Cage Force 9 Play-by-Play

Dec 6, 2008
Sherdog.com’s Tony Loiseleur reports from the Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo with live play-by-play of Saturday’s Cage Force 9 card, which features the final round of the promotion’s bantam and featherweight tournaments.

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Shinpei Sotoyama vs. Yoshiaki Takahashi
Round 1
Takahashi has the takedown off the bat, in half guard looking to pass while dropping small punches. Sotoyama recovers full guard, tries to scoot out. Sotoyama stands up against the cage, and Takahashi sends knees up the middle. Sotoyama uses the outside trip for the takedown in the clinch and is working to pass to side. Takahashi sucks him back into guard, so Sotoyama tries to pass to the other (right) side instead, but gets stuck in half guard. Sotoyama frees the leg and is in side mount, feeding the knee onto the belly to take mount before Takahashi shrimps out right at the horn. 10-9 Sotoyama.

Round 2
Sotoyama drives for the takedown but only manages to press Takahashi against the cage. Takahashi sends up knees to the body for his troubles. Sotoyama working the outside trip again, but Takahashi is keeping his balance, sending up more knees. Sotoyama tries the outside trip again and gets it this time, landing in half guard. Sotoyama with short elbows to the legs of Takahashi as he tries to pass to side. Takahashi works his hips to pull Sotoyama into full guard, but Sotoyama jumps his legs up and over to pass to side. Horn goes as Sotoyama is softening Takahashi up with small punches. Sherdog.com scores the bout 10 – 9 Sotoyama.

Round 3
Sotoyama drops and drives Takahashi into the cage. Takahashi keeps his balance, not allowing Sotoyama to drag him down. Sotoyama eats more knees as Takahashi pushes forward in the clinch, eventually bowling him over to land on top in half guard. Takahashi with short shots to the face aand ribs as Sotoyama struggles to crawl back up the cage to standing. Sotoyama tries for the outside trip again, but Takahashi spreads his legs and picks Sotoyama up for the takedown. Takahashi punches Sotoyama from top position, focing Sotoyama to turn away, allowing Takahashi to take his back. Sotoyama trying to fend off the choke by holding onto and controlling Takahashi’s arm, which Takahashi turns into a left armbar attempt right at the bell. 10 – 9 Takahashi.

Official judges' scores: Takahashi, Takahashi, Draw, resulting in Yoshiaki Takahashi taking the bout by Majority Decision.

Wataru Takahashi vs. Nobutaka Hiyoshi
Round 1
Hiyoshi looking to bang early, sending kicks and flurries at Takahashi. Takahashi drops for a single and pushes Hiyoshi up against the cage, stifling his five seconds of fury. Hiyoshi pushses Takahashi off and starts swinging, grazing with hooks. Takahashi again goes for the takedown and brings Hiyoshi down with a fair bit of scrambling. Takahashi passes easily to side and moves to knee on belly. Hiyoshi gives up his back and Takahashi slips in a tight rear naked choke. Hiyoshi is a survivor though, pulling Takahashi’s hand from the back of his head just as he starts to turn purple. Hiyoshi tries to spin into guard, but Takahashi traps him in the mount and drops punches to the face. Hiyoshi again gives up the back and the choke. The choke is in, but Hiyoshi hangs on until the horn. 10 – 9 Takahashi.

Round 2
Hiyoshi looking like the choke attempts have sapped his energy between rounds. The referee warns Hiyoshi’s corner for ppouring water into the cage during the interval. Hiyoshi is more conservative now, not charging in as soon as the horn sounds. Takahashi takes this as his opening to slide in for the single leg and whip Hiyoshi to the mat. Takahashi effortlessly passes to side, then north-south. Hiyoshi stands up and out from underneath, but Takahashi catches him and puts him back down, landing in mount. Takahashi sending down big punches before pulling on Hiyoshi’s right arm for the armbar. Hiyoshi rolls with it and with some squirming, pulls it out. Takahashi gets back up and drives for the single leg again as Hiyoshi drops elbow points to his shoulder. Takahashi catches the back clinch and pulls up one of Hiyoshi’s legs to drag him down onto his posterior at the end of the round. 10 – 9 Takahashi

Round 3
Both men are dancing around the cage now, Takahashi at center. Takahashi gets plunked during a takedown attempt by a right hand, but Hiyoshi is so gassed, he doesn’t follow him down to finish. The ref stands them back up and Takahashi looks recovered as he drops for a single leg. Hiyoshi drops a bunch of elbows while gripping the cage to fend off the takedown. The ref stops the fight to issue a warning to Hiyoshi. Hiyoshi going for low kicks now while Takahashi stalks. Takahashi shoots in and gets the single leg, landing in guard. Takahashi posturing, trying to drop punches to open up opportunities to pass. Takahashi gets as far as half guard before dropping a few more punches, allowing him to pass straight to mount. Hiyoshi keeps Takahashi’s head down though, so Takahashi isn’t able to drop big punches before the horn goes. 10 – 9 Takahashi

All three judges rule in favor of Takahashi for the unanimous decision.

