Weekend Rundown: Aoki Flawless in Deep Return

By: Brian Knapp
Oct 25, 2010
Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki (pictured left) needed exactly 60 seconds to show Thai boxing champion Yokthai Sithoar he was out of his element.

The world-ranked Aoki submitted the mixed martial arts newcomer with a first-round keylock at Deep 50 Impact on Sunday at JCB Hall in Tokyo. The 35-year-old Sithoar, a former World Boxing Association champion at 115 pounds, met his demise one minute into round one.

Aoki closed the distance on the stand-up savant, changed levels, hoisted Sithoar skyward and deposited him in the center of the cage. He passed immediately to side mount and threatened Sithoar with a reverse triangle choke before targeting the arm. Aoki secured the tapout soon after, as the 27-year-old Japanese superstar posted his sixth win in seven fights.

Meanwhile, Deep lightweight king Katsunori Kikuno defended his crown in a majority decision over Pride Fighting Championships veteran Nobuhiro Obiya. Four of the five ringside judges sided with the champion, who rebounded nicely from his split decision defeat to Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante at Dream 15 three months ago.

Kikuno threatened to finish his challenger inside the first round, as he roared out of the gates with a barrage of punches, answered a takedown with one of his own and spent the final minute of the period on Obiya’s back, battering him with punches. Kikuno’s pace slowed, and Obiya capitalized in the third round. He wobbled the champion with punches, reversed into top position during a scramble and mounted Kikuno near the end of the fight. Obiya’s efforts, however, fell short.

Finally, Deep welterweight champion Yuya Shirai retained his title with a unanimous decision over journeyman Shigetoshi Iwase. Shirai has rattled off five consecutive victories since his submission loss to UFC veteran Jason High in the 2009 Dream welterweight grand prix.

Other winners at Deep 50 Impact included Masakazu Imanari (majority decision over Daiki Hata), the prolific Ikuhisa Minowa (first-round armbar submission against Chang Hee Kim), UFC veteran Ryo Chonan (third-round technical knockout over Jun Hee Moon) and former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight title contender Yoshiro Maeda (majority decision against Takafumi Otsuka).

Monson Submits Fulton

Former UFC heavyweight title contender Jeff Monson submitted Travis Fulton with a first-round armbar in the Elite Promotions/Fight Time Promotions “Fight Time 2” headliner on Saturday at Club Cinema in Pompano Beach, Fla. Fulton raised the white flag 4:40 into round one.

A two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships winner, Monson has won four fights in a row, three of them by submission. The 39-year-old American Top Team representative kept Fulton from his 200th career victory, as he became the first man to submit “The Ironman” inside the first round in more than five years.

Monson, who has secured 24 of his 38 career victories via submission, will face Sergey Shemetov under the Israeli Fight Club banner on Nov. 9 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Abdurahimov Ousts Hot-and-Cold Sokoudjou

Surging Russian heavyweight Shamil Abdurahimov stopped Pride and UFC veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on third-round punches in the semi-finals of the Abu Dhabi Fighting Championship open weight grand prix at ADFC “Battle of the Champions 2” on Friday at Abu Dhabi Hall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

More than three years removed from back-to-back knockouts against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona, Sokoudjou has thus far fallen short of the enormous expectations that had been placed upon him. The 26-year-old Team Quest representative will carry a two-fight losing streak into his next appearance. The once-beaten Abdurahimov has pieced together a streak of five consecutive wins.

Other winners at “Battle of the Champions 2” included 2009 world grappling champion Marcos Oliveira (unanimous decision over Neil Wain) and King of the Cage veteran Jake Short (second-round arm-triangle choke submission against Abdullah Hamdan). Oliveira will meet Abdurahimov in the grand prix final in 2011.

Quick Hits

Shooto veteran Tom Niinimaki earned a unanimous decision against Dave Hill in the Turku Fight 2 main event on Saturday at Caribia Hall in Turku, Finland. Niinimaki has won five in a row since losing consecutive matches to Danny Batten, the world-ranked Hatsu Hioki and Tristan Yunker … Journeyman Daisuke Hanazawa submitted Sengoku veteran Seung Hwan Bang with a first-round rear-naked choke at Road Fighting Championship 1 “The Resurrection of Champions” on Saturday at the Seoul Fashion Center in Seoul, South Korea … Pride veteran Daisuke Sugie posted a unanimous decision against Shin Kochiwa at Shooto “Gig Central 21” on Sunday at the Asunai Kanayama Hall in Nagoya, Japan. Sugie, who owns victories over Kultar Gill and Mitsuhiro Ishida, has rattled off three wins in four appearances.

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