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Tag: Masakazu Imanari

The Seven Greatest One-Trick Ponies in MMA


(“It’s called an ‘illusion’, okay? A ‘trick’ is something a whore does for money.”)

Leading up to her Strikeforce title fight against Miesha Tate on Saturday, Ronda Rousey bristled at the suggestion that she was a “one-trick pony” simply because she had finished all four of her professional MMA fights — and her two amateur fights before that — by armbar. Then, Rousey finished Tate by armbar anyway.

But being a one-trick pony shouldn’t be a derogatory term in MMA. If you’re so good at your specialized technique that you can finish top-flight opponents with it, even though they know it’s coming, then you should be applauded, not criticized. So let’s pay tribute to the seven greatest one-trickers in mixed martial arts. If we’ve left out any good ones, please let us know in the comments section.

RONDA ROUSEY
Trick: The armbar
Finishing percentage via that trick: 100% (5 armbar wins in 5 pro fights)
Does she have a nickname based on that trick?: No
How long can Ronda’s perfect armbar streak last? Unlike some of the other names on this list, “Rowdy” has proven that she can land her technique-of-choice against the elite of her division. Rousey faces former Strikeforce 135-pound champion Sarah Kaufman next, and it might be a good sign that Kaufman’s sole career loss — against Marloes Coenen in 2010 — came via armbar.

GIVA SANTANA

Trick: The armbar
Finishing percentage via that trick: 72.2% (13 armbar wins in 18 pro fights)
Does he have a nickname based on that trick?: Yes, “The Arm Collector”
Carrying an overall record of 17-1, Givanildo Santana has torqued elbow-joints all over the world. Santana picked up his 13th armbar win during his Bellator debut in October, and is a dark horse to sweep the promotion’s upcoming middleweight tournament.

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Fedor Emelianenko to Face Satoshi Ishii in Japan on New Years Eve

Fedor Emelianenko Strikeforce eye MMA photos
(What? Was Zuluzinho not ready for a rematch?) 

Fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Jeff Monson that snapped the only multiple fight losing streak of his career, word has just broke that Fedor Emelianenko will be fighting in Japan for the first time since his armbar victory over Hong Man Choi at Yarennoka – New Years Eve 2007. As luck would have it, “The Last Emperor” will be fighting on New Years Eve once again, this time under the DREAM banner and against 2008 Olympic gold medal winning Judo practitioner Satoshi Ishii.

Not exactly the freak show bout that Japan (and Fedor) have been known to dabble in, but to call it a mismatch would be somewhat of an understatement. After winning the gold medal in Beijing, China over three years ago, Ishii has built up a 4-1-1 MMA record, with wins over the likes of Ikuhisa Minowa and former K1 great Jerome Le Banner, but has not fought since his draw with pill popper and occasional fighter Paulo Filho back in September. Ishii’s lone loss came in his MMA debut at the hands of fellow Judoka gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida.

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DREAM FFJBWGPF (Or Whatever): The Results

Izumi’s mouthpiece (and teeth) seek greener pastures. (Pic: MMAFighting.com)

Somewhere in time, between our last night and our this morning, Japan was getting busy with the Dream Fight For Japan Grand Prix Finals. As is par for the course, this event was not broadcast here in the USA, but it probably will be at some point in the next few weeks, so if you can hold out and don’t want to ruin the show by reading the results look away, and look away now.

Last minute injuries and changes in line-up aren’t exclusive to American promotions, and this Dream show had its fair share of adjustments to its card. Within days of the event both Todd Duffee and Mach Sakurai were forced from their bouts due to injuries suffered in training, but there was plenty else at stake and the show did go on.

A pithy synopsis and full results await you after the jump.

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DREAM Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix Final Goes Down in 10 Days

The dearth of awesome fan-made promos does not bode well for DREAM. VidProps: DREAM

DREAM returns for the final round of the Japan Bantamweight Grand Prix on July 16, and there are a few interesting matchups on the card (which is apparently *not* DREAM.17 as we’d been thinking). Even if there weren’t, it’s smack in the middle of the summer MMA doldrums, and there’s not much else going on. Even if there were something else going on, jesus, don’t you assholes care about Japan?

Come on in past the jump and we’ll fill you in on the bouts slated for the event, with a few notes for your enlightenment and/or entertainment. Just call us the love child of the Buddha and Louis CK.

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While You Were Watching UFC 130: Ultimate Glory and Dream 17 Results


Mark Miller wastes no time knocking out Nikolaj Falin. Props: MMATKO

Chances are that you knew about the United Glory Tournament Finals that took place yesterday in Moscow. It featured some pretty intriguing fights, was available on YouTube and cost less than ten bucks. Of course, many of you figured you could save your money and check Cage Potato this afternoon for some highlights and a quick list of results. Don’t worry, we got your back as usual.

The welterweight tournament, which began in October of 2010, came to an end with a scrap between Golden Glory teammates Tommy Depret and Siyar Bahadurzada. To those of you who have concerns that two teammates fighting each other would lead to a boring fight, relax and take notes. Tommy Depret gave current SHOOTO light heavyweight champion Siyar Bahadurzada trouble in the opening round, but once the second round started, this fight was all Bahadurzada. Bahadurzada used his superior hands and clinchwork to get finish off Depret. Yes, we have a video of this after the jump.

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DREAM Finally Announces First Event of 2011; Japan Bantamweight GP Slated for 5/29

Masa Kazu Imanari Shinya Aoki funny MMA photos schoolgirl
(Imanari and Aoki: The [lady-]boys are back in town.)

