Hideo Tokoro. Photo courtesy of DREAM.
Hideo Tokoro bested fellow submission specialist Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision to win DREAM's inaugural bantamweight grand prix tournament at the organization's "Fight for Japan: Japan Grand Prix Final" event on Saturday at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
A pair of title defenses also took place: Hiroyuki Takaya grinded out a hard-fought split decision win over former Olympic wrestler Kazuyuki Miyata and Gegard Mousasi took out challenger Hiroshi Izumi in quick and impressive fashion, scoring a first round stoppage of the Japanese judoka.
Another notable winners on the card included world-ranked lightweight Tatsuya Kawajiri, DREAM welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis and DREAM bantamweight grand prix third-place winner Kenji Osawa.
Gegard Mousasi. Photo courtesy of DREAM.
All sixteen fighters scheduled to compete at DREAM's "Fight for Japan: Japan Grand Prix Final" event on Saturday successfully made weight yesterday afternoon.
Seasoned veteran Drew Fickett originally came in two pounds over the 154-lb limit for his fight against Tatsuya Kawajiri, but shed the extra weight and hit the required mark a couple of hours later.
The eight-fight card, which will not air live in North America, features a pair of title fights - DREAM light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi taking on Hiroshi Izumi and featherweight title holder Hiroyuki Takaya returning to face Kazuyuki Miyata - as well as the bantamweight grand prix finals featuring submission specialists Masakazu Imanari and Hideo Tokoro.
We will be going live with results of Sengoku 9, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The card will be headlined by a lightweight title bout between Satoru Kitaoka and Mizuto Hirota. Also on the card is the featherweight tournament semifinals featuring Michihiro Omigawa vs. Marlon Sandro and Hatsu Hioki vs. Takeshi Numajiri.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments throughout the evening. Live results are after the jump.
Jorge Santiago. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.
Jorge Santiago and Satoru Kitaoka each claimed vacant belts in their respective divisions while former lightweight king Takanori Gomi continued his fall from grace, losing his second straight fight at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku No Ran 2009” event in Japan on Sunday.
Santiago choked former PRIDE Grand Prix winner Kazuo Misaki unconscious in the third round of their fight and picked up his ninth straight win. Kitaoka meanwhile, was victorious in arguably the biggest fight of his career, quickly submitting Gomi with a heel hook just over a minute into the show’s main event.
Complete results from the event:
Jorge Santiago def. Kazuo Misaki - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Satoru Kitaoka def. Takanori Gomi - Submission (Heel Hook)
Sanae Kikuta def. Hidehiko Yoshida - Split Decision
Antonio Silva def. Yoshihiro Nakao - TKO (Injury)
Eiji Mitsuoka def. Sergey Golyaev - Submission (Armbar)
Muhammed Lawal def. Yukiya Naito - TKO (Strikes)
Mu Bae Choi def. Dave Herman - TKO (Strikes)
Maximo Blanco def. Seigo Inoue - KO (Foot Stomps)
Hidetada Irie def. Minoru Kato - TKO (Strikes)
Takanori Gomi. Photo courtesy of World Victory Road.
Despite being one of the world’s top-ranked lightweights for a number of years, Takanori Gomi fell victim to World Victory Road’s mediocre roster of 155 lb. fighters as he lost a split decision to M-1 veteran Sergey Golyaev at Sengoku IV on Saturday morning in Japan.
“The Fireball Kid” was unable to get past Golyaev’s swift striking, which earned the Russian points early and often during their battle. Golyaev used his reach advantage to keep Gomi at a distance throughout their battle and even dropped him with a left hook in the second round. Despite the loss, Gomi will likely challenge WVR lightweight tournament winner Satoru Kitaoka at the organization’s January 4 event. Kitaoka bested Kazunori Yokota and Eiji Mitsuoka to win the inaugural tourney.
UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jorge Santiago continued his run through the middleweight division by stopping Siyar Bahadurzada and former PRIDE light heavyweight standout Kazuhiro Nakamura en route to winning the middleweight grand prix.
Takanori Gomi. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Here’s a little recap of what we might have missed over the past few days or so…
Gomi, Trigg Win at Sengoku IV
Former PRIDE standouts Takanori Gomi and Frank Trigg were victorious in their respective bout Sunday morning at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” event in Japan. Gomi earned a decision over Seung Pang Hwan while Trigg went all three rounds with Makoto Takimoto.
Former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz was upset in the first round of World Victory Road’s inaugural lightweight grand prix, losing via knockout to Mizuto Hirota. Kazunori Yokota, Eiji Mitsuoka, Satoru Kitaoka all also moved on to the tournament’s next round.
Frank Trigg. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” event, which will take place tomorrow morning (North American time) at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
The show will be headlined by former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi taking on Sung Hwan Pang. Frank Trigg will go up against Makoto Takimoto in another feaured bout and the first round of the organization’s inaugural lightweight grand prix will also take place.
Takanori Gomi (154 lbs) vs. Sung Pang Hwan (154 lbs)
Frank Trigg (182 lbs) vs. Makoto Takimoto (180 lbs)
Pawel Nastula (224 lbs) vs. Yang-Dong Yi (220 lbs)
Valentijn Overeem (238 lbs) vs Kazuo Takahashi (208 lbs)
Peter Graham (244 lbs) vs. Moise Rimbon (211 lbs)
Lightweight Grand Prix:
Ryan Schultz (153 lbs) vs. Mizuto Hirota (154 lbs)
Clay French (154 lbs) vs. Satoru Kitaoka (154 lbs)
Eiji Mitsuoka (154 lbs) vs. Rodrigo Damm (154 lbs)
Kazunori Yokota (154 lbs) vs. Bojan Kosednar (153 lbs)