, Kanehara rebounded in the second period, stuffing takedown attempts to get takedowns of his own. From top or in riding time, Kanehara won the second round to even up the fight on Kimura’s and Umeki's scorecards for the draw, with only judge Takemura awarding the bout to Kanehara.
Things could have gone better for Japanese TV personality Bernard Ackah, who racked up two yellow cards for three low blows on Young “Ryo” Choi. Ackah's inability to move his head had him eating hard right hands in the first period, and his multiple infractions -- including a rope grab that prompted an in-ring conference by all four referees to decide whether to disqualify Ackah -- didn't seem to do him any favors by the second and final frame. In spite of Ackah's tenacity, judges Takemura, Serizawa and Umeki awarded the bout to Choi.
Koji Kanechika used excellent head movement to weave his way into range to land vicious overhands on Kazuhisa Tazawa. Though Tazawa showed a little more energy in pushing a grappling game in the first period, Kanechika's cumulative damage sapped Tazawa's strength, gassing him to the point of a yellow card for inactivity. Judges Umeki, Takemura and Kimura thus gave the nod to Kanechika.
Toshikazu Iseno took a sound decision over Kleber Koike, using the BJJ stylist's penchant to pull guard from the clinch to rack up points by punching from above. This, in addition to the few solid punches Iseno landed on the feet, proved more worthwhile than Koike's two guillotine attempts for judges Serizawa, Takemura and Umeki, who ruled the bout unanimously for “Ise.”
There didn't seem to be a punch that Myeon Ho Bae could miss, sparking Yusaku Tsukumo early to pound out a dominant first-round effort. Bae indulged Tsukumo in some grappling in the second period, and while Tsukumo could more or less hold his own, Bae still handily controlled and punched his way to a sound unanimous decision.
Shigetoshi Iwase dominated Shooto banger Taisuke Okuno with superior wrestling and grappling over two rounds, racking up points for the unanimous decision. Okuno made it easy for Iwase by pressing forward and looking for big punches, but left himself open to takedowns and counterpunches. Though Okuno typically managed to power out of bad positions, his lack of control cost him the decision.
Yusuke Kagiyama def. Yasuhiro Kawasaki -- Unan. Dec. 5:00 R2
Tatsumitsu Wada def. Tatsuya Tsuchida -- Submission (RNC) 2:14 R1
Tomoya Kato def. Motoki Awaji -- TKO (Punches) 1:30 R1
Ryota Uozomi def. Pat Uncangco -- Unan. Dec. 5:00 R2
Tomoya Miyashita def. Hiryu Okamoto -- Submission (Guillotine) 1:34 R1
Hiroki Sato def. Kenji Nagai -- Unan. Dec. 5:00 R2