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Sandro falls at Sengoku “Soul of Fight”

By on December 31, 2010

In North America, we’ll kick next year off with UFC 125, but in Japan, it’s tradition to end the year with televised combat sports. Such was the case the last two days, as Sengoku aired their year-end event on December 30th, and the K-1 and Dream co-promoted “Dynamite!” on New Year’s Eve. Sengoku’s event made up in quantity what it may have comparatively lacked in quality, with a jaw-dropping 27 bouts (10 of which were kickboxing matches) in what was an all-day event.

By far the biggest development in Sengoku’s year-end show was Hatsu Hioki defeating Marlon Sandro for Sandro’s SRC Featherweight Championship. Hioki simply outperformed Sandro in the fight, out-striking him regularly while also getting the better of the action on the mat.

After a fairly close first round, Hioki landed early and often in the second round before working serious ground and pound (and nearly getting an arm bar) in the third. In the fourth, Sandro got a takedown after failing to make headway earlier in the round with more striking, but Sandro couldn’t do much with top position, and he was fighting off a triangle choke as the round concluded. The final round was more of the same, as Hioki threatened Sandro with a hammerlock, a kimura, and finally an arm bar that was locked in, but that Sandro refused to tap to. As the fight concluded, Hioki was awarded the unanimous decision.

Bellator’s Megumi Fujii got started on the road to another lengthy winning streak with a win over Emi Fujino by unanimous decision. Despite some questionable refereeing and a valiant effort by Fujino, Fujii worked her ground and pound as well as some effective striking in the standup portion of the bout to get the win. Fujino did her best to defend Fujii’s persistent takedown attempts and stand back up when she was taken down, but in the end, Fujii wore her down as usual. Fujino also survived a tough stretch in the second round where Fujii had her mounted and was pounding away with hard shots from the top position.

Meanwhile, Taisuke Okuno knocked out Ryo Chonan in just nineteen seconds with a right hook. Chonan has been knocked out cold in two of his last three bouts. Okuno needed the knockout, too, as he hada two-point deduction going into the bout for missing weight. In fairness to Okuno, he did take the fight on a week’s notice.

The Okuno bout was part of the three-bout “Sengoku vs. Dream” portion of the event, which Sengoku won, two to one. In the other two fights, Yoshiro Maeda defeated Masanori Kanehara by TKO in the first round, while Maximo Blanco won a tough and razor-thin decision against Won Sik Park in a bout that Park may have given away due to his own inactivity in the last round.

In other action, Kazuo Misaki defeated Mike Seal early in the first round of their bout by TKO, a feat made less impressive by Seal’s record, which now stands at 13-14-1. Misaki was able to block an early high kick from Seal before taking the fight to the mat, where he was able to advance to the mount and fire punches away to get the stoppage.

There was supposed to be another women’s MMA bout, but the fight between Roxanne Modafferi and Hitomi Akano was canceled literally at the last minute. Modafferi and Akano made their way to the ring, only to have it announced that the ringside physician would not allow Modafferi to compete due to illness. Modafferi was suffering from gastritis, which kept her from being able to take in food or fluids as she should have been able to.

E-Mail Jon Hartley

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