Kenta Takagi vs. Keitaro Maeda
Round 1
They touch gloves and Takagi takes the center. Takagi with a blocked middle kick and Maeda comes straight back with piston punches, grazing Takagi on the face and putting him into the cage. Takagi pulls Maeda into the over-under clinch, and spins his way out. Takagi with low kicks, and Maeda responds with big hooks. Soutpaw Takagi feinting with right jabs before catching him with a lunging left knee to the body that drops Maeda to the canvas. Takagi pounces and pounds Maeda out at 1:30 in the first round.

Takeyasu Hirono vs. Yoshihiro Matsunaga
Round 1
Hirono with a big leg kick before shooting in for the takedown. Hirono gets the back clinch and drags Matsunaga down before jumping fully onto his back. Hirono trying to work his hands in for the choke, but Matsunaga is gripping the arms, trying to pry them off. Hirono flatten Matsunaga out, but Matsunaga manages to pull his legs up from under and spin underneath. Hirono from mount elbowing Matsunaga’s face causing him to turn back around again. Hirono works for the choke, then transitions to the armbar. Matsunaga fends it off and drives forward into Hirono’s guard. Hirono working wrist control, keeping Matsunaga from posturing. Matsunaga pulls his arms out and drops two big punches before Hirono pulls his head down. Horn goes, 10 – 9 Hirono round.

Round 2
Matsunaga with big kicks, while Hirono is looking for a way to shoot in. When Hirono shoots in, it looks like Matsunaga is taken off balance as he falls to pull guard, but Hirono lands in mount instead. Matsunaga scrambles out from under, but Hirono pushes him up against the cage before taking him down with an outside trip. Hirono working to pass from half guard, dropping small punches to the side of Matsunaga’s head. Hirono frees his leg and passes to side, drops a few elbows before passing to full mount. Matsunaga spins and gives up his back again. Hirono falls off to the side for a second, and Matsunaga spins into his guard, trying to free himself to drop punches. The horn goes however, and nothing comes of it. 10 – 9 Hirono.

Round 3
Hirono eats a big right kick to the ribs, and his wife screams “OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!” from the crowd to much comedic effect. Hirono charges into the clinch and pushes Matsunaga against the cage, where he isolates a leg for the takedown. Hirono on top in half guard, dropping short punches to the face before passing to side--Hirono's wife is going crazy at this. Hirono goes for a gutsy armbar, but it’s loose, allowing Matsunaga to punch Hirono off of him. Hirono jumps to his feet and backpedals as Matsunaga chases him down and puts him against the cage. Hirono slips around to take the back clinch and drag Matsunaga down, taking his back where he works for the rear naked choke. Matsunaga flails about until he spins into Hirono’s guard. Matsunaga dropping a few punches in close before the horn. 10 – 9 Hirono.

Official result: all three judges rule the bout for Takeyasu Hirono.

Wataru Miki vs. Masaaki Hasegawa
Round 1
Hasegawa dancing on the outside, looking for middle kicks and overhand left hands. Miki sucks Hasegawa into the clinch and sends up a knee before Hasegawa feeds an uppercut up the clinch to free them up. Hasegawa back to slamming mid kicks into Miki’s mid section. Hasegawa with jabs, circling around Miki. Miki tries to catch Hasegawa with single right jabs. Hasegawa is taking potshots at Miki with right straights and the occasional three punch combo. Miki finally gets through and drops Hasegawa for a second with a big left straight, but Hasegawa pops back up and circles out. Hasegawa circling more, trying not to get caught again as he pumps more jabs in. Horn goes, 10 – 9 Hasegawa round.

Round 2
Miki is wmiling wide, pushing in to punch and drive knees into the elusive Hasegawa. Miki eventually gets himself into the clinch and drags Hasegawa to the canvas. Hasegawa controlling Miki’s wrists before turning over to his side to go for a kimura or a sweep from the bottom. Miki pressing in close, wrapping his arms around Hasegawa’s back to prevent this from happening. Hasegawa turns it into an armbar attempt, but Miki’s arm is nowhere near extended. Miki is sitting on his haunches, waiting, while Hasegawa squirms to pull the arm out. The wait it out until the end of the round in this position. 10 – 9 Miki round.

