Pancrase 330, Scintillating Christmas Event a Gift for MMA Fans

Christmas Day is not a time traditionally associated with Mixed Martial Arts. That did not stop one of the world’s oldest and most respected orgs, Pancrase, from holding a sensational event on December 25th. Fans congregated at the Yokohama Budokan for a Christmas day of fast paced MMA action stacked with spectacular finishes.

Title matches end decisively as youth squares off against experience. 

In the main event consummate finisher and elite grappler, Rei Tsuruya sought to wrestle the Flyweight belt away from title holder, the iron willed all-rounder Satoru Enomoto. The 2019 Neo Blood Tournament winner, Enomoto most recently prevailed in a 25 minute war with Toru Ogawa to lay claim to the strap and secure his 7th consecutive victory. His opponent, Tsuruya, at just 20 years old has torn through the opposition, stringing together 5 consecutive finishes en route to a showdown for the title. 

Having only once been to the 2nd round, there were questions about how Tsuruya would fare if dragged into deep waters later in the fight. The grappling technician chained together his trademark wrestling to expertly take the match to the mat and fish for a submission. Ultimately, Enomoto could not stop the Tsunami of attacks, succumbing to a Rear Naked Choke at about 1 minute into the 2nd stanza. With the victory Tsuruya not only secured the coveted Flyweight title in style but cemented his status as one of the most exciting 125 lb fighters out there. 


Corner stoppage marks end of Interim Bantamweight bout.

Earlier, the Interim Bantamweight King of Pancrase title was up for grabs, with another intriguing “new blood vs. veteran” face off. Both fighters carved different paths to the title shot. The surging Ryo Tajima laid waste to contenders with ferocious striking, both on the feet and ground. In contrast, highly experienced veteran Toshinori “Tsune” Tsunemura leant on his signature grit and tenacity to slowly drown opposition and claim victories. 

Once again youth prevailed. “Tsune” held tough, enduring an onslaught of thunderous attacks from the heavy handed Tajima until his corner mercifully threw in the towel at 3:13 of the 4th round. Newly crowned Interim Bantamweight Ryo Tajima runs his win streak to 5 straight with 4 impressive finishes. A fighter to keep an eye on, Tajima could emerge as a top prospect on the world stage.


In other matches,

Interim Featherweight champion and fan favourite Tokitaka Nakanishi was forced to dig deep to gut out a split decision win over a game Jae Hyuk Bang in a non title affair. 

One of the most destructive strikers in the business, Tatsuya “Yanbo” Saika dismantled Shuji Yamauchi, scoring the KO at the very last second of the 1st round.  “Yanbo” now has all 10 of his wins inside the 1st round and all coming by way of strikes. The win gets the formidable KO specialist back on track to reclaim the Lightweight Title after falling to accomplished grappler Takasuke Kume. 

Full results,

  1. Main Event: Flyweight King of Pancrase Championship – 5R/5M 

Rei Tsuruya (Paraestra Matsudo) defeats Satoru Enomoto (REVERSAL Gym Kawaguchi REDIPS) via RNC, 2R, 1:03 

  1. Co-Main Event: Featherweight – 3R/5M 

Tokitaka Nakanishi (ISHITSUNA MMA) defeats Bang Jae Hyuk (Korean Top Team) via decision, 2-1 

  1. Lightweight – 3R/5M 

Tatsuya “Yanbo” Saika (DOBUITA) defeats Shuji Yamauchi (Yamauchi Team/Brazil) via KO, 1R, 4:49 

  1. Interim Bantamweight King of Pancrase Championship – 5R/5M 

Ryo Tajima (OOTA Dojo) defeats Toshinori Tsunemura (Reversal Gym Shinjuku Me,We) via TKO, 4R, 3:13 (corner threw in towel due to punches) 

  1. Women’s Strawweight – 3R/5M 

Haruka “SALT” Hasegawa (MARS Gym) defeats KAREN (PRAVAJRA, 4th Gen. Strawweight Queen of Pancrase) via UD 3-0 

  1. Flyweight – 3R/5M 

Seiichiro Ito (REVERSAL Gym Yokohama Ground Slam / ZST) defeats Masatatsu Ueda (GFace TEAM / Ogata Dojo via RNC (single-arm choke), 2R, 1:26 

  1. Featherweight – 3R/5M 

Issei Tamura (Issei Jiu-Jitsu Club – IJC) defeats Ryo Asami (Ground Slam / RINGS) via YD 3-0 

  1. Welterweight – 3R/5M 

Genpei Hayashi (Wajutsu Keishukai IGGY HANDS) defeats Kota “Osuman” Shirakawa (DESTINY JIU-JITSU) via KO, R1, 3:33 

  1. Welterweight – 3R/5M 

Akihiro Murayama (Akatsuki Dojo) defeats Hiroki Nagaoka (DOBUITA) via UD 3-0 

  1. Featherweight – 3R/5M 

Suguru Nii (HI ROLLERS ENTERTAINMENT) defeats Ryo Takagi (Paraestra Hachioji) via kimura, R1, 1:14 

  1. Lightweight – 3R/5M 

Yusuke Kasuya (CROWN MMA Dojo) defeats Yuki Okano (Mach Dojo) via RNC, R1, 4:47 

  1. Bantamweight – 3R/5M 

Rui Imura (Nexusense) defeats Kenta Sakuma (Paraestra Kashiwa) via UD 3-0 

  1. Women’s Atomweight – 3R/5M 

Zenny Huang (AACC / Taiwan) defeats Sayako Fujita (REVERSAL Gym Yokohama Ground Slam) via RNC, 2R, 2:17 *AKA Jenny Huang in ONE Championship 


  1. Featherweight – 3R/5M 

Takuya Kuramoto (Shimura Dojo) defeats Yasutaka Kato (RODEO STYLE) via TKO, 1R, 1:16 standing punches 

  1. Bantamweight – 3R/5M 

Ryo Yazawa (Pancrasism Yokohama) defeats Kaito Kimoto (CAVE) via TKO, 1R, 0:15 standing punches 

  1. Catchweight – 3R/5M 

Sodai Mitobe (TRIBE TOKYO MMA) defeats Omito Kanazawa (REVERSAL Gym Yokohama Ground Slam, debut) via RNC, 2R, 3:23 

  1. JMMAF Official Amateur Pancrase Single Match Bantamweight 

3R/3M Reo Yamaguchi (Tiger Muay Thai / ALIVE) defeats Arashi Okada (REVERSAL Gym Shinjuku Me,We) via UD 3-0 

About the Author

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

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