Pancrase 289 Review and Results

Results for Pancrase 289:

  1.  Yoshinori Horie WIN vs Kazunari Kimura LOSS KO (Knee)Ref: Hirokazu Takamoto Rnd: 2 Time 1:12
  2.  Tetsuya Yamamoto WIN vs Mitsuhiro Taki LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Masato Fukuda Rnd: 3 Time: 3:00
  3.  Senzo Ikeda WIN  vs Mamoru Yamaguchi LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Motohiro Tsuruwa Rnd: 5 Time: 5:00
  4.  Shinya Murofushi WIN vs Seiji ‘Oz’ Ozuka LOSS Decision (Split)Ref: Masato Fukuda Rnd: 3 Time: 5:00
  5.  Koyomi Matsushima WIN vs Yusuke Kasuya LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Masato Fukuda Ref: 3 Time: 5:00
  6.  Takashi Sato WIN vs Kenta Takagi LOSS TKO (Punches)Ref: Hirokazu Takamoto Rnd: 1 Time: 3:57
  7.  Kota Kawabata WIN vs Tatsuya Watanabe LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Masato Fukuda Rnd: 3 Time: 3:00
  8.  Toshiya Takashima WIN vs Kei Matsumura LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Masato Fukuda 3 3:00
  9.  Kyle Aguon WIN  vs Isao Kobayashi LOSS Decision (Split)Ref: Motohiro Tsuruwa Rnd: 3 Time: 5:00
  10.  Ryuta Sakurai WIN vs Hikaru Sato LOSS TKO (Punches)Ref: Yoshinori Umeki Rnd: 2 Time: 0:23
  11.  Kenta Takizawa WIN vs Toshiaki Kitada LOSS TKO (Punches)Ref: Yoshinori Umeki Rnd: 2 Time: 0:46
  12.  Yuya ‘Monkey’ Shibata WIN vs Yuki Yasunaga LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Yoshinori Umeki Rnd: 3 Time: 3:00
  13.  Juri Ohara NC vs Kyosuke Yokoyama  NC (Accidental Knee to the Groin)Ref: Yoshinori Umeki Rnd: 1 Time: 2:15
  14.  Yusuke Ogikubo WIN vs Tomohiro Adaniya LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Yoshinori Umeki Rnd: 3 Time: 3:00
  15.  Nobuki Fujii WIN vs Richie ‘Vas’ Vaculik LOSS Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)Ref: Kenji Kosuge Rnd: 1 Time: 3:42
  16.  Masatatsu Ueda WIN vs Toru Ogawa LOSS Decision (Split)Ref: Motohiro Tsuruwa Rnd: 3 Time: 5:00
  17.  Hiroaki Ijima WIN vs Ryo Hatta LOSS Decision (Unanimous)Ref: Motohiro Tsuruwa Rnd: 3 Time: 5:00
  18.  Kota Kondo WIN vs Takashi Matsuoka LOSS Decision (Split)Ref: Kenji Kosuge Rnd: 3 Time: 3:00


Just last week we had the opportunity to attend Pancrase 289. This was a stacked card that had many good fights. In addition to one King of Pancrase Title match, it also featured the return of the Neoblood Tournament. This card was sprinkled with not only Pancrase fighter but also fighters from the Deep (www.deep2001.c0m) roster. The event was a cross promotional event that highlighted the best of the best from both sides. The cross promotional event had 5 fighters from each side. Each set of fighers would have 3 five minute rounds to determine who was the strongest fighter.

Both teams had tough fighters repesenting their side. The battles went back and forth. Pancrase had two wins and Deep had 1 win going into the last battle between Sato and Sakurai. During the battle there was only one mishap and that happened in the fight between Juri Ohara NC vs Kyosuke Yokoyama. In the middle of the first round in this fight Ohara took a solid knee to the groin area. He was given the customary 5 minutes to recover. During the five minute interval, he did not stand up at all. In fact, he remained balled up on the canvas seemingly unable to move. After the five minutes had passed he was asked by Referee Umeki if he could continue the fight. Ohara said that he could not continue and the fight was ruled a No Contest. Ohara, still unable to stand, was removed from the cage on a stretcher.

