Kitaoka Adds to Foot Collection

By Tony Loiseleur Jun 7, 2009
TOKYO -- Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka took yet another foot for his growing collection Sunday in the main event of Pancrase Changing 3 at Differ Ariake.

Kitaoka tried to intimidate opponent Yukio Sakaguchi with a wide-mouthed, vacant stare during the staredown. As soon as the bell rang, however, the Sengoku champ shot for successive single- and double-leg takedowns while Sakaguchi scrambled to stay upright. After abandoning the guillotine to shoot for another successful double, Kitaoka fell back for the Achilles lock on Sakaguchi’s right leg, arching backward as his opponent kicked at him with his free foot. Kitaoka’s monstrous upper body strength had Sakaguchi tapping at the 1:26 mark of the first round.

“I’ve mastered submissions in short pants,” exclaimed Kitaoka to a delighted audience, drawing attention to his green shorts -- a departure from his typical long spats.

“Luckily, I’m able to come home as a champion. I’ll win my next bout and will return again, so please support me in Sengoku.”

In the semi-main event, Mitsuhisa Sunabe bashed Takuya Eizumi to become Pancrase's first flyweight king of Pancrase. The Okinawan import was game from the opening bell, clipping Eizumi with a swift right hook before shooting in to lift Eizumi onto his shoulders and slam him in his corner. After a standup, Eizumi attempted to bang Sunabe out on the feet, but Sunabe raised his hands, taunting Eizumi before landing a swift left hook that knocked him out at 4:35 of round one.

“I’ve longed for a belt for 16 years, so I’m very happy for today’s bout,” said an emotional Sunabe before vowing to defeat a challenge made by Isao Hirose earlier that evening.

UFC vet Koji Oishi and Hyoung Kwang Kim fought to a narrow majority decision for Oishi. Kim was game, marking Oishi up with blistering hooks on the feet and from the bottom of guard, but Oishi's numerous takedowns and ground control won him the bout on judges Matsumiya and Oyabu's cards, 20-19. Only judge Wada recognized Kim's tenacity from bottom as being equal to Oishi's control on top, judging the fight a 20-20 draw.

Takenori Sato survived Hoon Kim's best shots on the feet to take the fight to the floor, where he eventually tapped Kim with an armbar at 4:26 of the first round.

Sengoku and Pride veteran Mu Bae Choi took a unanimous decision (20-19 twice, 20-18) over Katsuhisa Fujii in a slower-paced heavyweight bout.

Okinawan import Tatsuya So was tenacious and tough in hanging two rounds against Sengoku featherweight tournament veteran Seiya Kawahara. Kawahara stuck to the center, marking up So with punches and stuffing his takedown attempts en route to winning a decision (20-19 on all three cards).

Keiichiro Yamamiya delighted the crowd twice. First he entered dressed as the legendary Japanese pro-wrestler the Great Muta, and then he followed up with a spectacular knockout of Ryuji Ohori with a right hook at 1:01 of the first round.

Despite being rocked early by a right hand from Takashi Nakamura, Isao Hirose controlled the rest of his flyweight bout to win a unanimous decision (20-18, 20-19 twice).

Tashiro Nishiuchi took a close majority decision (20-19 twice, 20-20) over Takumi Murata by controlling the pace of the bout.

Kosei Kubota and Shingo Suzuki beat each other bloody for two rounds, earning a unanimous draw (20-20 twice, 19-19).

Kicking off the evening, Sengoku veterans and former Muhammed Lawal victims Ryo Kawamura and Yukiya Naito fought a three-round war. Kawamura engaged Naito with multi-level boxing, hitting to the body before taking swings at his head. Naito also tried to mix it up standing, but instead used clinches to deliver knees and dirty boxing. Naito tired by the third period, giving way for Kawamura to score better shots to close out the decision (30-29 twice, 29-28).
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