Kikuta Leads Charge, Sasaki Steals Show at Grabaka Live 1

By Tony Loiseleur Oct 15, 2011
Sanae Kikuta had no trouble earning a W for his camp, Grabaka. | Photo: Taro Irei

TOKYO -- It was a good night for Grabaka leader Sanae Kikuta, who in the main event of the gym's inaugural MMA event “First Cage Attack” at Differ Ariake, blasted 1999 UFC Japan tournament winner Kenichi Yamamoto to a first-round stoppage.

Just after the opening bell, the 2001 Abu Dhabi Combat Club 194-pound division winner immediately windmilled his way into the clinch, bringing Yamamoto down to the canvas from the body lock soon after. With Yamamoto on his back, it was only a matter of time before the Pride and Sengoku Raiden Championship veteran passed from guard to mount.

Kikuta rained punches as Yamamoto curled up on his side beneath him. Referee Yoshinori Umeki gave Yamamoto more than a chance to recover and defend by allowing the shellacking to continue for several long moments before mercifully stepping in at the 2:18 mark of the first period.

A gracious but brief Kikuta got on the mic then to thank the evening's audience and tip them off to future Grabaka events.

“Thanks for coming out tonight and supporting us. We'll be doing this again next year, so please come see us again,” said Kikuta.

T. Irei

Sasaki's punching was surprising.
Sengoku Raiden Championship veteran Yuki Sasaki made a successful welterweight debut against Hidetaka Monma in the evening's “Fight of the Night,” earning the unanimous nod after 10 minutes.

Monma, who in the past has been given to warring toe-to-toe with opponents, did not disappoint as he windmilled his way into danger. Both men smashed each other with good punches, but it was Sasaki's dirty boxing and standing elbows against the cage that had Monma on wobbly legs more than once.

The Grabaka fighter's breakthrough came in the final frame however, when a feisty Monma got back to his brawling ways, leaving him open to be floored by a short Sasaki left hook.

While referee Umeki was close to finishing the bout, Monma was able to survive to the final bell. Having his foe on wobbly legs and almost out in the final frame, Sasaki naturally took judges Samio Kimura, Daisuke Noguchi, and Kenichi Serizawa's cards for the decision.

Things didn't go as swimmingly for Grabaka's BJJ wiz Takeshi Yamazaki however, as former Deep lightweight and featherweight champion Dokonjonosuke Mishima returned from a two-year absence, storming Yamazaki to take a solid decision victory.

T. Irei

Mishima got a little fancy with it.
Before the “Grabaka Armbar Professor” could settle in for the first frame, he found himself eating a Mishima Superman punch and takedown, putting him against the cage to receive a barrage of quick, short punches. After several minutes of this, Yamazaki fought to his feet but then found himself fending off a flying triangle and several armbar attempts from the wily UFC veteran until the bell.

After catching a lucky break when referee Daisuke Noguchi stood Mishima up from the back mount in the final frame, Yamazaki fared a little better by taking top in half-guard in the final thirty seconds. Still, it was too little too late as Mishima's constant offense until that point earned him the nod from judges Yoshinori Umeki, Samio Kimura, and Kenichi Serizawa.

“I'm looking for a fight to retire after,” warned the 39-year-old Japanese vet after the bout. “The time hasn't come just yet, but I'm on the lookout.”

Former Shooto 115-pound world champion Rambaa Somdet controlled and busted up Ryota Uozumi over two rounds for a sound unanimous decision victory.

"M16" showed off his muay Thai prowess with thudding low kicks, which Uozumi brazenly encouraged--the consequences of which saw him tripping about the cage from the force of the kicks not long after. Before the first round ended, Somdet scored a sharp left hook, dropping Uozumi, but was unable to finish.

T. Irei

Uozumi got 'Thai'ed' up against 'M16.'
The final frame was a little less punishing for the Japanese fighter as he got the Shooto champ to his back with a wild, scrambling takedown. Somdet was still in the driver's seat though, locking on an unexpected heel hook and triangle attempt, which he held until the final bell, but to no avail.

At middleweight, Keiichiro Yamamiya also notched another win for the Grabaka stable in bloodying up longtime veteran Yoshihisa Yamamoto's face for two rounds in the process.

Yamamiya eventually indulged Yamamoto in spirited punching exchanges, but while Yamamoto winged ugly punches, Yamimiya tattooed him in volume with counterpunches, dizzying him against the cage.

Given the two-round drubbing, judges Umeki, Noguchi, and Kimura had little choice but to give the fight to Yamamiya.

Former Deep middleweight champion Ryuki Ueyama's rangy kicks and strong top control saw him take the unanimous decision over Grabaka's Yutaka Ueda in a lightweight contest. The U-Spirit fighter chasing Ueda with hard low kicks and stinging punches. Ueda caught some of the kicks in an attempt to trip Ueyama to the canvas, but botched the attempts, giving his opponent a perfect place to rain punches from guard.

Kicking off the main card, Tomoaki Ueyama defeated Grabaka's Shigeyuki Uchiyama by split decision in a 139-pound contest. Knocking Uchiyama down toward the end of the first frame with rangy left hooks, Ueyama was unable to finish his rocked opponent before the bell. Having scored the most significant damage after ten minutes, judges Yoshinori Umeki and Samio Kimura sided with Ueyama, while only Daisuke Noguchi saw the bout for Uchiyama.

Only two of the evening's nine one-round bouts saw finishes, as the remaining seven went to time limit draws after a brief five minutes. Of the finishers were bantamweight Penny Shimizu who ground and pounded out Yusuke Noguchi at 4:25 of the first round, and featherweight Yasuto Makino who blasted Masamitsu Nakamura with a combination and finishing knee for the stop at 2:27.
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