Minowa Subs Frye at DEEP’s “Gladiator”

Ikuhisa Minowa. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.

Ikuhisa Minowa was victorious again in his quest to become Japan’s most successful open-weight fighter, submitting fellow longtime veteran and cult hero Don Frye with a first-round kneebar in the main event of DEEP’s “Gladiator” show this morning at the Momotaro Arena in Okayama, Japan.

After stuffing Minowa’s first takedown attempt, Frye quickly found himself on his back at the start of the bout. Minowa immediately dropped back for a heel hook and locked in the hold, but was unable to force Frye to tap. Minowa eventually switched to a kneebar, which after a few moments, finally forced Frye to give up.

In a team battle between fighters from Korea and Japan, it was Korea that came away with a 4-1 victory. Notable bouts saw UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa drop a unanimous decsion to Chul Hyun Jung while Jutaro Nakao picked up the lone win for the Japanese, defeating Yong Fun Lee via second-round TKO.

Gary Goodridge lost a hard-fought decision to Hiromi Amada in the first of four K-1 rules bouts. Jan Nortje scored a stoppage of PRIDE veteran Tom Erikson in another.

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Imanari Challenges for DEEP Title on Sunday

Masakazu Imanari. From DiBach70 on Flickr.

Cage Rage featherweight champion Masakazu Imanari will drop down to the bantamweight division to challenge Hiroshi Umemura for DEEP’s vacant bantamweight title this Sunday at the organization’s “37th Impact” event, which takes place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

The fight will be Imanari’s first since losing his DEEP featherweight title to UFC veteran Dokonjonosuke Mishima via majority decision back in May. It was Imanari’s second career loss to Mishima and his first defeat since dropping a decision to Fredson Paixao in August of 2006.

Umemura brings an eight-fight winning streak into the bout. He last submitted Kunihiro Watanabe with a rear naked choke at a DEEP event in June. Umemura has struggled against top competition throughout the course of his career. He owns losses to WEC veterans Kenji Osawa and Yoshiro Maeda among others.

The card will also feature a female lightweight title bout between Miku Matsumoto and Misaki Takimoto as well as EliteXC veteran Riki Fukuda going up against Hiroki Ozaki.

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Frye-Minowa Signed for DEEP in August

Don Frye exchanges punches with Yoshihiro Nakao. Photo courtesy of FEG.

Longtime fan-favorite Don Frye will return to action when he takes on colorful Japanese veteran Ikuhisa Minowa, who will continue his open-weight fighting quest at a scheduled DEEP event entitled “Gladiator” on August 16th in Japan.

The organization announced the event earlier today.

Frye quickly picked up his first win of this year back in January, scoring a first-round knockout of Bryan Pardoe in the main event of a NoLimit Fighting show in Dallas. Despite noticeably falling off talent-wise as he approaches the twilight of his career, Frye has only lost once in his last six fights.

Meanwhile Minowa has strugged as of late, losing three out of his last four bouts. His only win was a submission of former professional baseball player Bum Chan Kang at DREAM’s inaugural event in March. He most recently lost an unanimous decision to Taiei Kin at DREAM.2 in April.

Additional bouts announced for the card include Daijiro Matsui vs. Eun Soo Lee and a K-1 rules bout between Gary Goodridge vs. Hiromi Amada.

HT: Fight Opinion via Japan-MMA

Mishima Decisons Imanari in DEEP FW Debut

Dokonjonosuke Mishima. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In his first fight in over a year, Dokonjonosuke Mishima used superior striking and wrestling to squeak out a majority decision over reigning DEEP featherweight champion Masakazu Imanari at the organization’s latest show last night in Japan.

Mishima, who was making his featherweight debut in the fight, used constant leg sweeps to frustrate Imanari and take the Cage Rage veteran down throughout the course of the bout. Mishima scored early and often with an array of strikes on the feet and was able to use an effective ground-and-pound strategy while on top of Imanari.

Imanari’s came close to ending the fight late in the third round when he caught Mishima in a kneebar that forced the colorful veteran to hold on until the final bell. After the fight, Mishima announced his intention to return to the UFC to finish out the remainder of his contract with the promotion.

Yuichi Nakanishi won a hard-fought unanimous decision over EliteXC veteran Riki Fukuda in the finals of DEEP’s middleweight tournament to capture the vacant title in that weight class. Nakanishi used an assault of first-round leg kicks followed by crisp combinations in the second stanza to earn the nod in the eyes of the judges.

