(Hioki vs. Kanehara: The fight went as planned, but everything afterwards didn’t. Props to 19054771 via Bloody Elbow.)
I have to admit, I was pulling for Michihiro Omigawa to shock the world and win Sengoku’s Featherweight Grand Prix, after entering the tournament in March with a 4-7-1 record. But the way he reached the finals at today’s Sengoku Ninth Battle show in Saitama, Japan, was questionable to say the least, and he wound up losing to a guy who shouldn’t have even been there in the first place. Let’s start at the beginning…
Tournament favorite Hatsu Hioki dominated Masanori Kanehara in the tourney’s semifinals, putting Kanehara in constant danger with submission attempts and ground-and-pound. Though Kanehara was able to make a late rally, the fight went to Hioki by unanimous decision. Unfortunately, it was discovered that Hioki suffered a concussion during the match, and wouldn’t be able to continue to the finals.
Chan Sung Jung choked out Matt Jaggers later that night in the GP’s reserve bout, and should have rightfully taken Hioki’s place. But Jung, who had previously been robbed by the judges in his quarterfinal match against Masanori Kanehara in May — a decision that many fans chalked up to the fact that Jung is Korean — was insulted again today when it was quickly decided that Kanehara would fill in for Hioki. So basically, the alternate bout was absolutely meaningness, due to the fact that a Korean won it.
(Sometimes you have only one friend, and he’s somewhere at the bottom of that next mug of beer.)
In a recent interview with Sportsnavi (via Suki) Takanori Gomi talks about his fall from the top of the lightweight division and his loss to Satoru Kitaoka (video here, and it doesn’t take long) in the Sengoku lightweight Grand Prix. Give him credit for owning up to his poor performance, as Gomi more or less says that he has sucked lately and doesn’t seem entirely hopeful that things will get better.
As you saw, I couldn’t do anything. I suppose fans who knew me since PRIDE considered that I looked like a totally different person. I don’t even know why. I didn’t feel any energy in the ring. After the fight, I felt like I was free. I thought I fulfilled my duty. - Do you mean that you resigned from a representer of the top lightweight fighter? I suppose so. I hadn’t proven myself in the last few fights. I was training, yet everything was fall in apart. I couldn’t put together because my training wasn’t enough. My skills went down in the last 2 years. I experienced a lot in the last 2 years. I quit Kiguchi dojo without thinking well, and started my gym. I felt responsibility to take care of my students, and I was passive about my fight. I was just waiting and see who I fought with. - The title of the tournament was “road to Gomi” I have no excuse about my performance and my loss. Kitaoka was entirely better than me. I I hope he becomes a great champion and defends his title.