Weekend Rundown: Yamaguchi Captures KOTC Crown

By Brian Knapp Feb 1, 2010
D. Herbertson/Sherdog.com


Shooto mainstay Mamoru Yamaguchi submitted the previously unbeaten Frank Baca by second-round rear-naked choke to capture the King of the Cage junior flyweight championship in the KOTC “Toryumon” main event on Saturday at the Okinawa Convention Center in Okinawa, Japan. The end came 1:54 into round two.

The 32-year-old Yamaguchi, the first 123- and 132-pound champion in Shooto history, won for the fifth time in six fights and posted his first submission victory in more than four years. Widely regarded as one of the top three flyweights in the world, he will carry a three-fight winning streak into his next match.

Other winners at KOTC “Toryumon” included Dream veteran Kotetsu Boku and 2009 Bellator Fighting Championships lightweight tournament runner-up Toby Imada. Boku outpointed former KOTC lightweight champion Tony Hervey by unanimous decision, and Imada knocked out Daisuke Hanazawa 29 seconds into the second round of their match.

Meanwhile, Strikeforce veteran Roxanne Modafferi rebounded from her November defeat to Marloes Coenen with a submission victory over Molly Helsel. The 27-year-old Wilmington, Del., native has rattled off seven wins in her past eight bouts.

Brenneman Moves to 11-1

AMA Fight Club standout Charlie Brenneman stopped George Sheppard on second-round strikes at Valley Fight League “Mason Dixon Showdown 2” on Saturday at Green Gardens in Greencastle, Pa. The soon-to-be 29-year-old Brenneman, one of the top welterweight prospects on the East Coast, finished Sheppard 1:14 into the second round.

A collegiate All-American wrestler, Sheppard provided a stern test for Brenneman. However, the Ring of Combat veteran’s persistence in pursuing takedowns ultimately paid off. Brenneman scored with leg kicks, knees from the clinch and slams and took charge early in the fight. He christened the second round with a powerful slam and mounted Sheppard, stopping him with ground strikes from the top position.

Grabowski Submits Staring, Stays Perfect

Unbeaten Damian Grabowski, a blue-chip European prospect, submitted Golden Glory’s Dion Staring with a second-round armbar at Beast of the East “Chabbari vs. Souwer” on Saturday at the Hanzehof Theater in Zutphen, The Netherlands.

Still perfect as a professional, Grabowski has delivered all 11 of his victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission, eight of them inside one round. The 29-year-old Polish powerhouse also coaxed a tapout from Staring the first time the two met back in May 2008. Grabowski won four fights in one night at a heavyweight tournament in April.

Another top Polish export, Robert Jocz, notched a victory at the same Beast of the East show, as he stopped M-1 Challenge veteran Mikhail Zayats on second-round punches. Jocz has rattled off three consecutive wins since his majority decision defeat to Siyar Bahadurzada at an Ultimate Glory event in October. He has never been finished in 22 career bouts.

Baszler Advances in FCF Grand Prix

Strikeforce veteran Shayna Baszler advanced to the second round of the Freestyle Cage Fighting women’s grand prix with a submission victory against Megumi Yabushita at FCF 39 on Saturday at the Firelake Grand Casino in Shawnee, Okla. Yabushita met her end 4:50 into round one, as she tapped out to a twister.

Cornered by former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, Baszler dominated the fight from start to finish. She softened Yabushita with a standing knee, a soccer kick to the ribs and punches from the top position. Ultimately, Baszler worked herself into position for the submission, her 10th as a professional, as she bounced back nicely from consecutive losses to the undefeated Sarah Kaufman and Strikeforce women’s lightweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos.

Other winners in the grand prix were Adrienna Jenkins, Jennifer Tate and Jan Finney. Jenkins -- who has won 17 of her 19 fights, including seven in a row -- submitted Pure Combat veteran Sarah Schneider with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

Complete play-by-play from the event can be found here.
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