This No contest bout left Pancrase in the lead by one fight going into the final fight between Sakurai and Sato. Hikaru Sato has been fighting in Pancrase for some time now. His record is  24-24-4 (Win-Loss-Draw) and he has faced some noticable fighters in his time. He origianlly started out as a Pro Wrestler before making his move into MMA. Since then he has been a big favorite of all the fans in Japan. His opponent for this fight also has a big following. He is known as Ryuta “Mr. Deep”  Sakurai. His record is very similar to Sato’s at 25-24-6 (Win-Loss-Draw). Both fighters looked very evenly matched for this fight.

Round one started and both fighters had exchanges with some punches. Sato loses his balance and goes down quickly. Once he is on the canvase he quickly looks for a heel hook, but it seems like Sakurai is ready for it and rolls out. Sakurai had trained with Kawajiri for these kinds of holds coming in to this fight with Sato. Sato is known in Pancrase for having excellent leg lock techniques. In the next exchange Sakurai tries for a take down and ends up in Sato’s front choke. The choke is not in very deep and Sakurai is able to slip out and deliver a couple of punishing elbows to Sato’s face. Sakurai finished out the first round with some heavy punches from the top with Sato on the bottom.

Round 2 starts and Sato starts out with some strong punches and misses with a high kick attempt. After that kick attempt, Sakurai lands a solid punch to the chin of Sato and floors him. Sakurai jumps on Sato and ground and pounds until the Ref stops it at 0:23 seconds of round 2. This tied up the Pancrase Vs. Deep competition. At the end of the last fight the CEOs of Deep and Pancrase announced that there would be a rematch of Pancrase Vs. Deep in Deep’s September event.


The King of Pancrase TItle for the Fly Weight division was on the line for the main event at Pancrase 289. This was Mamoru Yamaguchi’s first title defense since becoming the Fly weight KOP. Senzo Ikeda was very confident going into this fight. He mentioned that during his last match up with Mamoru he had just gotten out of the hospital and decided to still fight regardless of his illness. He ended up paying for it and this time he was out for revenge! Senzo said that he was in perfect health and was ready to take it to the champ.  Mamoru also took a moment to talk to us and said that he was ready for anything that Senzo could bring. This was going to be the fight of the evening.

THe fight started off with Mamoru using his faints and stance switches that he is famous for using. This did not affect Senzo at all. Senzo comes in and lands some monster punches culminating in a left hook to the Champ’s eye. This opened up a cut on the eye of the Champ and visibly stunned him. Mamoru, possibly out of desperation, attempts a take down but Senzo ends up on the cage wall instead. At this point you can see blood leaking from the cut over the Champ’s eye.

After that successful exchange you can see Senzo’s attitude change. He starts to circle and fight with his hands down. He still peppers in a few shots as Mamoru stalks him around the cage. Around 1:30 second left in round one Senzo lands another lead hand left hook on the temple of Mamoru and knocks him down again. Mamoru, much to his credit, does not stay down long. Instand he tries to use the opportunity to nail a single leg take down but Senzo is able to slip out. Mamoru still being the aggressor gets back up and tried a high kick that misses Senzo. This give Senzo more confidence. He starts to play mind games with the Champ. He starts to turn his back and walk away, then he stops and flinches at the Champ. Clearly he feels like he is in control of this fight.

During this entire fight it was Senzo Ikeda running the game. But if you have ever seen Mamoru fight you know he is always in the fight until the end. He has excellent cardio and doesn’t make mistakes. Senzo’s reach and boxing skills combined with his take down defense really seemed to be a challenge for the Champ.  Mamoru had a hard time dealing with his boxing skills. Mamoru’s answer was to try and take the fight the canvas but Senzo had excellent take down defense.

In the end Senzo ends up taking the win. Open scoring had him winning all 5 rounds. It will be interesting to see if Mamoru can get another rematch for the Trilogy.

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About the Author

Jeremy Deschner
Black Belt in American Karate from the Texas Karate Institute. Now training in Brazilian Jiujitsu in Japan. Twitter: @mmajpn1 @jiujitsu_Jedi

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