Alvarez Submits Kikuno at Dream 12

By Brian Knapp Oct 25, 2009
Eddie Alvarez needed every ounce of his Philadelphia fortitude.

The Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight titleholder took care of top Japanese prospect Katsunori Kikuno with an arm-triangle choke at Dream 12 “The Cage of the Rising Sun” on Sunday at Osaka Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan. Kikuno met his end 3:42 into the second round.

Alvarez survived a lopsided first round. Kikuno, calm and collected, trapped the American in a standing crucifix -- his head and neck stuck inside clenched double under hooks -- against the cage for several minutes. By the time Alvarez freed himself, he looked baffled and weary. His energy sapped, Alvarez pressed forward, as Kikuno answered with front and round kicks to the body.

A refreshed Alvarez took command in the second period, as he dropped Kikuno with short right hook and later threatened him with an arm-in guillotine choke. The Bellator champion scored with a second takedown, trapped Kikuno’s arm and tightened the choke by passing to the side. The Deep lightweight king, who had not lost in nearly four years, tried to remain calm but had no choice but to submit.

Zaromskis KOs Bae

Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis blasted M-1 Challenge veteran Myeon Ho Bae with a picture-perfect head kick 19 seconds into round one of their non-title tilt. The 29-year-old Lithuanian, lifting his stock with each outing, has put away three straight opponents with head kicks.

Zaromskis stormed out of the gate with a jumping knee and rushed Bae against the cage. He was met with a crisp right hook from the Korean welterweight as they exchanged, but he reset his position and landed the kick for the finish. The London Shootfighters ace added a pair of hammerfists for good measure.

In the midst of a five-fight winning streak, Zaromskis called it a night with his customary post-fight back flip, as Bae staggered to his corner, still woozy from the crippling blow.

Overeem Dismisses ‘The Colossus’

Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem barely broke a sweat.

In his second mixed martial arts appearance in eight days, the hulking Dutchman dismissed EliteXC and Pride Fighting Championships veteran James Thompson in little more than half a minute with a crushing standing guillotine choke. Thompson raised the white flag 33 seconds into the match.

Overeem sidestepped Thompson’s initial rush and unleashed a flying knee that missed its mark and nearly carried him over the cage. Clearly outmatched, Thompson moved in for a takedown and left his neck exposed. Overeem, who has finished eight of his 31 career victories with guillotine chokes, clamped down on the Englishman and solicited the tapout.

Sakuraba Kneebars Galesic

Persistence pays.

Japanese icon Kazushi Sakuraba leaned on his experience and ability to withstand punishment, as he coaxed a tapout from Dream middleweight grand prix semi-finalist Zelg Galesic 1:40 into the opening round of their match.

The 40-year-old Sakuraba scored with a single-leg takedown in the opening moments and went to work. The Pride Fighting Championships veteran worked an Achilles’ lock and transitioned to a toe hold, eating shots from Galesic, who had moved into a dominant position. Sakuraba, however, never released the Croatian’s leg and ultimately extended it into a fight-ending kneebar, as Galesic winced in noticeable pain.

Sakuraba has rattled off back-to-back submission wins since his 2008 defeats to Melvin Manhoef and Kiyoshi Tamura.

Maeda Submits Beebe

Former featherweight King of Pancrase Yoshiro Maeda submitted one-time World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Chase Beebe with a first-round rear-naked choke. The end came 3:36 into the match.

Maeda had Beebe on his heels from the start, as he attacked his body with kicks, knees and punches. A trip takedown was the American’s only offense of note, but Maeda used the cage to return to his feet. Later, he trapped Beebe in a scramble, seized back control and locked on the choke for the finish.

Beebe, still reeling after his controversial split decision loss to Mike Easton at an Ultimate Warrior Challenge show on Oct. 3, has lost five consecutive fights.

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