Obiya Wins at Deep 39

By Tony Loiseleur Dec 10, 2008
TOKYO -- Pride veteran Nobuhiro Obiya defeated Yoshihiro Tomioka at Deep 39 Impact on Wednesday at Korakuen Hall.

The two men traded in the opening moments of the bout, grazing each other with combinations before Obiya (10-3-1) used his forward momentum to press Tomioka against the ropes. Between eating a few Tomioka knees and responding with some dirty boxing of his own, Obiya soon captured the back clinch, during which Tomioka attempted the Kazushi Sakuraba-Renzo Gracie kimura. Obiya used their position next to the ring post to his defensive advantage, however, as he stretched his arm over the top of the post to prevent further extension and hammered the side of Tomioka’s head with his free hand. Upon giving up on the arm, Tomioka (12-7-4) had to contend with the forward-charging Obiya, who finished the round strong with blistering flurries and a grazing knee to the chin.

The second stanza began much like the first, with both fighters sniping at one another with punches and low kick combinations. Tomioka had success scoring and began to mix in body punches, but Obiya’s persistence paid. Both fighters took turns unleashing their best combinations, but Obiya turned up the heat when he maneuvered Tomioka into a corner. Tomioka attempted to circle out while under fire, but an overhand right got through and sent him crashing during the escape. Obiya lunged to finish, forcing the referee to step in and call the bout at 2:35.

“A lot of things happened in the two years that you haven’t seen me,” Obiya said, “but I’m finally able to fight. When I first started MMA, I thought the most important thing was to be tough and strong, but I realize now that I can fight only because of those who I’ve met and [those who] have supported me through fighting.”

Meanwhile, Yuya Shirai bested Deep middleweight champion Yuichi Nakanishi by unanimous decision in a three-round non-title bout that saw the challenger pick away at the taller titleholder.

While both men looked game to trade on the feet, neither scored serious points with punches; they either grazed each other or missed by centimeters. It was with the low kick, however, that Shirai (14-7) took apart Nakanishi, as he scored repeatedly on the champion’s left leg and turned it ugly shades of red.

Despite picking up a yellow card in the final stanza for an accidental head butt and groin shots, Shirai closed in on the victory. All three judges ruled in his favor. The defeat snapped a three-fight winning streak for Nakanishi (9-8-3).

In other action, Fury Fight veteran Takafumi Otsuka dominated on the ground and toppled former Pancrase lightweight champion Shoji Maruyama in a stifling three-round battle.

While Shoji’s gameplan was consistent with his knockout-hunting modus operandi, it played right into Otsuka’s style of sucking his opponent into the clinch before exploding for a takedown. As such, Otsuka (8-3-1) dragged Maruyama to the canvas repeatedly, landed in side mount and transitioned to the north-south position. There, he sought to isolate an arm for submission attempts.

Maruyama (6-4-1), to his credit, proved hard to keep down, constantly surging and bucking, as he made Otsuka start from scratch in order to get him back down. Maruyama also captured the last moments of the first two rounds, as he reversed himself into Otsuka’s guard and dropped punches from a standing position. Otsuka saved the final moments of the third period for himself, however. He rolled as Maruyama charged to stomp him out and brought him down to the canvas, where he took mount, moved to back control and sank a deep rear-naked choke. Though the bell saved Maruyama, all three judges awarded the win to Otsuka.

Elsewhere, eccentric Pancrase veteran Daiki Hata stopped Naoya Uematsu, as he pounded out the Shooto veteran 2:30 into the first round.

After securing a takedown thanks to his superior height, Hata scrambled to evade an armbar and triangle attempt from Uematsu (15-8-2). Once settled, Hata (9-5-3) postured in Uematsu’s guard, rained down punches and eventually landed several shots to his chin that ended the bout.

“Why do I have to fight super fights, when this isn’t even for a belt?” a disgruntled Hata asked afterwards.

Though Katsunori Kikuno failed to finish Jang Yong Kim, his unanimous decision victory was decisive nonetheless.

The Japanese fighter, who has now won six straight, picked away at his opponent with jabs and kicks to the body and legs. Coming off his first-round plunking of Keita Nakamura last month in Cage Force, Kim stood in front of Kikuno (9-1-1) awkwardly, as he absorbed punishment while looking for the big counter punch.

Kim (2-3) proved he had a stout chin and excellent recovery abilities after a second-round right hook dropped him to a knee, but he had done little to sway the judges by fight’s end.

Other bouts
Chang Son Jon def. Fanjin Son -- KO (Punch) 0:17 R1
Seigo Inoue def. Toshikazu Iseno -- Unanimous Decision
Shunsuke Inoue draws Kazuhisa Tazawa -- Majority Draw
Yukiya Naito def. Yuta Watanabe -- TKO (Punches) 1:25 R1
Yusaku Tsukkumo def. Hidenobu Koike -- TKO (Corner Stoppage) 5:00 R1
Luiz Andrade I def. Shinobu Miura -- Majority Decision
Satoshi Inaba def. Yasuhiro Sakahara -- TKO (Punches) 1:48 R2

This article has been revised for the following correction:

Correction: Dec. 10, 2008
This article incorrectly reported that Nobuhiro Obiya had defeated Yoshihiro Tomioka to win the vacant Deep lightweight title. However, the bout was not a title fight, and Obiya is not the new Deep lightweight champion.
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