Sengoku 10, from the Saitama Community Arena in Saitama, Japan, on September 23, is officially in the books.
"Tenth Battle" may have lacked marquee names in the fight card but suffered no shortage of electrifying action. Out of the eight televised fights, only one went the distance; elsewhere, explosive knockouts proliferated throughout the card that had the Aussie HDNet Fight commentator, Mike Schiavello exclaiming, "Good night, Irene!!" to match Mike Goldberg’s "and it’s all over!!"
Maximo Blanco and Tetsuya Yamada kicked off the night of action with abrupt, second-round stoppage. In the one and half round duration of the fight, Blanco did not quite display his trademark explosiveness, and remained content to pepper Yamada with punches from his foe’s guard.
Yamada showed flashes of his submission savvy, threatening Blanco with attempts at rear naked choke, arm bar, and heel hook. In the second round, Blanco landed a hard punch and knee from Yamada’s guard. As Yamada turned his back, Blanco blasted off with a knee kick to the thigh/butt region and several punches to the rib.
Joe Doerksen and Takenori Sato showcased fast-paced ground battle, vigorously vying for position during the first round. After Doerksen dropped Sato to snap the feeling-out process, a fast-paced grappling action ensued. They traded top and bottom positions on the ground – Doerksen threatened with several submission attempts and Sato answered with throws from the clinch and reversal from the bottom. Doerksen prevailed in the second round, dropping Sato once again with punches and scoring a TKO victory.
Dan "The Handler" Hornbuckle’s stock continues its meteoric rise: Coming off a brutal KO of Akihiro Gono at Sengoku 9, he handled the Nick "The goat" Thompson to further his climb up the welterweight ladder. He pushed the pace from the beginning and engaged in a brisk action on the feet and on the mat. He effectively used his reach and off-kilter timing to land crisp punches and kicks on Thompson.
Thompson started finding targets with his punches in the second round; however, about a minute into the round, Hornbuckle beat him to the punch with a straight left to the jaw. Hornbuckle followed up with a right hook to the temple that staggered the "goat." The "handler" went for the kill with a kick, flurry of punches, and a knee until the referee halted the fight.
Fabio Silva brutally dismantled Ryo Kawamura in their rematch with his Chute Boxe-bred blitzkrieg of punches and knees. The fight ended in a similar fashion as their first encounter in Pancrase in 2007, as Silva swarmed Kawamura with short hooks from the close-quarter and knees from Thai plum.
It took just one punch for Kazunori Yokota to snap a nagging streak of decision victories. After tentatively trying to close the distance, Yokota leaped forward with an overhand right that caught Ryan Schultz flush on the chin.
He followed up with a left hook and another right, shutting Schultz’s light out. With the dynamite victory, Yokota silenced the critics who carped on his fighting style and made a convincing case for a lightweight title shot that had eluded him last time around.
In the lone three-round bout of the night, 2000 Olympic judo gold medalist, Makoto Takimoto and Spirit MC veteran, Jae Sun Lee rode the momentum of the night to showcase technical ground battle. Takimoto displayed exquisite judo throws while Lee kept busy with constant guard passing and strategic positioning on the ground. In the end, Takimoto edged Lee out with a unanimous decision victory.
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva made a triumphant return to Sengoku’s ring with a first-round submission victory over "Big" Jim York. After a slow start, the fight hit the mat where Silva made quick work of York, locking in arm triangle choke. Scoring the second victory of his career under the Sengoku banner, Silva displayed his versatility and positioned himself for a potential showdown with Josh Barnett in near future.
In the main event of the night, MMA debutantes Hiroshi Izumi and Antz "Notorious" Nansen lit up firework from the get-go. As he declared in the pre-fight interviews, 2004 Olympic judo silver medalist, Izumi dove head first into the hostile territory of the rugged kickboxer, Nansen. Despite his imprudence, Izumi displayed a valiant effort, slipping several punches and returning fire.
At one point, he succeeded in cornering Nansen and securing a clinch; however, he failed to capitalize on the opportunity to impose his judo prowess on Nansen. For all his fighting spirit, Izumi ultimately fell short against the two-division WKBF champ via knockout in the first round. Nansen took the mic immediately after his victory and threw down the gauntlet to the soon-to-debut Satoshi Ishii.
Elsewhere, Michihiro Omigawa, Jorge Santiago, and Akihiro Gono stepped into the ring to deliver brief messages to the crowd during the intermission. Hatsu Hioki vs. Michihiro Omigawa was announced for Sengoku 11 to determine the challenger for the featherweight title, and Omigawa vocalized his excitement about the bout. No opponent for Santiago and Gono has been confirmed for Sengoku 11 yet.
The stars of the highly anticipated New Year show also followed suit to the ring: Former judo Olympic gold medalists, Satoshi Ishii and Hidehiko Yoshida, took the mic to hype up the event, which is now scheduled to take place on New Year’s Eve at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo.
Here are the Sengoku "Tenth Battle" complete results:
Antz Nansen def. Hiroshi Izumi via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 2:56
Antonio Silva def. Jim York via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 1, 3:51
Makoto Takimoto def. Jae Sun Lee via unanimous decision
Kazunori Yokota def. Ryan Schultz via first-round KO (punch) - Round 1, 2:31
Fabio Silva def. Ryo Kawamura via second-round TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 2:28
Dan Hornbuckle def. Nick Thompson via second-round TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:30
Joe Doerksen def. Takenori Sato via first-round TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 4:27
Maximo Blanco def. Tetsuya Yamada via second-round TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:12
Sengoku Gold Cup Lightweight bout:
Ikuo Usuda def. Woo Hyon Baek via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 4:59
Sengoku Gold Cup Featherweight bout:
Shigeki Osawa def. Ki Hyun Kim via unanimous decision
Sengoku Gold Cup Bantamweight bout:
Jae Hyun So def. Ryosuke Komori via unanimous decision