Pancrase 318 – Beyond 317, Review and Results

Interim Lightweight King of Pancrase Championship

Tatsuya”Yanbo” Saika defeated Genpei Hayashi (KO, Uppercut, 2:25, R1)

The main event for the Interim Lightweight King of Pancrase belt delivered the shootout on the feet as advertised. Both fighters traded thunderous shots that echoed around the arena. Hayashi threw jabs, straights and kicks, wobbling Yanbo with left and right hooks. The Dobuita MMA Dojo fighter answered, swinging combinations until a left hand got through. With their pride as a knockout finisher on the line neither took a backward step until Hayashi broke the sequence and shot for a takedown. “Yanbo” defended well and kept the fight on the feet. While they entered another blistering exchange Saika threw a shrewd combination. A knee, right hand then, noticing Hayashi ducks his head when pushing away, “Yanbo” blitzed a dynamite right uppercut spot on target. Connecting flush on the chin, Hayashi collapsed to the canvas out cold.

The Wajutsu Keishukai Iggy Hands Gym member was unconscious for some time on the canvas before showing signs of recovery. Groggy and unresponsive, Hayashi was carried out on a stretcher following the brutal knockout and was taken to hospital. Hayashi took to social media to report no irregularities in examinations and tests, thanking his parents for a strong body, he hopes to be back in the cage again soon.

Tatsuya”Yanbo” Saika claimed the Interim Lightweight King of Pancrase in jaw dropping fashion. Following script, “Yanbo” notched his 7th first round Knockout and has still never been out of round 1. To unify the belt “Yanbo” will clash with a formidable opponent, current Lightweight King Takasuke “Da Jaguar” Kume. A stylistic challenge, “Yanbo” will be eager to test with his fearsome striking against the dominant Lightweight King.


Taichi Nakajima defeated Yoshinori Horie (Split Decision, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

The co-main event turned out to be an intriguing contrast of styles as Knockout specialist Horie squared off against the versatility of Nakajima. Motives were clear as round 1 got underway, Nakajima sought the clinch while Horie played the sniper at distance. The Lotus Setagaya gym hustler cut off the cage and punched his way into the clinch. With excellent takedown defense, elusive Karateka Horie blocked and angled very effectively out of trouble. Unable to find range for his hands, Horie dug deep into the legs with kicks throughout the round. A low calf kick buckled Nakajima as the round concluded putting a stamp on the round for “Rising Star”. The open scoring system announced unanimous 10-9 scores for Horie.

Round 2 got underway and Nakajima fearlessly charged forward once again. With looping 1-2 strikes the veteran forced the clinch and slowly ground Horie down. Horie stuck with the low kicks and targeted the body, scoring with a thudding shot. Nakajima kept the majority of the round in his element, striking his way into the clinch against the fence where he transitioned between double and single leg attacks. Nakajima’s activity, aggression and cage control time edged him round on 2 of the judges scorecards, making the final round a crucial one.

As the fight progressed the pace favored Nakajima as his experience came into play. Going into the 3rd, the Alliance gym Karate specialists incredible speed was beginning to slow. The grueling, relentless pace was Nakajimas comfort zone, with bodylocks he finally drove Horie to the ground. Not giving in to the pressure Horie constantly returned to his feet. Unable to get the space needed to set up one of his fight ending strikes, “Rising Star” was restricted to defense. Initiating the exchanges and striking first, the disciplined grappler nullified the striking of Horie and stole the vital 3rd round. With clear cut 10-9 scores from all judges, Nakajima`s strategy paid off in the long run.

The experience of Nakajima shone through as he enforced his game to take a razor thin split decision victory. Nakajima ascends from perennial top contender to vying for a title for first time in his storied 27 fight career. The Lotus Setagaya fighters persistence, pressure and determination sealed him a date with Featherweight Champion, Isao Kobayashi.


.Masayuki Kikuiri defeated Kenta Takagi (Decision, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Heavy hitters Takagi and Kikuiri were visibly wary of each others firepower as the match got underway. Knowing one strike could spell the end, both were cautiously looking to counter with something explosive. Takagi effectively slipped the loaded straight hands of Kikuiri and countered with hooks. Playing matador, Takagi moved in and out or range, frustrating his aggressive opponent. When Kikuiri did land, however, Takagi had his head knocked back with the force. 2 judges backed the Reversal Gym Kawaguchi Redips representative with the dissenting judge favoring Kikuiri.

Momentum changed in the 2nd round. Kikuiri found range and used his full arsenal, mixing in kicks to body and legs with hand combinations. Straight right hands with no wind up found their mark and left hooks followed. With eye swelling and vision impaired Takagi bravely waded forward in an attempt to rally but the round belonged to Kikuiri. 3x 10-9s for the Never Quit fighter.

Round 3 and Takagi displayed his heart, firing left hooks to the body and head to stem the flow of attacks from his opponent. Kikuiri wore his foe down with heavy kicks before once again finding a home for his monstrous straight right. Stunning Takaki multiple times it was the defining moment of the fight. The remainder of the round Takagi was slower and limited in his output. Kikuiri emerged victorious in the battle of heavy artillery but concluded he would work harder for the knockout next fight.


