Kondo, Shimizu Retain Pancrase Crowns

By Tony Loiseleur Jul 4, 2010
TOKYO -- Yuki Kondo held onto the middleweight King of Pancrase after three close rounds against Yuji Hisamatsu at Pancrase “Passion Tour 6” on Sunday at the Differ Ariake Arena.

The Pride Fighting Championships veteran clearly took the first frame by piling up kicks on the journeyman Hisamatsu, who was unable to check the strikes due to his stock upright stance. Hisamatsu was also at a loss to defend Kondo’s body kicks, as his arms gravitated to shoulder level. By round’s end, Kondo had not broken a sweat, and Hisamatsu was breathing through his mouth.

The second period was more competitive, as Hisamatsu probed with wide punches and low kicks, returning strikes tit-for-tat with the champion.

The third round proved Hisamatsu’s best, however, as “The Pink Typhoon” came out swinging with the intent to finish the fight. Though the challenger gave Kondo trouble in the early moments, the champion stepped up his counter punching and low kicks, as he potshotted the wild Hisamatsu, who by mid round was missing by liberally wide margins.

After three otherwise uninspiring rounds, judges Tomoki Matsumiya, Masato Fukuda and Yusuke Yachi all scored it 30-30, allowing an otherwise flat Kondo to retain his title in a draw.

In the evening’s gem of a co-feature, flyweight king of Pancrase Kiyotaka Shimizu defended his title by wrecking Isao Hirose’s nose en route to a second-round doctor’s stoppage.

What Hirose lacked in damaging strikes, he made up for with the big combinations he put on the champion, as he backed up Shimizu and frustrated him on the feet. However, Shimizu countered with snapping low kicks and stinging counter punches, many of which hit their marks, cutting the inside of Hirose’s left eye and the left side of his hairline.

The end came in the second, when stiff Shimizu counters made Hirose’s nose spout blood like a faucet. Matsumiya stepped in to have doctors check on the challenger, and they called the fight. Official time was 3:06 into the second round.

Immediately after, former flyweight king of Pancrase Mitsuhisa Sunabe entered the ring and petitioned the audience for a rematch. Shimizu replied with a smile. “Come and get me then,” he said.

Elsewhere, Tomoyoshi Iwamiya and Isao Kobayashi fought to a competitive two-round draw, splitting two judge cards and drawing on the third. Iwamiya arguably won the fight, however, as he marked up Kobayashi on the feet and stifled him with takedowns and relentless attempts at guard passing.

Meanwhile, Tashiro Nishiuchi locked Ho Leung Kim in a late-round arm-triangle choke to elicit the tapout at the 4:01 mark. “Akai” rocked Kim early with a flurry and then proceeded to dominate the Korean on the canvas until the eventual submission finish.

An unaggressive Keitaro Maeda defeated Seok Mo Kim, as the Korean had no takedown defense and even less ground savvy. Spending most of the fight on his bike, Maeda took down Kim whenever the Korean managed to put hands on him, taking dominant positions to earn 20-19 scores across the board.

Yuta Nakamura and Kosei Kubota decided to box in their welterweight bout, and Kubota paid the price. Nakamura put Kubota on Queer Street with a stiff right hand and followed up with a flurry that dropped him, covering up against the ropes. Umeki called the stop at 2:08 of the first.

Finally, in the first bout of the evening, Ryo Saito outboxed Yoshiyuki Ishikawa en route to soccer kicking his turtled foe for the TKO stoppage at the 4:31 mark of the first. Despite covering up, Ishikawa made no other efforts to defend, prompting the referee to err on the side of caution and stop the fight early.
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