Pancrase 316, Isao vs Akira, Results and Review

After a 5 month hiatus Pancrase returned to Studio Coast last Friday for Pancrase 316. Fans were welcomed back by a stacked, action packed card featuring 8 main card fights, 3 prelims and 9 Neo Blood Tournament matches. With Covid-19 safety being paramount, fighters were rigourously tested and a disinfectant spray was utilized between all matches.

Main Event. Isao Kobayashi defeats Akira Okada, Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Pancrase Featherweight King Isao Kobayashi entered his bout with Akira Okada brimming with confidence. Giving up no ground, the Champion held the centre of the cage as Akira circled the perimiter. Under pressure Akira lunged forward for multiple shots but Kobayashi was prepared and calmly defended. With Akira deep on a single leg, Kobayashi expertly sprawled, manipulating his legs to lock off one of the wrestlers arms. From the dominant position Isao rained down strikes as Akira struggled to escape. A determined Akira fought back to his feet but was greeted by a lightning fast palm to palm rear naked choke that was tight. Digging deep, Akira somehow survived but spent remainder of the round playing defense as Kobayashi relentlessly worked on a rear naked choke.

Isao continued to cut off the cage in the 2nd round as both southpaws mirrored each other, firing loaded left hands. As the brawny Akira waded in with clubbing hooks, Isao mixed things up with a takedown attempt of his own. Akira`s defense was on point though and action resumed standing. Isao once again sprawled a shot but this time lept into a tight arm in guillotine. Akira resisted the choke but Isao effectively emerged on top and punished with ground and pound to close the round.

Akira needed to make something happen to change the momentum and swung with massive power hooks in the 3rd. Isao read them perfectly and dropped down for an explosive double leg, rotating to put Akira down. Isao took back control again and attemted chokes as Akira endured and held on. Returning to his feet Akira hoisted Isao into the air but the champions balance was perfect as he landed on his feet. Isao took the initiative and snapped Akira down to 1/2 guard where he dropped vicious elbows and pounded away to end another dominant round.

All 3 judges scored the bout 30-27 for a commanding victory for the Featherweight king. Despite the dominant performance Kobayashi was not completely satisfied, “I went in looking for the finish, but I couldn’t quite get it” he stated. With his next match“the winner of [Taichi] Nakajima and [Yoshinori] Horie at Pancrase 317″, Isao has a clear goal in mind. “I want to give a completely decisive performance that everyone can enjoy watching” the Champion enthused.

Co-Main Event, Takayo Hashi defeats Raika Emiko, Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Round 1 opened with a cautious start as Wajutsu Keishukai AKZA grappler Hashi and Right Thing Academy boxer Raika Emiko tested the waters early. Expert grappler Hashi adopted a low stance, ready to shoot, while ex-champion boxer Raika looked to let her hands fly. Hashi made a statement and traded strikes, just enough to draw the elite boxer into firing back. The accomplished grappler capitalized on the attacks with clinches but landed in trouble as Raika separated and unloaded a sharp combination. Drawing from her experience Hashi moved forward and executed a head and arm throw straight to side position. As Raika looked to escape Hashi took her back and threatened with a rear naked choke until the bell rang.

Hashi evaded strikes and fought her way into the clinch in the 2nd stanza. They jockeyed for position with Raika displaying solid fundamentals but unable to get the distance needed to strike. With grappling being her forte Hashi stayed a step ahead, executing a solid head and arm throw to side position. From crucifix Hashi attempted an Ude Garame keylock as Raika grimaced but endured. Finishing the reound in back mount Hashi again took a commanding round.

Knowing that she needed a finish Raika stalked on the feet throwing with bad intentions. Wily veteran Hashi stayed calm, avoided the big shots and pressed forward. Raika found success in a more effective round but could not stay on her feet as Hashi repeatedly took her to the canvas. While Raika proved tough to keep down the savvy veteran Hashi was calculated and efficient, controlling the majority of the match to emerge victorious, 30-27×2 and 29-28

Masayuki Kikuiri defeats Yuta Nakamura, TKO (Ground and Pound 2:35 round 2)

As round started BJJ and Judo stylist Nakamura wasted little time getting into the clinch with fierce striker Kikuiri. Once the fighters seperated the match was fireworks as the fighters engaged in a back and forth war on the feet. Just as Nakamura stunned Kikuiri with a stiff right and moved to capitalize he ran into a monstrous right straight that sat him on the canvas. Nakamura stood and was promptly dropped again, after he crashed down a 3rd time it seemed the writing was on the wall for the T-REX Jiu-Jitsu Academy grappler. Nakamura showed heart and tenacity, endured and staged a comeback with a heavy right that wobbled Kikuiri. Nakamura swung wildly with right hands as his opponent retreated against the cage. Regainging composire, Kikiura found his spot yet again with another blistering right hand that put Nakamura again, this time he was saved by bell as a highly entertaining round finished.

