Barnett Beats Monson; Gracie Chokes Kondo

By Jason Nowe and Stephen Martinez May 18, 2008
TOKYO -- In the main event of World Victory Road's second Sengoku show, longtime friends and sometimes training partners Josh Barnett (Pictures) and Jeff Monson (Pictures) faced off Sunday for the first time in their respective careers.

After a round of jousting, the action picked up in the second when Monson scored a single-leg takedown on his American counterpart. "The Snowman" worked to pass the guard, making it to side control before Barnett pulled off a very impressive escape. Barnett then returned the favor by putting Monson on the mat only seconds later.

The third round again saw Barnett score the takedown, but he couldn't capitalize before Monson stood. Back on the feet, the open-weight King of Pancrase used knees from the clinch very effectively and then took Monson to the mat again. From there Barnett fired down punches from the top and tried for a toehold in the last 15 seconds of the bout.

The fight went to the judges, and Barnett walked away with the unanimous decision.

Gracie family protégé Roger Gracie (Pictures) made his debut in Japan against Pancrase veteran Yuki Kondo (Pictures).

The bout was a bit of a mismatch, as Kondo looked almost like a child compared to his much bigger and taller opponent. The Brazilian manhandled Kondo, getting the takedown in the clinch and then working his way to the mount.

Kondo twisted in an attempt to escape, but the young Gracie took his back and sunk in the rear-naked choke for the victory at the 2:50 mark of the first.

Kevin Randleman (Pictures) won a highly questionable decision over Pancrase standout Ryo Kawamura (Pictures).

Randleman connected with a big punch early and scored the takedown, but then for the rest of the fight the American seemed obsessed with getting behind his opponent and trying for a suplex. Kawamura smartly countered by dropping his weight and locking up a kimura to prevent the slam. At one point Kawamura event went for a rolling kneebar as his opponent was holding on from behind.

For the second and third rounds, Kawamura pushed the pace of the fight, charging forward with punches and kicks. Randleman mostly circled the ring, and the referee admonished him at one point for inactivity.

Kawamura continued to counter Randleman's suplex attempts and turned on his punching combinations in the last 30 seconds of the fight. When the unanimous decision for Randleman came back from the judges, the audience was stunned. Kawamura took his loss gracefully, and Randleman stated that he wanted to fight the Pancrase veteran one more time.

Grabaka fighter Yuki Sasaki (Pictures) fell victim to the clock twice in his bout against America Top Team's Jorge Santiago (Pictures).

In both the first and second rounds, the Japanese fighter had strong armbar attempts but had to let them go because they had come just seconds before the bell. Sasaki also had a good rear-naked choke attempt, but Santiago defended well and scored the reversal.

While Sasaki did very well in the first two frames, disaster struck for him early in the third. After he had scored a takedown in the clinch, Santiago slapped on an armbar from the bottom only seconds after hitting the ground. The technique was tight and there was no chance of escape, forcing the Pancrase veteran to tap.

Eiji Mitsuoka (Pictures) made fairly short work of Kwang Hee Lee (Pictures). Following a takedown, he passed the Korean fighter's guard. The Cage Force veteran eventually took Lee's back and sank in a rear-naked choke at the 4:10 mark of the first for the victory.

With the win, Mitsuoka is now hot in the running for a showdown with Takanori Gomi (Pictures) in the lightweight tournament that World Victory Road plans to run this year.

Satoru Kitaoka (Pictures) had an even shorter match than Mitsuoka in his bout against Hero's and K-1 Max veteran Ian James Schaffa (Pictures). The Australian fighter sprawled on Kitaoka's opening takedown attempt, but he got caught in a guillotine. Schaffa tried to escape, but the technique was locked on too tight, forcing him to tap early in the match and giving the Pancrase veteran the victory.

Yoshihiro Nakao (Pictures) traded punches with "Big" Jim York (Pictures) in the first round of their fight, then scored a single-leg takedown early in the second. It wasn't long before York worked his way to his feet. But just as he stood, Nakao connected with a big haymaker, sending the New Zealand fighter to the mat for good after 40 seconds.

After his victory, Nakao called out iron-jawed Kazuyuki Fujita (Pictures) for his next fight.

Mike Pyle (Pictures) connected with several good blows in his bout against Dan Hornbuckle (Pictures). He staggered Hornbuckle toward the end of the first round and locked on a triangle in the last 30 seconds to get the submission victory.
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