("A bunch of dudes got knocked dead this morning! Yaaaaaaaay!" / Photo courtesy of src-official.com)
Spoilers after the jump to protect your delicate feelings. Click through for full fight results and a rundown of some notable moments from today’s World Victory Road: Soul of Fight event at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo. Videos to come.
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…
(Maximo Blanco vs. Chang Hyun Kim; brutal finish @ 1:33. Props to WatchKalibRun)
From yesterday’s Sengoku Raiden Championships show in Tokyo…
– Jorge Santiago def. Mamed Khalidov via unanimous decision – Akihiro Gono def. Diego Gonzalez via unanimous decision – Maximo Blanco def. Chang Hyun Kim via KO, 1:10 of round 1 – Marlon Sandro def. Tomonari Kanomata via KO, 0:09 of round 1 – Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao def. Henry "Sentoryu" Miller via TKO, 3:27 of round 2 – Yuji Hoshino def. Nick Denis via submission (guillotine choke), 0:47 of round 2 – Leonardo Santos def. Kiuma Kunioku via submission (rear-naked choke), 3:06 of round 1 – Shigeki Osawa def. Kyung Ho Kang via unanimous decision
Sengoku 10 went down earlier today in Saitama, Japan, and what it lacked in big names, it more than made up for in thrilling finishes. In the headlining bout, Olympic judo silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi made the brilliant decision to stand and bang with Kiwi kickboxing champ Antz Nansen, and got worked; the ref eventually stopped the fight after Izumi was punched to the mat three times in a single 35-second stretch. Meanwhile, in the fights that you might actually care about, Antonio Silva ended "Big" Jim York‘s night in the first round with an arm-triangle choke, following a methodical performance that saw Bigfoot control the standup and take York down with ease.
(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.