Round 2 saw action continue right where it left off. Abandoning his grappling roots Nakamura was content to bang it out with the heavy handed Kikuiri. Kikuiri went to the body in order to open the head. Once he had his target he let go with a sequence of savage punches and did not let up until Nakamura went down for good at 2:35 of the 2nd round.

Kohei Sugiyama defeats Naoki Arikawa, Submission (Rear Naked Choke, 4:06 round 2)

A perfectly timed Naoki Arikawa grab of a Kohei Sugiyama low kick led to a takedown. Sugiyama attacked with omoplata and triangle attempts but Arikawa kept his arms and shoulders in and, mindful of his posture, the K-PLACE gym member defended well. Returning to feet Sugiyama cinched a bodylock for his won takedown. For majority of round SPLASH representative Sugiyama threatened with a rear naked choke until a late reversal gave a chance for some hard ground and pound.

Arikawa was light on his feet as round 2 commenced. Another mirror image takedown from a Sugiyama kick and Arikawa punished with hefty ground and pound. As the match returned standing, Sugiyama reversed an inside trip attempt and stole side position. As Arikawa worked to stand Sugiyama took advantage of the opening and locked up a masterful rear naked choke. The tap came at 4:06 of round 2.

Yuki “Monjiro TK Hanareme” Kosaka defeats Masahide Hiraoka, Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Countering the speedy kicks from southpaw Hiraoka, Kosaka obtained the clinch and locked arms to score a takedown against the cage. From there “Monjiro TK Hanareme” used a figure of 4 with his legs to lock up the Krazy Bee fighters legs and deny attemts to stand. Kosaka inched his way to back and mount but was largely unable to do damage as Hiroaka defended well.

Round 2 saw Hiroaka find success with 1-2 combinations, the jab effectively seting up straights to the body and head. A deep shot by Kosaka and the bout returned to the canvas, with Hiraoka driven into the cage. Restricting the legs of Hiroaka, Cobra Kai MMA Dojo`s Kosaka racked up control time on top to end the round.

Kosaka powered his way into the clinch once more in the 3rd. Placing a heavy emphasis yet again on position, Kosaka did not do significant damage but had command of the fight. Struggling to get space to execute his game, Masahide was suffocated by the constricting top game of Kosaka and conceded the 3rd round. With 2 judges seeing the fight 30-27 and one 29-28, a workmanlike performance sealed a decisive win for Kosaka.

Jun Doi defeats Sho Sekihara, Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Aggressive striker Sekihara came out for round 1 guns blazing. Unintimidated, Doi closed the distance and pressured Sekihara to commit. A takedown from a high kick led to methodical positional dominance for Doi as he alternated between side and back. A failed armbar attempt by Doi let Sekihara back into the fight, loading up with power punching the Reversal Gym Tokyo Standout brawler hunted a finish.

Lacking the firepower of Sekihara, MIBURO gym`s Doi compensated with forward pressure and activity, baiting his opponent to attack. Slipping past the big strikes Doi hustled his way to the clinch, cringing the fight to the ground at all costs. Confident his ground game Doi dropped to 1/2 guard, barrel rolled and scrambled his way to come out on top. In his element the majority of the round, Doi put another round in the bag.

A level up in the grappling department Doi continued to rely on his proficient ground skills. With fantastic hand and leg control Doi worked from 1/2 guard to take the back and control early in the round. To Sekihara`s credit, when the striker found the slightest opening he threw with fight ending intentions. A hard jab and a 1-2 hurt Doi, who started to fade as the round progressed. A menacing Sekihara upped his game searching for the much needed finish but grit and determination saw an exhausted Doi hold on to the final bell. Doi picked up a hard fought unanimous decision victory, 29-28×2 and 30-27.

Kazuki Kasai defeats Shinichi Taiga, TKO (Ground and Pound, 2:14 round 2)

In the opening match of the main card, the first round belonged to Kazuki Kasai as he faced off with ZSTs Shinichi Taiga. An Ouchi gari inside trip from Kasai won the battle of takedowns. From there the Mach Dojo fighter used a good base to maintain top position and fired down punches. Taiga cinched a tight heelhook but could not seal the deal and find a finish.

