Satoshi Ishii, Shinya Aoki Claim Wins at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013

By James Goyder Dec 31, 2013
Having not tasted competitive MMA action since 2008 and coming off three straight defeats, Kazuyuki Fujita faced an uphill battle in the form of Satoshi Ishii in his comeback at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013.

The last man to defeat Ishii was Fedor Emelianenko and he was ringside at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo for this New Year’s Eve card to see his former foe cement his status as the best heavyweight in Asia with a one sided decision win over the 43-year-old Fujita.

Fighting from the southpaw stance, Ishii targeted the lead left leg of his opponent right from the opening bell. After a slow start he picked up the pace in the second round and seemed close to finishing the fight with a series of knees.

Just when Fujita appeared to be on his last legs, Ishii made the mistake of attempting another inside leg kick which the referee deemed to have drifted illegally high and the returning veteran was given time to recover.

Fujita was in visible pain and there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to continue, but to his credit, he eventually got to his feet and survived the final seconds of the round despite Ishii landing yet another low kick.

In round three Ishii (11-2-1) picked up the pace looking for only the second TKO win of his career, but he couldn’t quite do enough to finish the resilient Fujita (15-10) despite going for broke in the final seconds of the fight with combinations of head kicks, elbows and punches.

Shinya Aoki was also expected to prevail against the overmatched Toshikatsu Harada, but the OneFC 145-pound champion did so in much more emphatic style, jumping guard early in the opening round and quickly transitioning to an arm triangle.

Aoki was on the verge of turning the submission into a straight armbar and Harada’s arm looked to be hyperextended when his corner threw in the towel to save their fighter from potentially sustaining a serious injury. The official time was 0:49 of the opening period.

It was the 24th submission win of Aoki’s career and extended his current winning streak to five and his overall record to 36-6-0-1. Harada dropped to 11-11-2 and will probably just be grateful to have emerged unscathed from his clash with the standout grappler.

Aoki’s compatriot and former training partner Satoru Kitaoka was not so fortunate as he found himself on the wrong end of a brutal knockout. Russian lightweight Ramazan Esenbaev connected clean with a right uppercut early in the second round to put the Japanese veteran out cold.

Esenbaev had spent most of the opening round unsuccessfully attempting to land wild punches but when the Russian finally found his range he was merciless and moved to 6-1 while Kitaoka dropped to 32-13-9.

Brett Rogers came into his heavyweight bout against Philip De Fries with only three wins in his previous nine fights. His English opponent also had a point to prove as this was his first bout since being cut by the UFC.

After some entertaining early exchanges they clinched in the corner with Rogers backed up against the ropes. De Fries dropped down for a takedown which he easily executed and immediately took the Strikeforce and Bellator veteran’s back and sank in a rear-naked choke at the 3:45 mark of round one.

The win was De Fries’ first since finishing Oli Thompson in the same fashion at UFC on Fox 4 and took his overall record to 10-3-0-1, while Rogers stock continued to plummet at 13-6-1.

Perhaps the most bizarre MMA matchup of the evening was the fight between Ikuhisa Minowa and Atsushi Sawada.

Sawada is a pro wrestling veteran who was making his MMA debut while Minowa came into the bout fresh off a first round stoppage win in his 100th fight. Given the gulf in experience it was no surprise when Minowa finished the newcomer with an overhand right early in the first round.

There was also time for Minowa to attempt a stomp and throw a few more strikes before the fight was called off with Sawada, who complained bitterly about the stoppage on wobbly legs. An awkward altercation between the two ensued as the irate loser looked to attack his opponent after the bell.

Minowa’s second stoppage win in quick succession took him to 58-35-8.


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