While Sengoku’s tail-spin has been widely publicized, news about DREAM has been almost non-existent since Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve. The silence was broken today at a press conference in Japan, where DREAM organizers announced a May 29th event at the Saitama Super Arena — the promotion’s first show of 2011.

DREAM.17 will feature the quarterfinals and semifinals of their Japan Bantamweight tournament, which will feature the following native competitors: Hideo Tokoro, Masakazu Imanari, Kenji Osawa, Darren Uyenoyama, Keisuke Fujiwara, Atsushi Yamamoto, Takafumi Otsuka, and Yoshiro Maeda.

According to Nightmare of Battle, the finals and third-place fight (between the losing semi-finalists) will take place at a subsequent event in July. The winner and loser of the final match and the winner of the third-place fight will advance to the DREAM World Bantamweight Tournament (date TBA). N.o.B passes along even more details…

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Unique Technique of the Week: Imanari’s Omoplata-Neck-Crank-Choke-Thing @ Deep: Cage Impact 2009


(Fight starts at the 3:48 mark. Props: NelsaoCB)

Whenever Masakazu Imanari steps into a ring, there’s always a good chance that something crazy will go down. Case in point: His fight against Justin Cruz at Deep’s latest event in Tokyo on Saturday. After getting the crowd in the right spirit by walking out to Sade’s "No Ordinary Love," Imanari stalked Cruz around the cage until he had an opportunity to pull guard. Once on the ground, he quickly set up an omoplata, then climbed around to Cruz’s back and cranked his neck, stretching out his opponent’s body in a very unpleasant-looking way. Imanari then hooked an arm under Cruz’s neck and immediately forced the tap. Boom — add it to the Ashikan Judan‘s highlight reel.

Imanari then accepted his trophy from a schoolgirl who looked like she was randomly pulled from the audience (see the 7:25 mark), and pretended that it was enormous penis, turning to each side of the arena so that everyone could see how clever he was. If a fighter did that in the UFC, it would be considered extremely offensive. But with Imanari — well, it’s a Japanese thing, and you just wouldn’t understand.

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DREAM Releases Fight Order for Epic 5/26 Card + More Japanese GP News

DREAM.9 Japan MMA Mousasi Yamamoto Jacare Sapp Choi
(Image courtesy of DreamOfficial.com)

Maybe the word "epic" is overused on the Internet. Certainly we’ve been guilty of using it vain when "totally sweet" would have sufficed. But I think "epic" really does apply to DREAM.9 (May 26th, Yokohama) which contains the quarterfinals of DREAM’s "Super Hulk Tournament" and Featherweight Grand Prix, as well as a great lightweight feature between Tatsuya Kawajiri and Gesias Cavalcante, and the middleweight title fight between Jason Miller and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.

The show will be broadcast in North America on HDNet Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT, and while I’m not really down with farmer’s hours, I might have to watch this one live (and maybe even liveblog it) — especially since it’ll also represent an emotional farewell to HDNet. Right, so DREAM.9′s official fight order will be…

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DREAM 7 Quick Results + Videos

(Aoki vs. Gardner. Props to MMALinker.)

The opening round of DREAM’s featherweight GP is in the books, with tournament standout Masakazu Imanari advancing (just barely) over Atsushi Yamamoto, former wrestling world champion Joe Warren scoring a cut-stoppage victory over former WEC bantamweight champ Chase Beebe, and Korean judo champ Jong Won Kim losing his MMA debut to Hiroyuki Takaya.

The non-tourney bouts were all easy victories for the big names, as Mitsuhiro Ishida used his wrestling to dominate Daisuke Nakamura for 15 minutes, and Tatsuya Kawajiri was able to choke out BJ Penn student Ross Ebanez in the shortest fight of the night. The Shinya Aoki/David Gardner 163-pound feature started out exciting, with the American punishing Aoki with punches to the face after Aoki tried to pull guard, but once Aoki took his back it was only a matter of time before the submission came. Completely trapped, Gardner took a couple opportunites to wave to the audience. I don’t think I need to tell you what happens when you’ve got Aoki on your back and you decide to lift your arm to wave.

Full results are after the jump, followed by videos of the Warren/Beebe and Ishida/Nakamura scraps.

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Bout Order Announced for Sunday’s DREAM 7

Shinya Aoki Japan MMA BJ Penn
(Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

FEG has finalized the lineup for this Sunday’s DREAM 7 in Saitama, Japan, which will feature the opening round of their featherweight grand prix. Even though the card contains such big names as Shinya Aoki (in a welterweight tune-up match), Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida, the show’s main event will be the tournament’s most anticipated first-round bout, between #5-ranked featherweight Masakazu Imanari and Krazy Bee standout Atsushi Yamamoto. Here’s how the fights will go down: 

9. FW GP: Masakazu Imanari vs. Atsushi Yamamoto
8. FW GP: Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Kim Jong Won
7. FW GP: Yoshiro Maeda vs. Micah Miller
6. Lightweights: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Ross Ebanez 
5. Welterweights: Shinya Aoki vs. David Gardner
4. Lightweights: Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Daisuke Nakamura
3. FW GP: Akiyo Nishiura vs. Abel Cullum
2. FW GP: Chase Beebe vs. Joe Warren
1. FW GP: Takafumi Otsuka vs. Bibiano Fernandes

You might have noticed that DREAM 7 will only produce six quarterfinalists for the featherweight GP. The other two will be Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who’s getting a bye to the second round, and the winner of the Daiki Hata/Hideo Tokoro match at DREAM 8 (April 5th, Nagoya, Japan). Unfortunately, Sunday’s event won’t be broadcast on HDNet until next Saturday, but we’ll post the best fights on Sunday and Monday, so stay tuned.

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