TOKYO -- After 12 years and nearly 40 fights, Japanese fan-favorite Kazuo Misaki said farewell to the ring Saturday in front of a packed Korakuen Hall at Deep “Haleo Impact.”

In his final appearance, Misaki took on teammate and close friend Akihiro Gono in an exhibition kickboxing match. The bout began with shin-guards, but Misaki removed his before the second round and directed Gono to do the same. The two friends brawled for two rounds and embraced one another in tears after the final bell.

“I fought 40 fights over 12 years. What I learned from all of that was two important things: the terms ‘thank you’ and ‘challenge,’” Misaki told the crowd before giving thanks to his teammates, family and fans, bowing out with tear-filled eyes.

Misaki’s career saw him win the 2006 Pride Welterweight Grand Prix and includes notable wins over Dan Henderson, Denis Kang and most recently, Paul Daley.

Prior to Misaki’s retirement ceremony, muscle-bound Olympian Kazuyuki Miyata took on South Korea’s Jae Eun Kim in a featherweight bout that lasted little more than half a round. Miyata used his superior wrestling to take Kim to the ground early on. When Kim tried to scramble back to his feet, Miyata cinched a rear-waist lock and threw the Korean with his signature suplex. Kim made a second attempt to get to his feet, but Miyata locked up a tight guillotine choke and walked Kim into the corner, forcing the tap at 2:46 of the opening frame.

At bantamweight, former Sengoku champion Masanori Kanehara needed one less second than Miyata to finish off late-replacement Tom McKenna in a one-sided affair. Kanehara took his time picking off his opponent with quick jabs and straight punches before landing a big hook that rocked McKenna. The Japanese fighter stalked his opponent around the ring, backed him against the ropes and landed a big left uppercut that sent McKenna to the mat. Kanehara dove onto his opponent, but only landed a handful of punches before referee Yoshinori Umeki called a stop to the fight at the 2:45 mark.

With the words “We’re Still Fighting” appropriately emblazoned across his trunks, Ryuta Sakurai took on fellow fight veteran Hiromitsu Kanehara in a grinding middleweight bout. Sakurai chose to grapple early with his pro-wrestler opponent, taking him down and passing to mount on multiple occasions in the first round. Kanehara let his experience show, though, avoiding submissions and reversing position on Sakurai.

The second round saw more of the same, as Sakurai worked takedowns and superior positioning, and Kanehara countered with reversals and a kimura-armbar submission chain that had Sakurai in danger. The fight’s decisive moment came in the opening seconds of the final round, when Sakurai landed a heavy right hand that sent Kanehara toppling to the mat. The R-Blood team leader swarmed and tried to pound out Kanehara, but Kanehara managed to hold on and continue to defend. Sakurai decided to take another route to victory and set up a strong arm-triangle choke that forced Kanehara to submit only 46 seconds into the third round.

In the night’s first main-card bout, Pride veteran Daiju Takase faced off against Pancrase heavy hitter Yuji Sakuragi in a light heavyweight affair. The opening round saw almost no action, with Takase warily staying away from Sakuragi’s power punches and Sakuragi waiting for the right moment to land a heavy counter shot. The second round started out much the same, until Takase rushed into clinch and quickly jumped up for a guillotine, making Sakuragi tap 1:33 into round two.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

On The Rise: UFC International Fight Week Edition

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Amidst the sea of big names and marquee fights set to take place in Las Vegas stands a quartet of up-and-coming fighters looking to make a name for themselves between Thursday evening and Sunday morn read news >>

The 10: The Best of the Best from the Best Month in UFC History

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

Take a look at the 10 best fights from one of the best fight months in UFC history. This is The 10 for July. read news >>

Reasons to watch Fight Night Las Vegas/Ultimate Fighter Finale

  • 22 days ago
  • 4 views

Two title fights before UFC 200 even begins? Yeah, we have a few reasons to watch Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs Alvarez and The Ultimate Fighter Finale featuring the strawweight title fight between Joann read news >>

VIDEO: Ross Pearson Calls Will Brooks a Zero, Wants Fights with Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos

  • 20 days ago
  • 8 views

After his fight with Will Brooks, Ross Pearson would like to move on to bigger and better fights, including the likes of Conor McGregor, Rafael dos Anjos, and Cowboy Cerrone. read news >>

The Ultimate Fighter 23: Ep. 12 Preview

  • 20 days ago
  • 16 views

It all comes down to this, the final two semifinal fights to determine the finalists for this season of The Ultimate Fighter in the light heavyweight and women's strawweight divisions. Don't miss the read news >>

Velasquez drops Browne in 1st Round

  • 17 days ago
  • 4 views

After dealing with injuries that limited him to just five fights since 2012, the old Cain Velasquez showed up at UFC 200, as the former two-time heavyweight champion blasted through Travis Browne in read news >>

UFC 200: The Fights Weren't the Problem, but the Pacing Was

  • 15 days ago
  • 452 views

As we sit here in the afterglow of a week when the UFC flat out bludgeoned its fans into veritable submission with nearly an entire day’s worth of fistfights spread across three consecutive nights, t read news >>

The Downes Side: Fight Night Sioux Falls predictions

  • 14 days ago
  • 4 views

Who will win the biggest fights at UFC Fight Night: McDonald vs Lineker in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on July 13? Former UFC lightweight Dan Downes breaks down key fights and makes his predictions. read news >>

Bleacher Report MMA Rankings for July 2016

  • 8 days ago
  • 58 views

So...crazy month for MMA and the UFC, huh? Big fights happened, big fights didn't happen and a half-dozen big events have come and gone. In the month since the last installment of the Bleacher Report read news >>

Legacy FC 58 Results and Highlights: BJJ Champ Makenzie Dern Dominates in Debut

  • a day ago
  • 22 views

In her mixed martial arts debut tonight, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Mackenzie Dern dominated Kenia Rosas. read news >>