by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Japanese fight promotions Dream and Sengoku combined to close out the year in Japan on Thursday with Dynamite!! 2009 at Saitama Super Arena. The event featured several impressive performances, more than a couple gut checks, and some remarkable finishes. But an unseemly display by one of the top lightweight fighters in the world stole much of the event’s luster.
In a battle of lightweight champions, Dream’s Shinya Aoki immediately put Sengoku’s Mizuto Hirota on the mat and took mount with Hirota’s arm wrapped up and behind his own back. Aoki then proceeded to, quite literally, break Hirota’s arm in an odd sort of twisting armbar. The maneuver popped Hirota’s elbow out of place, leaving his forearm flaccid.
Following the finish, Aoki put himself up for non-sportsman of the year by screaming at Hirota and shoving his middle finger in the Sengoku champion’s face.
Just prior to Aoki’s tasteless display, Hidehiko Yoshida welcomed fellow Olympic Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii to mixed martial arts. Yoshida unleashed a fury of uppercuts, overhand rights, and knees that all but put Ishii out in the opening round. Somehow, the younger Judoka managed to fight back and fought well through rounds two and three. A knee to Yoshida’s groin in round two cost Ishii an unspecified deduction in points and likely the fight. Yoshida walked away with a unanimous decision in his favor.
In the Dynamite!! main event, Japanese kickboxing legend Masato finally earned a victory over Andy Souwer, a fighter he hadn’t been able to beat in two previous tries. The bout was Masato’s retirement match. The two went toe-to-toe for the full five rounds of the K-1 rules bout, but Masato sealed the victory with a hard right hand in the fourth round that put Souwer on his backside.
Following the announcement of the decision in Masato’s favor, Souwer did an anti-Aoki move, lifting the fabled kickboxer up on his shoulders and parading him around the ring.
Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi kept his winning streak intact with a quick finish of Gary Goodridge at Saitama Super Arena. He wasted no time taking Goodridge down and unleashing a ground and pound flurry. He made a brief attempt at an armbar before switching back to ground and pound, finishing with a barrage of hammerfists.
Alistair Overeem made good on his promise to finish Kazuyuki Fujita in under three minutes. Stalking the much shorter fighter from the onset, Overeem drove home a left knee little more than a minute into the opening round, laying Fujita out for the knockout win.
Fujita left the ring on a stretcher. There was no immediate word on his condition.
Popular Japanese fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto did all he could in the final round to salvage a win, but he just couldn’t overcome the reach advantage of Sengoku featherweight champion Masanori Kanehara. Each fighter dropped the other at one point in the fight, but Kanehara seemed to edge ahead in rounds one and two to secure a unanimous decision, handing Yamamoto his second-straight defeat for the first time in his career.
Despite numerous submission attempts, including a nearly arm-breaking armbar at the end of round three, and heavy doses of ground and pound throughout, Tatsuya Kawajiri couldn’t find the key to putting Kazunori Yokota away. He instead had to settle for a unanimous decision.
Hideo Tokoro dominated last minute replacement Jong Man Kim, but it wasn’t without Kim’s amazing display of heart to make it a fight of the night candidate. Kim most amazingly survived a stunning series that included brutal striking, a flying triangle choke, and multiple armbar attempts in the opening round. Kim hung tough, trading blows, but Tokoro was always a step ahead. Kim survived more armbar attempts in round three, but Tokoro took home the unanimous decision victory.
It took a couple minutes for the fight between Melvin Manhoef and Kazuo Misaki to get started, but once it did, the end came swiftly, perhaps too swiftly. After a feeling out process, Manhoef charged with a succession of punches, landing three left hooks, the final one sending Misaki down to the canvas. Before Manhoef could pounce and unleash his brutal version of ground and pound, the referee stepped in to wave off the fight. Though he went down hard, Misaki didn’t appear to be out from the blow that sent him down and complained in vain after the fight was stopped. Regardless, Manhoef scored a victory for Dream.
Sengoku fighter Akihiro Gono won a battle of two elder statesmen of Japanese MMA. He bested Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, ground and pounding the Dream fighter in a crucifix hold before making a textbook transition to an armbar for the finish.
Michihiro Omigawa, representing Sengoku against Dream’s Hiroyuki Takaya, showed much improved boxing skills in the fight. The two slugged it out for the opening minutes, but it was Omigawa that kept finding his mark. He eventually dropped Takaya with a flurry and followed him down to get the TKO stoppage.
Deep into the third round, The Super Hulk tournament final seemed to be slipping away into obscurity. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Ikuhisa Minowa each received two yellow cards for stalling by the midway point of the round. Then, out of nowhere, Minowa flurried, catching and dropping Sokoudjou with a crushing left hand that put the Cameroonian on his backside. Minowa scored the knockout win to capture the Super Hulk openweight title.
-Hidehiko Yoshida def. Satoshi Ishii by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Shinya Aoki def. Mizuto Hirota by Submission (Armbar), R1
-Gegard Mousasi def. Gary Goodridge by TKO (Strikes), R1
-Alistair Overeem def. Kazuyuki Fujita by KO (Knee), R1
-Masanori Kanehara def. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Kazunori Yokota by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Hideo Tokoro def. Jong Man Kim by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Melvin Manhoef def. Kazuo Misaki by TKO (Strikes), R1
-Akihiro Gono def. Hayato “Mach” Sakurai by Submission (Armbar), R2
-Michihiro Omigawa def. Hiroyuki Takaya by TKO (Strikes), R1
-Hiroshi Izumi def. Katsuyori Shibata by Unanimous Decision, R3
Super Hulk Openweight Tournament Final:
-Ikuhisa Minowa def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou by KO, R3
K-1 Rules Bouts:
-Masato def. Andy Souwer by Decision, R5
-Ray Sefo def. Yosuke Nishijima by Decision, R3
K-1 Koshien (High School) Tournament Finals:
-Masaaki Noiri def. Shota Shimada by Decision, R3
K-1 Koshien (High School) Tournament Semi-Finals:
-Shota Shimada def. Katsuki Ishida by Decision, R3
-Masaaki Noiri def. Hiroya by Decision, R3