Tatsuki Ozaki defeated Teppei Maeyama (TKO, ground and pound, 4:52 round 1)

Maeyama got off to a fast start against Ozaki. In the grappling department he was a step ahead, implementing bodylock takedowns and beautiful scrambling to glide between dominant positions. As the round was coming to a conclusion the tide turned drastically. Ozaki blasted rapid fire lefts and rights forcing Maeyama to instinctively drop for a single leg. The heavy handed Cobra Kai MMA Dojo fighter was ready and waiting. Easily sprawling he would not let his opponent off the hook. A barrage of clubbing lefts and rights and the referee stepped in at 4:52 of the opening stanza


Kazuki Kasai defeated Doteki Ogawa (Decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

As Doteki Ogawa and Kazuki Kasai entered the cage the contrast in physique was striking. Ogawa put his muscle to work early, with a takedown the Jiu-jitsu Brothers / Alive Ise fighter landed powerful elbows from guard. Kasai stayed focused and worked to his feet where they exchanged heavy knees in the clinch. A big elbow and flush head kick connected for Kasai as round ended but Ogawa somehow shook it off. A tight round went in favor of the striking success of Kasai, 10-9 unanimously.

Flipping the script, round 2 commenced with a strong takedown from Kasai. From 1/2 guard the Mach Dojo fighter rained down elbows and punches at every opportunity while keeping control. Ogawa was adept off his back, working legs and feet to reclaim guard. Kasai eventually inched his knee past the JuJitsu experts leg defense and passed to side. With 30 seconds left Kasai let loose, inflicting considerable damage with elbows and punches to take the 2nd round 10-9.

A bruised and bloodied Ogawa entered the 3rd frame hunting for a knockout. For the most part of the round a precise jab kept Ogawa at bay. When the powerhouse did get on the inside and let go Kasai kept his right hand by his chin anticipating and blocking the hooks. Ogawa took blow after blow but kept pressing forward and never stopped throwing. Kasai masterfully avoided taking damage and chipped away with strikes to claim another 10-9 round.


Yusaku Hayashi defeated Shinmare”Mayo” Komori (decision, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Grappling wizard Komori was in his element in the opening frame. With a slick takedown to side position he initiated excellent transitions to hunt a submission. Using legs and arms in unison, Hayashi resisted, sliding out from the Grabbaka grapplers holds. The ground work of “Mayo” gave him an early lead as judges awarded 10-9s across the board.

In the 2nd Hayashi ramped up the intensity on the feet. Winging strikes at every opportunity the Zoomer gym representative controlled the tempo. Surrendering his back under pressure Komori locked a Kimura grip and threatened to hoist the arm out for the submission. Hayashi kept calm and shut down the attempts until time expired, doing enough to take the round with 3x 10-9 scores.

The 3rd round was a battle of wills as the combatants went back and forth. “Mayo” struggled to get a leg for a takedown and was burning energy on repetitive attempts, Putting his striking prowess on display Hayashi scored big, hurting the Grabaka fighter. Persistence paid off as a back take led to a takedown for Komori who locked up a figure 4 to secure position. With a minute and 1/2 left in the fight Komori threatened with a rear naked choke. A reversal at the end of the round and strong ground and pound finish earned Hayashi the round in a hard fought bout.

Takafumi”Little” Ato vs Atsuhito “Mijikai” Nagai (Cancelled)

Neo Blood Tournament Matches

2020 Strawweight Neo Blood Tournament Semi-Final – 3R/5M
Taiga Tanimura defeated Daiki Asahina (Decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

2020 Flyweight Neo Blood Tournament 2nd Round – 3R/5M
Ryoichiro Kitagawa defeated Aito Tanimura (Rear Naked Choke, 4:37, Round 3)

2020 Bantamweight Neo Blood Tournament 2nd Round – 3R/5M
Rui Imura defeated Suneo”Hayato Tanaka (Rear Naked Choke, 3:21, round 2)

2020 Bantamweight Neo Blood Tournament Semi-Final – 3R/5M
Shuhei”Syuga”Noyama defeated Mutsuki Miyajima (split decision, 29-28,29-28,28-29)

2020 Featherweight Neo Blood Tournament 2nd Round – 3R/5M
Tatsuhiko Iwamoto defeated Tatsuya Saito (TKO, 1:51, punch, R1)

2020 Lightweight Neo Blood Tournament Final – 3R/5M
Yu Karino defeated Hirotaka Nakada (Decision )

2020 Middleweight Neo Blood Tournament Final – 3R/5M
Yuji Arai defeated Yudai Hirono (TKO, 4:30, Corner Stoppage, R1)

Preliminary Matches

Preliminary Bout 4 – Middleweight – 3R/5M
Yura Naito defeated Yusei Muramato (TKO, Rear Naked Choke, 1: 02, R1)

Preliminary Bout 3 – Featherweight –  3R/5M
Toshiomi Kazama defeated Atsushi Ueda (TKO, ground and pound, 0:37, R3)

Preliminary Bout 2 – Bantamweight – 3R/5M
Riki Kayukawa defeated Nobuhisa Kudo (Decision 29-25, 28-25, 28-26)

Preliminary Bout 1 – Flyweight – 3R/5M
Haruki Kawakita defeated Soma Hashigami (Rear Naked Choke, 3:20, R3)

Safety and protection from COvid-19 is paramount for Pancrase. Between fights the canvas was rigorously cleaned!




About the Author

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

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