Izumi’s Debut Spoiled; Hornbuckle Finishes Thompson at Sengoku 10

By Tony Loiseleur Sep 23, 2009
SAITAMA, Japan -- Olympic judo silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi went out on his shield in his MMA debut Wednesday against Antz Nansen in the main event of Sengoku's 10th Battle at the Saitama Super Arena Community Arena.

The 2004 Athens Games silver medalist had only been training for three months, but he showed surprising toughness and tenacity in his brief three minutes in the ring. A muay Thai champion who was also debuting, Nansen came at Izumi with blistering punches and chopping leg kicks. Izumi weathered the storm, though, to land a few hard right hands -- more or less to prove that he could take punches and throw back some of his own.

It was not the best of tactical choices. Nansen punished Izumi, knocking the judoka down with a winging right hook. Izumi hung on long enough to shoot for the takedown and almost captured Nansen's back, but “Notorious” escaped and blasted Izumi with more punches, dropping him in a corner. Referee Yoshinori Umeki then jumped in, calling the fight at 2:56 of the first round.

“He's very tough, very solid. I thought he was a man of his word because he fought the way he said he was going to fight,” said Nansen of Izumi keeping the bout on the feet.

“Everyone expected me to grab him, throw him and do something on the ground,” Izumi said. “But my training was to fight MMA, standing up and throwing punches. You saw both good and bad results, but I fought according to plan. Everything starts from standing up, so I needed to learn by starting from there.”

Nansen said he was “actually quite impressed” with Izumi’s striking.

“He did catch me a few times,” said Nansen, who sprained his left hand on Izumi’s forehead. “His striking is very good and will only get better as time goes on.”

Rising 170-pounder Dan Hornbuckle notched another win in dispatching former Bodog welterweight champion Nick Thompson. Though Hornbuckle was tagged with several Thompson uppercuts, “The Handler” delivered straighter punches down the pipe to slowly wear down Thompson until the ending left-right-left stunned “The Goat” into retreat. Hornbuckle pursued with a big flurry into the corner, sealing the TKO win with a knee to the face at 1:30 of round two.

Antonio Silva got in a brief workout against “Big” Jim York, putting him away in orderly fashion in the first frame. “Pezao” stalked York, absorbing low kicks while closing in to secure the takedown. Silva ate a few grazing shots and one solid right hand, but he hit takedowns with ease and worked to get in position for the finish. York escaped Silva's first attempt by falling out of the ropes, but Silva's second attempt saw him successfully lock up a textbook arm-triangle for the tap at 3:51.

Makoto Takimoto outpointed Korean import Jae Sun Lee after three rounds of shaky grappling between both fighters. While Takimoto landed a few good punches on the feet and even some knees on the ground, his best techniques were arguably the kouchi gari and kosoto gari throws he put Lee down with. Lee managed to reverse Takimoto several times, but his own grappling deficiencies saw him frequently swept and defending Takimoto's punches from bottom. The final scores were all close, with judges Takashi Kobayashi and Tomoki Matsumiya ruling 30-28 and 30-29 for Takimoto and judge Kenichi Serizawa ruling a 30-30 “must” decision for Takimoto.

In the main card's sole lightweight attraction, Kazunori Yokota notched a lightening-quick TKO on Ryan Schultz. After trading low kicks, Schultz shot for the takedown. Yokota blatantly grabbed the ropes to defend, arguably saving himself when referee Serizawa stood the two up to issue a warning to Yokota. Yokota then blitzed Schultz with a big right hook and followed the unconscious former IFL lightweight champ to the floor with two big hammerfists before Serizawa dove in for the save at 2:31.

Though cognizant and on his feet backstage, Schultz was reported to have been taken to the hospital to be checked up, as he was still not feeling well some time after the fight.

Fabio Silva brought the usual Chute Boxe ferocity in finishing light heavyweight King of Pancrase Ryo Kawamura in their rematch. Silva countered Kawamura early with punches, captured his back and later threw knees from the Thai plum. The end came at 2:28 after a barrage of punches from the plum led to a right knee to the face that put Kawamura down. Referee Serizawa jumped in just as Kawamura's corner threw in the towel.

It was a wild and woolly two rounds for UFC veteran Joe Doerksen and Takenori Sato. Doerksen had Sato on the run early, dropping him with a stiff one-two. For the rest of the fight, Sato botched takedowns and reversals until Doerksen caught Sato with three more punches. Sato fell to the mat and rolled to recover, but the UFC vet pounded him out, forcing referee Ryogoku Wada to call the fight at 4:27 of the second period.

Despite a wily Tetsuya Yamada diving for submission opportunities, an equally wily Maximo Blanco eventually overpowered him with brute force. Slamming Yamada to get out of armbars and punching him up on the ground, it was only a matter of time until Blanco put “The Helper” away. The end came at 1:11 of round two after Blanco had blasted a knee to Yamada's tailbone and then swarmed on his crumpled opponent, forcing referee Matsumiya to stop the bout.

Other Results:

Jee Hyun So def. Ryosuke Komori -- Unan Dec 5:00 R2 (Umeki)
Shigeki Osawa def. Ki Hyun Kim -- Unan Dec 5:00 R2 (Kimura)
Ikuo Usuda def. Woo Hyun Baek -- TKO (Punches) 4:59 R1 (Kimura)
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