Takashi Nakakura (yellow trunks) couldn’t overcome Kuniyoshi Hironaka’s grappling. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
The UFC and Dream veteran relied on his grappling prowess and toughed out a crucial unanimous verdict (30-28, 30-28, 29-28) over Nakakura.
Hironaka, the current Cage Force lightweight champion, took the first round by securing Nakakura's back and threatening with a rear-naked choke. However, the Osakan evened up in the second frame with repeated guillotine attempts and hard right hooks standing.
The 34-year-old Hironaka's BJJ black belt came into play in the third, as he again took Nakakura's back and threatened with punches and choke attempts to earn the win.
Post-fight, a teary-eyed and relieved Hironaka noted that he was mulling retirement before this bout and that, should he have lost, he would have decided to call it a day in the ring. The win moves Hironaka's mark to 18-8.
The bout was the first for Nakakura since May 2009, when he was knocked out by Takanori Gomi inside Shooto's ring. In the defeat, Nakakura suffered a detached retina that kept him on the sideline for nearly two years, forced him to vacate the Shooto world title and ponder retirement.
All-action flyweight Yuki Shojo returned from a 13-month absence to earn a unanimous decision over Noboru Tahara. Shojo had his back taken early, but stormed back in the second frame to pound "Shinpei" with punches and knees. In the third round, Shojo turned up his ground-and-pound to seal the deal. Judges Kyosuke Watanabe and Tadashi Yokohama saw it a close 29-28 and 30-29 respectively, while Toshiharu Suzuki had a wide 30-27 for Shojo.
At 115 pounds, the spindly Mikihito Yamagami used every inch of his 5-foot-8 frame to outbox the barely 5-foot Atsushi Takeuchi, taking scores of 30-26 and 30-27 (twice). It was a textbook demonstration of effective reach, and save for a flash knockdown which "Atch Anarchy" scored in the third, the smaller fighter couldn't escape the jabs and low kicks of Yamagami.
20-year-old Krazy Bee product Kyoji Horiguchi affirmed his status as one of Shooto's hottest up-and-comers, destroying Takahiro Hosoi in their 132-pound affair. The 2010 rookie champion's powerful punching blitzed Hosoi and put him away just 66 seconds into the contest.
Underdog Akira Okada, a pupil of Takanori Gomi, used sprawl-and-brawl tactics to earn a split draw (20-18, 19-19, 19-20) against former Shooto rookie champion Koshi Matsumoto. Matusmoto, a Kuniyoshi Hironaka understudy, was unable to consistently bring the fight to the floor to impose his skillful grappling.view original article >>
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is considering retirement after he fights Georges St-Pierre. read news >>
Michael Bisping teased a possible retirement after his fight with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217. But if his title reign and career both end without even an attempted defense against a middleweight con read news >>
Michael Bisping (sort of) walks back his comments on his last fight potentially being at UFC 217 against Georges St-Pierre.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>
Colombian flyweight Sabina Mazo returns to the LFA cage this Friday, after a head kick that took the internet by storm in April.Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News read news >>
By all measures, November could be the biggest month for ONE Championship, which boasts a handful of can’t-miss fights.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>
Chuck Liddell is still retired, but if he does come back, the UFC Hall of Famer likes the idea of fighting Chael Sonnen.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Justin Gaethje is the latest to land on Tony Ferguson’s radar ahead of the latter’s interim UFC lightweight title fight at UFC 216.Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC read news >>
UFC veteran Kyle Noke is the latest to end a short-lived retirement from MMA competition. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Matt Brown returns to his old stomping grounds for the Fight Society podcast to discuss his decision to retire after facing Diego Sanchez in November. read news >>