Taiga came out guns blazing for the 2nd round driving Kasai against the cage. Another inside trip from Kasai started a sequence of scrambles that saw Taiga seize a leg before sweeping to top. As Kasai locked up a Kimura grip from the bottom, Taiga hoisted his opponent high for a huge supplex. Unable to control the landing Taiga`s head hit the canvas hard, putting him all but out. Some hammerfists from Kasai and it was all over as the referee stepped in at 2:14 of the 2nd round.

Preiminary matches

Yuki Yasunaga defeats Satoshi “Tiger” Date, Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

The eccentric Yuki Yasunaga danced and baited Satoshi Date into engaging. The experienced Tokyo Yellowmans Cute fighter capitalised on the key moments in the fight, scoring takedowns and neutralizing “Tiger” on the ground for majority of the 3 rounds. A huge overhand left dropped Date in the 2nd but Yasunaga was unable to finish with the proceeding barrage of hammerfists. By the 3rd Yasunaga was dancing and toying with Date, who was unable to get his long range kicking arsenal working. The judges scored the fight a shut out for Yasunaga, 30-27 on all scorecards.

Hiroyasu Sakurai defeats Toshiomi Kazama, Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Wajutsu Keishukei Hearts Kazuma had his moments early, great head movement and flurries set up the clinch where the decorated BJJ champion could excell. As the fight progressed the well-rounded Sakurai was able to read the movement and catch Kazuma at the end of his combinations. A steady flow of straight right hands and occasional left kicks from the rangy Never Quit fighter found their mark and the damage mounted. By the 3rd round a fatigued Kazuma resorted to shooting for desperate takedowns and dropping to the ground. Sakurai drew Kazuma out of his comfort zone and refused to play his game, taking over the fight with superior striking he took home a unanimous decision win, 30-27 and 29-28×2.

Seio “Jouou” Date defeats Rikiya Matsuzawa, Submission (Leg Scissors/ Reverse Triangle, 3:55 round 2)

Fighting out of Krazy Bee Dojo, Rikiya Matsuzawa pummeled Team Date fighter Seio “Jouou” Date for the best part of 2 rounds. With strong wrestling take downs and heavy top control Matsuzawa broke down “Jouou`s” defence and let loose with vicious punches. From side control Date turned the tables and pulled a rabbit out of his hat. Date skillfully converted a leg scissor choke to a reverse triangle then moving back to leg scissors, by which time Matsuzawa was already sleeping. The comeback came at 3:55 of round 2

Neo Blood Tournament Results

  1. 2020 Middleweight Neo Blood 4-Man Tournament 1st Round
    Yudai Hirono (Pancrasism Yokohama) defeats Takashi Yamashita (Mach Dojo), Decision: 3-0

  2. 2020 Middleweight Neo Blood 4-Man Tournament 1st Round
    Yuji Arai (Gutsman) defeats Yusei Muramoto (Hybrid Wrestling Kagoshima), Decision: 3-0

  3. 2020 Lightweight Neo Blood 4-Man Tournament 1st Round
    Hirotaka Nakada (WKK Hearts) defeats Hiroaki Harukawa (Paraestra Hiroshima), Decision: 3-0

  4. 2020 Lightweight Neo Blood 4-Man Tournament 1st Round
    Yu Karino (Tribe Tokyo MMA) defeats Jinnousuke Kashimura (Igloo), 1:47 – R1 – TKO

  5. 2020 Featherweight Neo Blood Tournament 2nd Round
    Yuto Inoue (Paraestra Kakogawa) defeats Darani Date (Team Date), 4:17 – R2 – TKO

  6. 2020 Bantamweight Neo Blood Tournament 2nd Round
    Mutsuki Miyajima (Krazy Bee) defeats Hiroki Otani (Pancrasism Yokohama), 1:22 – R3 – TKO

  7. 2020 Flyweight Neo Blood Tournament 2nd Round
    Kenji Yamanaka (Freedom@Oz) defeats Terunari Inoue (Paraestra Kakogawa), Decision: 3-0

  8. 2020 Flyweight Neo Blood Tournament 1st Round
    Kazumasa Tsubouchi (Cobra Kai MMA Dojo) defeats Yuki Tashiro (Paraestra Chiba), Decision: 3-0

  9. 2020 Flyweight Neo Blood Tournament 1st Round
    Ryoichi Umekawa (Cobra Kai MMA Dojo) defeats Daiki Nishimura (Alliance), Decision: 3-0


About the Author

Peter Leghorn
Writer and photographer sharing my passion for Martial Arts. instagram: peter_mmajapan

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