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.

An odd second round saw Matsui claim that he was hit in the groin by Choi, who visibly didn’t throw a strike anywhere near Matsui’s groin area. After the break Choi took Matsui down and controlled him until the final minute of the round, where Matsui stunned Choi with a couple of wild right hands after taking the fight back up to the feet.

Choi continued his ground and pound assault into the third round where he scored with a number of punches and kicks that nearly finished off his veteran opponent. Matsui was able to reverse position and land on top of Choi during the closing moments. Matusi dropped back with secured an ankle lock as time expired. Despite Choi visibly in control for the entire fight, the judge’s surprisingly announced Matsui as the victor, much to the chagrin of the crowd.

Yuya Shirai used decent striking and a strong wrestling game to win a three-round decision over Sojiro Orui. Yuichi Nakanishi nearly forced Eiji Ishikawa to tap out with a standing kimura in the first round of their bout before Nakanishi was able to handle Ishikawa on the ground in the final two rounds to earn a hard-fought split decision win in the remaining tournament bout.

Longtime women’s standout Satoko Shinashi used a slick ground game to submit Sachi and earn a unanimous decision over Fukuko Hamada to win DEEP’s single-night flyweight tournament. Sachi submitted Kayo Nagayasu with an armbar to advance to the final.

Complete results from the show are below:

Ryoji Suzuki def. Kenta Okuyama - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Sachi def. Kayo Nagayasu - Submission (Armbar)
Satoko Shinashi def. Fukuko Hamada - Unanimous Decision
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi def. Shunsuke Inoue - Unanimous Decision
Ken Hamamura vs. Shigetoshi Iwase - Draw
Toshiaki Kitada vs. Isao Terada - Draw
Yoshihiro Tomioka vs. Seigo Inoue - Draw
Yasuhito Namekawa def. Carlos Toyota - Submission (Achilles Lock)
Satoko Shinashi def. Sachi - Submission (Armbar)
Yuya Shirai def. Sojiro Orui - Unanimous Decision
Yuichi Nakanishi def. Eiji Ishikawa - Split Decision
Daijiro Matsui def. Young Choi - Split Decision
Riki Fukuda def. Ryuta Sakurai - Unanimous Decision


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