Round 3
Miki trying to push forward and get Hasegawa in the clinch, but Hasegawa punches his way out of them. Miki is unfazed however, and barrels in to get the takedown, immediately passing to side where he drops a few punches and knees to the body. Miki using his arm as a frame to push Hasegawa’s head to the mat before pulling it up and whipping it down for elbow strikes. Miki with more knees before spinning into the armbar for the submission at 1:40 into the third.

Motoki Miyazawa vs. Shigetoshi Iwase
Round 1
Miyazawa hits the cage with no cup, and so he has to run backstage to put one on. As he runs out, there is an audience-wide chuckle. During the delay, the referees decide to give a warning to Miyazawa. Once the bout starts, both men limp-handedly paw at each other until Miyazawa smashes Iwase up against the cage. Miyazawa with the over-under, sending knees to Iwase’s legs. Iwase spins Miyazawa into the cage and gives him a few knees of his own before sucking him down with a double leg takedown. Both men trading punches from guard. Miyazawa pulls up his left leg for the rubber guard, trying to lock down Iwase’s right arm as he tries to pass it in front of Iwase’s face. Iwase looks away to defend against it, eating elbows to the ear in the process. The referee breaks them up and brings the bout back to standing. Iwase slams two hooks to the side of Miyazawa’s head before dropping for the double. Iwase lands in half guard. Iwase staying in close, dropping small shots as he tries to crawl his way out to side mount. Miyazawa pulls him into guard and starts elbowing Iwase to the face from bottom. Iwase postures up and releases two big punches before Miyazawa grabs and arm for an armbar. Iwase ducks his head down, and Miyazawa changes grips to wrist control at the horn. 10 – 9 Iwase round.

Round 2
Iwase’s forehead is cut open on the right side, and so the ring doctor takes a few more seconds to clean him up before the second round starts. Miyazawa gets a lunging right hook, but Iwase respons with a hard right hook counter of his own. Miyazawa plants a right on the face of Iwase before dropping for the takedown. Iwase sprawls, but Miyazawa recovers and tries again, this time taking Iwase down, but landing in the guillotine. Miyazawa pulls his head out and tries to pass to the left side as Iwase punches the side of his head. Miyazawa gets to side and Iwase rolls, giving up his back. Miyazawa rains hooks to the side of Iwase’s head from the back as Iwase tries to get a straight armbar on the one arm of Miyazawa’s he is able to control. Falling to the side, Miyazawa is now forced to concentrate on not being subbed. Iwase continues to work the straight armbar, but he’s also bleeding all over the canvas. The ref calls a momentary stop to mop the blood up. When Iwase is cleaned up, they instruct both men to resume their position on the ground, complete with Iwase’s figure-four on Miyazawa’s arm. Miyazawa resumes punching the side of Iwase’s head until Iwase gives up on the arm. Iwase covers up until Miyazawa’s assault stops. It doesn’t however, as Miyazawa drops more hooks and elbows to the side of Iwase’s head, right up until the horn. 10 – 9 Miyazawa round.

Round 3
Iwase still bleeding big time along his hairline, giving both fighters a much needed extra minute to recover before the third round. Iwase still looks tired though, throwing looping punches and hooks to the body. Miyazawa ducks or evades most of them before driving Iwase into the cage. Miyazawa drops back into guard then, apparently just as tired as Iwase is. After a moment of inactivity from both men, Miyazawa elbows Iwase’s cut from the bottom, prompting the ref to call a stop to the bout at 1:45, when Iwase’s forehead explodes open with more blood.

Tomonari Kanomata vs. Eriya Matsuda
Round 1
Kanomata and Matsuda are nose to nose in the staredown. They come storming in at each other until a big Matsuda knee off one of his flurries stuns Kanomata, sending him down butt first. Matsuda lunges to finish, and gets sucked into a vicious armbar for the finish at a mere 30 seconds into the first round.

Bantamweight Tournament Final:
Masahiro Oishi vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Round 1
Mizugaki comes in to Linkin Park, while Oishi comes in to a tune from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Mizugaki’s right hand is all twitchy, like he wants to lay Oishi out with it. They trade low kicks. Mizugaki plants a right on Oishi’s nose before blasting his legs with more low kicks. Mizugaki just taking his pick of punches and low kicks as Oishi clams up or tries to parry. Mizugaki lunging forward with uppercuts now. Oishi opening up and stringing together two punches at a time.Mizugaki working Oishi with better boxing, going to the body now that he realizes that Oishi is just wanting to cover up. Mizugaki gets through with a nice right straight, forcing Oishi to drop for the takedown. Mizugaki spins him into the cage and disengages. Another Mizugaki right hand connects, followed by an uppercut, one-two. Mizugaki stuffs another takedown attempt and peppers shots on Oishi’s face. Oishi is backpedaling now, trying to evade big Mizugaki punches. The horn goes, signaling the end of a very strong Mizugaki round, 10 – 9.

