(Hatsu Hioki vs. Jeff Lawson; video courtesy of ZombieProphetMMA)
A year and a half after Jorge Santiago scored a fifth-round comeback submission against Kazuo Misaki to win Sengoku’s middleweight title, the two fighters met again in the main event of yesterday’s Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 in Tokyo. And once again, Santiago managed to pull out a stoppage in the final round, forcing Misaki’s corner to throw in the towel with just 29 seconds left in the fight — a fortunate outcome indeed, considering that Santiago was down on the scorecards.
"The Grabaka Hitman" controlled the first two rounds thanks in large part to his grappling, scoring two takedowns in the opening frame, and threatening with a guillotine choke and full mount in the second. The bout entered "Fight of the Year" territory beginning in the third. Santiago surged back, dropping Misaki with a head kick and smashing him with strikes from the top. It looked grim for the Japanese fighter, but Misaki survived and turned the tables once again in the fourth round, flooring Santiago with punches then working some knees to the head; Santiago intentionally rolled under the ropes to escape the abuse and was slapped with a red card. When the action was re-started, Santiago scored another knockdown of his own during a fierce striking exchange and pounded on Misaki to the bell.
The final round began with another knockdown by Santiago. After a couple of submission attempts from the reigning champ didn’t pan out, Misaki swept Santiago, then Santiago swept Misaki. Santiago seized his moment, firing down hammerfists and punches until Misaki was turtled and helpless. The referee wasn’t quite convinced, but Misaki’s corner had seen enough, and threw in the towel at 4:31 of round 5. Santiago retains his Sengoku middleweight belt in another dramatic performance, while Misaki suffers his third defeat in four fights.
In other action, Akihiro Gono took a suprising decision loss against Mongolian K-1 vet Jadamba Narantungalag, top-ten featherweight Hatsu Hioki notched a first-round submission over a very game Jeff Lawson, and former top-ten welterweight Nick Thompson ate his third consecutive stoppage loss against Sengoku newcomer Taisuke Okuno. Full event results and video of the Santiago/Misaki battle are after the jump…
– Jorge Santiago def. Kazuo Misaki via TKO, 4:31 of round 5 (corner stoppage)
- Jadamba Narantungalag def. Akihiro Gono via unanimous decision (30-28 x 2, 30-29)
- Hatsu Hioki def. Jeff Lawson via submission (triangle choke), 2:09 of round 1
- Leonardo Santos def. Sotaro Yamada via DQ (knees to groin), 3:56 of round 1
- Taisuke Okuno def. Nick Thompson via KO, 0:27 of round 3
- Yasubey Enomoto def. Kenta Takagi via submission (bulldog choke), 0:53 of round 2
- Takuya Sato def. Motoki Miyazawa via unanimous decision
- Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Kil Woo Lee via submission (guillotine choke), 2:20 of round 1
- Shoko Sato def. Takuya Eizumi via TKO (doctor stoppage), 1:38 of round 2
- Wataru Takahashi def. Tatsuya So via submission (rear-naked choke), 4:34 of round 2
– Jae Hyun So def. Hirokazu Nisimura via unanimous decision
(Videos courtesy of KARELMMArts)