High Fives: Finishes Galore

By Guy Portman Aug 6, 2018
UFC 227 was not the only action-paced mixed martial arts event during the weekend of Aug. 3-5. There were two thrilling title fights at CES MMA 51 on Friday in Rhode Island, and Pancrase 298 on Sunday in Tokyo also played host to some exciting contests.

GOODNIGHT TRIANGLE … CES MMA 51 saw Nate Andrews defend the promotion’s lightweight title for the first time against D’Juan Owens. Early on, the challenger secured a takedown off of a right high roundhouse kick from Andrews. However, Owens offered little in the way of offense from top position in guard. Andrews soon secured a triangle, and after some vicious right elbows from his back, he hooked Owens right leg with his left arm in order to get the angle he needed to finish the submission. When the referee called off the fight 1:34 into Round 1, Owens was out cold. In holding on to his belt, Andrews moved to 14-1. The 34-year-old has won eight fights in a row. With the loss, Owens dropped to 15-12.

BIG UPSET … In the CES MMA 51 co-main event, Sean Soriano squared off against Bruce Boyington for the promotion’s vacant featherweight title. UFC alum Soriano was heavily favored to beat Boyington, 39, who was competing with a heavily bandaged left leg, the result of a torn MCL. In the first frame, Soriano came close to finishing the fight on the floor with a rear-naked choke, but Boyington stayed composed and managed to defend the submission attempt. Early in the second stanza, the roles reversed, and Boyington secured a rear-naked choke on the standing Soriano. When the pair hit the canvas, Soriano immediately tapped out. The official time was 1:55 of Round 2. In claiming the title, Boyington rose to 16-11, while Soriano fell to 11-6.

QUEEN CROWNED … A new women’s strawweight champion was crowned at Pancrase 298 on Sunday in Tokyo. The bout between Brazilian Viviane Araujo and Japanese veteran Emi Fujino was dominated by Araujo from the start. “Vivi” brutalized Fujino on the feet and even landed a Superman punch at one point. Araujo continued the assault on the mat, where she battered her opponent with heavy punches and left the Japanese fighter’s face badly damaged. When Araujo proceeded to pound on the downed Fujino from mount early in Round 3, the contest was waved off 19 seconds into the frame. With the win, the new strawweight queen of Pancrase improved her record to 6-1. Fujino dipped to 22-11.

BRUTAL BEATDOWN … In atomweight action at Pancrase 298, Thailand’s Konklak Suphisara met Japan’s Hana Yamada. It may have been only the Thai’s second MMA appearance, but she entered as a revered former world muay Thai champion while boasting a 187-13 record. In her sophomore outing, Suphisara showed she is as equally adept at striking on the mat as she is on the feet. For much of the fight, she had her overmatched adversary pinned to her back on the canvas, a position from which she dished out a barrage of punches and elbows until the referee halted the beatdown at the 4:32 mark of Round 2. Now 2-0, Suphisara expects a tougher test next time out. Yamada slipped to 2-5.

FLYWEIGHT FIREWORKS … Taiki Akiba took on Yusuke Ogikubo at 125 pounds at Pancrase 298. The early action saw Akiba land a spinning kick to the mid-section. Ogikubo maintained a low stance throughout. The beginning of the end came when Akiba sprawled on an Ogikubo takedown attempt. Upon returning to their feet, Akiba immediately threw a right hook that felled his fellow countryman. A follow-up hammerfist on the ground connected before the referee dived in to prevent further punishment. The official time was 3:40 of Round 1. With the win, Akiba upped his record to 9-6-1, while Ogikubo dropped to 10-8.

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