Nakanishi and Fukuda defeated Daijiro Matsui and Yuya Shirai respectively before moving on to the final round of the tourney

Complete results from the event:

Yuichi Nakanishi def. Riki Fukuda - Unanimous Decision
Dokonjonosuke Mishima def. Masakazu Imanari - Majority Decision
Yuichi Nakanishi def. Daijiro Matsui - Unanimous Decision
Riki Fukuda def. Yuya Shirai - Split Decision
Jutaro Nakao def. Shigetoshi Iwase - Unanimous Decision
Ryuta Sakurai def. Ryo Sai - Unanimous Decision
Hidehiko Hasegawa vs. Hiroki Nagaoka - Draw
Sung Hwan Pang fef. Kazunori Yokota - KO (Punches)
Mai Ichii def. Satoko Shinashi - Majority Decision
Katsunori Kikuno def. Seigo Inoue - Unanimous Decision
Luiz Luiz def. Toshikazu Iseno - TKO (Strikes)
Koichiro Matsumoto def. Yuki Ito - Majority Decision
Hyun Gyu Lim def. Noboru Onishi - TKO (Cut)
Yasuhiro Kawasaki def. Muneyuki Sato - TKO (Strikes)

Imanari to Defend Against Mishima in May

Dokonjonosuke Mishima. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

DEEP featherweight champion Masakazu Imanari will defend his title and attempt to avenge a prior loss against Dokonjonosuke Mishima at the organization’s next event on May 19th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

The promotion officially announced the bout this past week.

Imanari and Mishima originally fought at a DEEP event in July 2003, where Mishima stopped Imanari with strikes in the second round.

Imanari submitted Jean Silva last month to successfully defend his Cage Rage featherweight title. Imanari is currently riding a five-fight winning streak and has won his last three bouts inside the confines of DEEP.

Mishima has not fought since losing a pair of fights while with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The colorful veteran was submitted by Joe Stevenson and Kenny Florian in consecutive bouts.

DEEP’s May show will also feature the remainder of the tournament for the vacant DEEP middleweight title as well as a lightweight title bout between Kazunori Yokota and Pang Sung Hwan.

Fukuda, Matsui Advance in DEEP MW Tourney

Riki Fukuda exchanges punches with Joey Villasenor at EliteXC: Destiny. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Four fighters advanced in the beginning of a scheduled eight-man tournament to crown a new DEEP middleweight champion after the title was vacated by Ultimate Fighting Championship convert Ryo Chonan at the organization’s “34th Impact” show yesterday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Elite Xtreme Combat veteran Riki Fukuda won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Ryuta Sakurai in the first tournament bout of the evening.

The majority of the fight took place on the feet where Fukuda was able to out-strike his opponent with crisp combinations and a very effective Thai clinch. Even though Sakurai landed his fair share of punches during the first round, the damage he was taking added up and eventually cause him to drop to his knees during the opening moments of the second stanza.

Sakurai regained his composure and took advantage of the bout hitting the canvas for the first time, catching Fukuda in a kimura and armbar before the end of the round. Fukuda bounced back in the final five minutes, dominating Sakurai standing and on the ground. He received a yellow card for an illegal knee during the closing minutes but the penalty had no effect on the judge’s decision.

Daijiro Matsui escaped with a razor-close split decision over Young Choi. The first round of their bout saw Matsui unsuccessfully attempt four consecutive armbars that Choi easily got out of. Choi capitalized on the awkward position Matsui was put in on the ground and scored points with a solid ground and pound attack.

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The Weekend Ahead…

There aren’t any blockbuster events going down this weekend but there are some smaller shows that everyone should definitely follow…

Obviously the big one has to be WCO: The Return, which will take place at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA this Saturday night. The card is stacked with veterans of the sport, including a main event between Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Lion’s Den veteran Vernon White as you can see below:

Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Kauai Kupihea
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
David Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Wesley Correira vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. JJ Ambrose
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Cain Velasquez vs. Tony Sylvester

As we reported yesterday, Rick Roufus was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Mark Kerr after he was not cleared by the California State Athletic Commission in time for the fight. Armando Garcia says that it has nothing to do with Roufus’ health but rather his paperwork was not done on time in order for him to be scheduled to undergo all of the necessary pre-fight tests.

