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- K-1 REVIEW: GRACIE EVENS THE SCORE WITH SAKURABA

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
LOS ANGELES – K-1 made its U.S. mixed martial arts debut as they presented K-1 Dynamite!! USA, in conjunction with EliteXC, at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

In the main event, former WWE star Brock Lesnar made his MMA debut against late replacement Min Soo Kim. Lesnar immediately scored a takedown and mounted Kim, dropping several punches that forced Kim to tapout at 1:09 of the first round.

The most anticipated fight of the night was the rematch between Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba, who waged a classic ninety-minute war seven years ago. Both fighters received a huge reaction from the crowd as they made their way to the ring. The match would go the distance, but it wasn’t as compelling as the first time they met. Both fighters were cautious throughout the fight round. Neither imposed their will on the other, although Gracie later commented, “The fight went exactly as we planned.”

The majority of the fight played out with both fighters clinched along the ropes, waiting for the other to make a mistake that neither fighter would end up making. In the end, Gracie was the aggressor throughout the majority of the fight, and that swayed the judges in his favor. Royce won the fight by unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 29-28, 29-28.

Hideo Tokoro put on a grappling clinic against former Cage Rage British Featherweight Champion Brad Pickett. Tokoro would secure an early takedown, but was quickly reversed by Pickett, who opted to stand back up. Pickett dropped Tokoro with a punch, but just as Pickett pounced, Tokoro went for a heel hook that put Pickett on the defensive. Tokoro regained guard and went for an armbar, flipping Pickett over and finishing it on top at 2:40 of the first round.

In the most exciting fight of the night, Dong Sik Yoon and Melvin Manhoef put on an excellent display that had the entire crowd on its feet. Manhoef came out aggressively and overwhelmed Yoon with strikes, dropping him quickly. Yoon recovered and made it back to his feet, where the two traded leather before hitting the ground.

Manhoef landed some hard shots from the top, but Yoon stayed calm and attacked with an armbar from the bottom that Manhoef narrowly escaped. Yoon would then execute a beautiful judo throw, landing in side mount before moving into full mount and again nearly securing an armbar. Manhoef would escape back to his feet, where they traded punches to end the round.

Yoon’s right eye was swollen shut to start the second round, and he took the fight to Manhoef. Yoon got a takedown and moved into mount before finally finishing Manhoef with a textbook armbar at 1:17 of the second round.

Mighty Mo quickly disposed of late replacement Ruben “Warpath” Villareal, stopping him with strikes. Both fighters clinched to start out the fight, but after they were separated, Mo would unleash several hard punches that downed Villareal, finishing him off with strikes on the ground at 1:33 of the first round.

Former NFL player Johnnie Morton had a night he would like to forget – and probably did. Everything went wrong for the former USC athlete, who took on Japanese TV personality Bernard Ackah.

Morton came out swinging wildly and Ackah returned fire, then defended a takedown attempt by Morton. Ackah then ended Morton’s night, knocking him out cold with a huge right hook thirty-eight seconds into the bout. Morton would need the assistance of a stretcher to make his way out of the ring. Post-fight, Morton refused to give a doping sample and was indefinitely suspended by the California Athletic Commission, according to Sherdog.com.

Jake Shields made quick work of Israeli Ido Pariente, quickly getting a takedown and imposing his superior ground game on the smaller Pariente. Shields moved into mount and dropped a couple of shots before getting Pariente’s back and securing the rear naked choke at 2:06 of the first round.

Jonathan Wiezorek and Tim “Big Perm” Persey kicked off the live telecast on Showtime in a heavyweight bout. From the beginning Wiezorek wanted no part of Persey’s stand-up, as he immediately clinched up in an effort to score a takedown. After a brief stall in action, they were separated and restarted in the middle of the ring. Persey took advantage by dropping Wiezorek and landing some solid shots before Wiezorek recovered and launched a Kimura attempt that Persey escaped.

Persey came out aggressively in the second round, landing a couple of shots before Wiezorek scored a takedown. Wiezorek managed to get Persey’s back, landing shots until the referee stepped in to halt the contest fifty seconds into the second round.

Katsuhiko Nagata, a 2004 Olympic wrestling silver medalist, scored takedowns at will en route to a split decision victory over late replacement Isaiah Hill. Hill came out aggressively to start the fight, as he landed several hard blows that bloodied Nagata’s nose. From that point, the same story would play out repeatedly, as Nagata would score takedowns at will throughout the entire fight.

When the decision was announced, the crowd booed the fact that it was ruled a split decision instead of a unanimous decision for Nagata, who had basically dominated the entire fight.

In the opening fight of K-1 Dynamite!! USA, Hero’s 2006 Middleweight Champion Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti faced off with King of the Cage veteran Nam Phan. JZ wasted no time in ending the fight, as he quickly scored a takedown from the clinch and then proceeded to land a series of punches that stunned Phan and forced the referee to stop the fight only twenty six seconds after the opening bell.

FULL RESULTS

-Brock Lesnar def. Min Soo Kim by submission due to strikes at 1:09 of Round 1

-Royce Gracie def. Kazushi Sakuraba by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

-Hideo Tokoro def. Brad Pickett by submission (armbar) at 2:40 of Round 1

-Dong Sik Yoon def. Melvin Manhoef by submission (armbar) at 1:17 of Round 2

-”Mighty” Mo Siliga def. Ruben Villareal by TKO (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 1:33 of Round 1

-Bernard Ackah def. Johnnie Morton by KO at 0:38 of Round 1

-Jake Shields def. Ido Pariente by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:06 of Round 1

-Jonathan Wiezorek def. Tim Persey by TKO (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 0:50 of Round 2

-Katsuhiko Nagata def. Isaiah Hill by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)

-Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti def. Nam Phan by TKO (referee stoppage due to strikes) at 0:26 of Round 1

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