Hioki Taps Mann to Advance in Sengoku GP

By: Tony Loiseleur
May 2, 2009
TOKYO -- Hatsu Hioki's “Golden Week” holiday gift to Japanese fans was a first-round submission of Ronnie Mann on Saturday in the main event of Sengoku's Eighth Battle at Yoyogi National No. 2 Gymnasium.

After braving several punches, Hioki took the Briton down with a trip. Mann ate short knees to the side of his head before scrambling to all fours for a single, but Hioki sprawled and used a brabo choke setup to push his way into mount. Hioki then dropped several punches while creeping forward to lock up a triangle.

Mann scrambled but was caught. He reached around Hioki’s back to prevent having his arm pulled across for the finish, but the maneuver opened him up to Hioki’s punches. The choke had Mann reddening, too, and soon enough, he tapped at the 3:09 mark.

“I started off well, standing up,” said a disappointed Mann, “but I fell into his game. Fell into his trap. The punches were only small punches, but it was the triangle that was slowly coming on, so in the end, I tapped.”

Hioki said he was able to fight his own style and pace.

“Mann was physically very strong, and I think his defense was good, but I set out to trap him,” Hioki said. “I think everything went according to plan.”

Michihiro Omigawa also advanced in the featherweight tournament, punishing Nam Phan for a first-round TKO. Omigawa set the pace by getting Phan to the ground and keeping him there with a guillotine. However, Omigawa wasn't interested in finishing the submission, as he used the headlock grip to deliver knees to Phan's face. Omigawa also piled on punishment from side and on the feet, bullying Phan in the corner before taking him down for an unrelenting barrage of punches from guard. Perhaps a tad early, referee Yoshinori Umeki intervened at 4:52.

“I think Phan has heart and is the kind of fighter who comes on strong once he gets his second wind, so I threw more punches when I had the chance,” said Omigawa of the end of the round.

“When you get hit, you get winded and stuff, but I felt like my pain tolerance was pretty good, and that I could have continued to the next round,” said Phan of the stoppage. “His clinch was very strong, and I thought I could utilize my jiu-jitsu on him, but he’s got really good submission defense, and his ground-and-pound was better than I’d expected.”

Lightweights Kazunori Yokota and Leonardo Santos fought to a tense split decision. Despite locking up mount and back mount on Yokota, Santos struggled to finish or keep him down. Scrambling and reversing, Yokota often found himself back in Santos' guard, where he dropped punches and the occasional stomp. The offense seemed to have trumped Santos' grappling advantages in two of the judges' minds, as Tenshin Matsumoto and Masanori Ohashi scored the fight 30-29 and 30-28 for Yokota, while Gen Isono scored it 29-28 for Santos.

Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog.com

Stanislav Nedkov took
out veteran Travis Wiuff.
Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro's stand-up training with Andre “Dida” Amade and Wanderlei Silva paid dividends, as the jiu-jitsu world champion knocked out Keiichiro Yamamiya in the third period. Confident that he'd won the first two rounds with grappling control and sub attempts, Xande came out swinging in the third. He caught Yamamiya with a counter right hook, and referee Umeki lunged in for the save at 0:51 in the third.

Chan Sung Jung couldn’t exact revenge for teammate Jong Man Kim in his featherweight tournament bout against Masanori Kanehara. Game to bang on the feet, Kanehara not only proved to have a good chin but also that he could hold his own with the heavy hitting Jung. Kanehara also took Jung down with relative ease early on, but Jung played an active bottom, punching, up-kicking and attempting submissions. A particularly vicious series of up-kicks followed by knees to the face by Jung in the third turned the tables in his favor, but all three judges ultimately gave the nod to Kanehara (30-29, 30-29, 29-28).

Featherweight King of Pancrase Marlon Sandro blitzed Canada's Nick Denis in their featherweight tournament bout, putting him down with a big right uppercut and left hook. Sandro followed up with hard right hands, bouncing Denis' head on the canvas until his legs stiffened. Referee Kenichi Serizawa jumped in for the save at a mere 0:19.

Makoto Takimoto meticulously worked his way out of an early Michael Costa guillotine to take side mount, where he hunted for an armbar. Costa stacked and escaped, targeting one of Takimoto's legs, but the Olympic judo gold medalist beat the Brazilian to the submission with an inverted heel hook at 3:31.

Stanislav Nedkov got off to a rocky start against Travis Wiuff, racking up two red cards for kneeing the American below the belt three times. However, Nedkov resurged at the opening of the third round, sending Wiuff to the mat with a big right counterpunch. Dizzied and tangled in the ropes, Wiuff ate several punches before referee Tomoki Matsumiya stopped the fight at 0:42 of the third.

The ever-exciting Maximo Blanco was on his way to a handy KO victory over Akihiko Mori, scoring big punches, flying knees and spinning back kicks. His recklessness got the better of him, though. After dropping Mori with a big right hand, he followed up with a soccer kick to the face at the 4:20 mark in the first. Mori was soon declared the winner by disqualification.

In the preliminary bouts, Shigeki Osawa's Sengoku debut against Kota Ishibashi was a victorious one, with the amateur wrestling champ taking a two-round decision (20-19, 20-19, 20-18), and Hirotoshi Saito submitted Yoshitaka Abe with an armbar at 2:52 in the first.

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