WCO officials are trying to replace Roufus with Kauai Kupihea, who has racked up a 15-11 professional record that includes knockouts of Wade Shipp and Travis Wiuff. Kupihea has been tentatively approved but that not passed all of his requirements as of this morning. We will have an update on his status as soon as we receive the information.

Semmy Schilt will fight in MMA for the first time in over a year when he takes on Nandor Guelmino at the first-ever Lord of the Ring event this weekend at the Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.

Schilt has not fought since submitting Min Soo Kim with a triangle choke at K-1 Hero’s 6 in August of 2006. Not much is known about Guelmino except that he only has three professional MMA bouts under his belt.

Sherdog has an article on Schilt’s return here.

Bonecrunch Fighting will also hold it’s first-ever event this weekend in Lakeland, Florida. The promotion uses a schedule similar to the IFL except matchups between teams will work like an elimination tournament if that makes any sense.

UFC lightweight Din Thomas will guide the Port St. Lucie Devils into action against the Tampa Terrors. The Cincinnati Norsemen and the Lakeland Blaze will clash in the other matchup. Seth Petruzelli and Josh Odom will be at the event to announce their fight between each other at the promotion’s next event in February.

KOTC and DEEP also have events scheduled for this weekend. MMA on Tap will have full results for those shows and the rest of the events that are taking place this weekend.

DEEP: Protect Impact in Osaka Results

Yabu Yabu def. Junichi Nakahira - Unanimous Decision
Kousuke Eda def. Takashi Hasegawa - Unanimous Decision
Isao Terada def. Nobuhiro Yoshitake - KO (Knee)
Takahiro Kajita def. Hiroshi Shiba - Majority Decision
Yusuke Sakashita def. Taiki Yonashiro - TKO (Strikes)
Motoyuki Takinishi def. Toru Harai - Unanimous Decision
Yukinari Tamura def. Naoki Matsushita - TKO (Cut)
Tomoyuki Fukami def. Akihiko Mori - Submission (Arm Triangle)
Hiroki Nagaoka def. Ken Hamamura - Unanimous Decision
Miku Matsumoto def. Wenton Sakrungruang - Submission (Armbar)
Ryuichi Murata def. Ho Jin Kim - Submission (Armbar)
Seichi Ikemoto def. Do Won So - Submission (Heel Hook)
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Jong Man Kim - Draw

DEEP: 33rd Impact Quick Results

Atsushi Nakasa def. Shinya Hisaki - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Muneyuki Sato def. Toshiaki Saiki - TKO (Strikes)
Teruhiko Kubo def. Daigo Ishijima - Submission (Kimura)
Yasushi Kitazaki def. Yuki Inoue - TKO (Corner Stoppage)
Koichiro Matsumoto def. Koji Yoshida - TKO (Strikes)
Yuta Watanabe def. Min Suk Heo - Majority Decision
Toshiaki Kitada def. Isamu Sugiuchi - Unanimous Decision
Sojiro Orui vs. Masataka Chinushi - Draw
Junpei Hamada def. Shunsuke Inoue - KO (Punch)
Tsuneyoshi Kashimura def. Kousei Kubota - KO (Punch)
Hisae Watanabe def. Genkaam Lookjuapoakum - Submission (Armbar)
Pang Sung Hwan def. Jutaro Nakao - TKO (Punches)
Hidetada Irie vs. Yuji Sakuragi - Draw

Kawajiri-Azeredo Added to Yarennoka!

Officials running the mega New Years Eve event Yarennoka! held a press conference yesterday at Hayato “Mach” Sakurai’s newly opened gym to announce two additional bouts for the event.

Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida was one of the announced fights. We reported on this fight being signed last week.

The other fight that was revealed was former Shooto welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri facing off against Luiz Azeredo.

Kawajiri is coming off of an unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Melendez at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 which took place last New Year’s Eve. Before the loss, Kawajiri had won nine out of his last ten bouts. Azeredo has not fought since winning a decision over Paul Daley at Cage Rage 19 in December of 2006. Azeredo owns a win over current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.

DEEP official Shigeru Saeki expects the fight to be a war on the feet:

“I expect Kawajiri’s fight with Azeredo to be an aggressive fisticuff style fight,” Saeki said. “It will be exciting.”

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