Kondo Scores First Win of ‘07

By Jason Nowe and Stephen Martinez Oct 14, 2007
TOKYO, Oct. 14 -- Despite losing the heavyweight King of Pancrase title match between champion Assuerio Silva (Pictures) and former champion Kestutis "Tiger" Arbocius (Pictures) after the Lithuanian never showed in Tokyo, Pancrase still pulled off a pretty good card Sunday with a Yuki Kondo (Pictures)-Yuji Sakuragi (Pictures) main event.

Kondo, who spent the first seven months of 2007 nursing a hand injury, was all about takedowns in this bout. In fact the light heavyweight King of Pancrase didn't take much damage, nullifying his hard-striking opponent by constantly bringing the action to the mat.

Once on the ground, Kondo worked his way to the mount in every round and rained down punches. When Sakuragi twisted to escape the blows, Kondo took his back, but he was unable to sink in the rear-naked choke.

Kondo was pretty much in the driver's seat for all three rounds, and though he came close, he couldn't finish off the persistent Sakuragi. The fight went to the judges, and the light heavyweight KOP took the well-deserved victory.

With legendary pro wrestler and the head of UWF Snakepit Japan, Billy Robinson, looking on, the gym's Manabu Inoue (Pictures) took on Korean fighter Jin Suk Jung.

Jung displayed a good sprawl against his opponent, stopping most of his takedown attempts, but eventually Inoue took the action to the ground.

The second round saw Inoue score the takedown early, passing to side control. From there the Japanese fighter sunk on a tight arm triangle. Jung resisted against the technique for a few seconds, but he was forced to tap at 1:47.

In the evening's other Japan versus Korea bout, Pancrase veteran Takuya Wada (Pictures) faced Hyun Kwan Kim.

The Korean came out swinging in this one, charging forward at his opponent. For his part, Wada did a good job of covering up and circling the ring to avoid the shots. The Japanese fighter eventually scored the takedown and took his opponent's back, only to see Kim escape before he could sink in the choke.

In the second round, after trading blows, Kim came charging in with a punch and the two fighters clashed heads, opening a large cut over the Korean's eye. After a doctor's check, Kim couldn't continue. The fight went to the judges' scorecards, and Wada walked away with the majority decision.

As with his PANCRASEism teammate Yuki Kondo (Pictures), the ever-eccentric Hikaru Sato (Pictures) focused on takedowns in his bout against Kentaro Abe, constantly moving the action to the mat.

In the second round, after a takedown, Sato worked to the mount. Once there the Pancrase veteran fired shots down on his opponent. In an effort to escape the punches, Abe twisted, giving Sato his back. Shortly after, Sato applied a rear-naked choke, forcing his opponent to tap at the 2:27 mark.

In other bouts:

Kenji Arai (Pictures) fought two rounds with Takaichi Hirayama (Pictures), eventually taking the majority decision.

Asaki Honda (Pictures) needed only 52 seconds to defeat Yukio Sakaguchi (Pictures) via heelhook.

Michihisa Asano (Pictures) knocked out Tatsuya So (Pictures) in the first 30 seconds of round one.

Hayato Shimizu defeated Yuki Hamasawa by majority decision.
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