Round 2
Mizugaki picking apart Oishi with more boxing until Oishi drops for a takedown. Mizugaki sends up a big knee to Oishi’s face, landing flush. Oishi collapses and Mizugaki begins pounding him out from the back mount, landing big hooks to the side of Oishi’s head. Oishi tries to roll out, but Mizugaki is relentless and all over him. He follows, dropping more and more shots. Oishi welts more and more under the barrage until the ref has seen enough, calling the bout at 57 seconds into the second.

With this win, Takeya Mizugaki becomes the Cage Force Bantamweight tournament winner and divisional champion.

Featherweight Tournament Final:
Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura vs. Yuji Hoshino
Round 1
Wicky begins twitching as usual, and Hoshino answers with some jitters of his own. Wicky takes the center, low kicking. Wicky misses a big right hook, and Hoshino lunges with his big right in countering, misses. Wicky flies forward with a knee, and Hoshino catches him and puts him on his back against the cage. Hoshino tring to drop punches on Wicky, but Wicky is keeping him at bay with his feet. Hoshino pushes his way into Wicky’s guard, smashing him up against the cage. Wicky tries to push Hoshino off with his knees, Hoshino just pushes them aside to take mount for a second before Wicky recovers to half guard. Hoshino staying in close, looking to pass. Hoshino drops some small punches to the ribs, just as the crowd erupts in “Hoshino” chants. Hoshino passes to mount now, but isn’t able to mount any big offense other than a few small punches to the side of Wicky’s head. Hoshino looks to be working on an arm triangle, but Wicky defends and gets his arm out. Wicky is trying to bridge out, but Hoshino is just way too big and heavy for even Wicky to scramble out from under. Hoshino begins rubbing his elbow into Wicky’s face, and just as he postures up to drop big punches, the horn goes. 10 – 9 round for Hoshino.

Round 2
Hoshino with a left hook to scare Wicky away. Wicky backs off a second before walking him up against the cage. Hoshino cirles out, preparing for the inevitable big shot from Wicky. Wicky fidgeting until he fires off a missed low kick. Hoshino returns the favor. Hoshino shoots in for a single, and Wicky stands stock straight, trying to punch Hoshino off. Hoshino whips Wicky into the cage, then back down to the mat, landing in half guard. Wicky punching the side of Hoshino’s head from bottom as Hoshino looks to pass. Wicky spins from under as Hoshino grabs his arm for a kimura, and he escapes to standing. Wicky walking forward, brazenly, with hands down. Wicky lunges with a big right and lands face-first into the cage. Hoshino evades, but before he can follow him down, Wicky has popped back up to his feet and starts circling out. Hoshino with a double jab pumped to Wicky’s face. Wicky straight right grazes. Hoshino low kick checked by Wicky. Hoshino jab connects. Wicky lunges in with wild hooks and is sucked into the clinch. Wicky launches a knee. Hoshino has a leg tied up in the inside trip, lets it go after Wicky plants a few punches on the side of his head. Hoshino muscles Wicky up to the cage until the horn, five seconds later. Hoshino squeaks by 10 - 9.

Round 3
Hoshino low kick before he drives forward and takes Wicky’s leg out, pushing him down to the mat. Wicky pops back up and lunges forward with an uppercut. Hoshino evades and pushes Wicky up against the cage. Hoshino takes the back clinch from the body lock, and tries to drag Wicky down. Wicky grabs the cage and is saved for a moment before Hoshino pulls him out and picks him up for a big slam. Hoshino in side, then half guard, then mount, dropping short, hard punches and elbows. Hoshino keeping it in close, racking up the points as Wicky flails from the bottom, trying to hit or push Hoshino off. Hoshino trying to isolate Wicky’s left arm again, looking for that arm triangle choke, but Wicky is aware of it. Instead, Hoshino switches his attention to punching the other side of Wicky’s head. Wicky is trying to swim his arms under Hoshino’s to lift him up and over as he rolls, but Hoshino’s hips are too heavy. Hoshino pushes Wicky back down in mount. Hoshino postures up right at the horn, dropping two big shots, sealing his imminent unanimous decision victory. 10 - 9 Hoshino.

All three judges rule in favor of Yuji Hoshino, making him the 2008 Cage Force Featherweight Tournament winner, as well as the Cage Force featherweight champion. Stay tuned for a full report by Tony Loiseleur and images from ace photographer Daniel Herbertson.
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