Chonan, Imanari Triumphant at Deep 43; Mishima Falls

By Wesley Endow Aug 23, 2009
TOKYO -- Fan favorite Ryo Chonan made a triumphant return to his homeland, as he defeated Jutaro Nakao in the Deep “43 Impact” main event on Sunday at Korakuen Hall. Elsewhere, Dokonjonosuke Mishima lost his featherweight belt to Takafumi Otsuka, while Masakazu Imanari retained his bantamweight crown against Tomohiko Hori.

In the main event, Chonan was welcomed back to Deep after being cut by the UFC. Chonan went 1-3 in the Octagon and looked to make a significant homecoming impression against fellow UFC veteran Nakao. The first round provided all stand-up action, as the two fighters tried to feel each other out. Chonan, in his orthodox stance, landed some hard kicks to the right leg and left arm of Nakao. Neither fighter seemed like he wanted to take the fight to the ground.

At the start of the second round, the damage Nakao received from the kicks became visible in the red swelling on his left arm and in the black bruising on his right leg. Towards the end of the period, Chonan took down Nakao and delivered some ground-and-pound. The third round provided more of the same, as Chonan continued to punish Nakao with kicks. Nakao tried to answer with some left straights, but whenever he stepped in to punch, Chonan took him down and kept busy with ground-and-pound, grinding his way to the unanimous decision.

In the featherweight title match, the charismatic Mishima was out-wrestled by Otsuka, as he lost for the first time in more than two years.

The fighters collided at the beginning of the first round, and Mishima nearly took Otsuka’s back from a standing clinch. However, Otsuka stayed calm, defended perfectly and returned to a neutral position. This set the tone for the rest of the match. Mishima tried to shoot in to take down Otsuka, but Otsuka used his superior wrestling to stuff the shot and force Mishima to pull guard. In guard, Otsuka postured up, pounded away and eventually stood, using kicks to the legs and an occasional diving punch to the head. Mishima’s most significant blow came from an upkick to Otsuka’s jaw from the guard.

Judges awarded the unanimous decision to Otsuka, as he controlled the fight by defending takedowns, scoring takedowns and maintaining top position.

In the bantamweight championship bout, leg lock specialist Imanari kept the pressure on Hori en route to a unanimous nod.

Imanari controlled the pace with his unorthodox stand-up style in round one, as he used various taunts to throw off Hori and lure him in for the takedown. Hori never found his fighting rhythm. In the second round, Imanari charged Hori with a dashing punch, which he used to clinch, pull guard, sweep and land in top position. From side control, Imanari stood up to head stomp and soccer kick Hori. Imanari flew in with a head stomp, and when Hori tried to defend, Imanari transitioned to a leg lock. Hori defended well and returned to his feet. Imanari followed a similar strategy throughout the bout. Although Imanari failed to finish his leg locks, the game plan worked, as Hori could not create any offense. Imanari won the unanimous decision with takedowns, sweeps, stomps and close submission attempts.

In the quickest fight of the night, K-1 veteran Bernard Ackah scored a lighting-fast technical knockout over Ryushi Yanagisawa.

At the start, it looked like Yanagisawa held out his hand to touch gloves, but Ackah was in full fight mode and launched a right head kick that landed. The blow sent Yanagisawa to the canvas, and Ackah swarmed and finished him off with a series of punches. The end came just seven seconds into the match.

Other Bouts
Toshiaki Kitada def. Zach Makovsky -- Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 4:22 R1
Koichiro Matsumoto def. Shunichi Shimizu -- Unanimous Decision
Hans Stringer def. Yuji Sakuragi -- TKO (Punches) 2:11 R2
Won Sik Park def. Yuichi Ikari -- Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 4:58 R1
Yoshitomo Watanabe def. Pat Ayuyu -- TKO (Punches) 4:56 R2
Yuki Ito drew Sadao Kondo
Yasuhiro Kawasaki def. Tomoya Kato -- Unanimous Decision
Masato Kataoka def. Hideyuki Noro -- Submission (Armbar) 2:44 R1
Tatsuya Tsuchida def. KZ KZ -- Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) 3:11 R1
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