- KISS OF DEATH: HERRING DISQUALIFIED

December 31, 2005
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MMAWeekly.com
In what will go down as one of the most bizarre things you will ever see in MMA, the fight between Heath Herring and Yoshihiro Nakao was literally over before it began. Nakao, who is known for his legendary “stare downs”, came into his fight with Heath Herring trying to psych out his opponent.

Nakao, taking a page out from one of his previous fights with a legendary stare down with Don Frye, started moving in closer and closer during the referee’s instructions. As Nakao moved in closer, he first head butted Herring, and then out of nowhere planted a kiss on the Crazy Horse. Obviously that didn’t sit too well with the big Texan.

“I don’t get into stare downs, obviously he does, whatever…,” a dejected Herring told MMAWeekly’s Ryan Bennett. “He started to get into me and I thought whatever. Then he plants a kiss on my lips? That really pissed me off. So it was just a gut reaction. I went pow (shows the short punch reaction). If you watch the tape, I didn’t step back and hit him with a full swing, it was just a short get off me you freak, reaction.” a frustrated Herring told MMAWeekly.

Nobuaki Kakuta, the chief referee of K1 told MMAWeekly, “The way the official scoring went, was Nakao received a point taken away for “the kiss” and unsportsmanlike like conduct. But once Herring landed the short punch he was disqualified immediately.”

Nakao landed on the mat motionless for a good two to three minutes. Even though it wasn’t a “full blown punch” as Herring later stated, the short punch did knockout Nakao. Yoshihiro was later carried out on a stretcher back to the dressing room. In almost a comical moment, after Nakao was carried off, a K-1 referee later told the audience that quote “if Nakao could recover, the fight would continue later in the night.” It was obvious with the stretcher taking out the Japanese fighter that he would not be able to continue at all during the night.

The melee wasn’t done yet. As Herring exited the ring, before he could even make it backstage, Nakao’s corner men jumped Herring. “I was walking out of the ring heading back and all of the sudden this dude jumps on my back, I was like what the hell? I look back and it’s Nakao’s corner man jumping on my back, trying to choke me out.” Herring said in disbelief. “I got one guy jumping on me, my corner guys, Ricardo (Pires) trying to pull this guy off then, they jump my corner men. I felt like I was doing pro wrestling instead of MMA…” Herring told MMAWeekly.

So after being officially disqualified from the event, it’s been a rough go for Herring since he’s been with K1. A knee injury ended his first appearance in K1 officially as a loss to Sam Greco. Now the “Kiss of Death” resulted in a disqualification for the Texas Crazy Horse. Herring hopes for a rematch and that we will see an actual fight between these two in the ring, instead of outside it.

In other news and notes….

Royce Gracie’s fight with Hideo Tokoro was ruled a draw after two rounds. The special rules stated that if the fight went the full two 10 minute rounds, the fight would be declared a draw. Tokoro was very game, getting out of a few rear naked choke attempts in the second round. He even landed a few strikes, that may have broken the nose of Gracie. Gracie’s nose was bleeding badly in the second round. In either case, the fight went the full 20 minutes and was ruled a draw because of the special rules. MMAWeekly scored the bout 20-18 for Gracie.

In other MMA bouts, Peter Aerts didn’t have the ground skills to fight MMA, as the K-1 striker looked lost on the ground once the fight hit the mat. Shungo Oyama was able to lock in a heel hook early in the first round to get the win. Jerome LeBanner outclassed Alan Karaev, the former arm wrestling champion by KO in the second round. Karaev was able to get the fight on the ground on a few occasions, but didn’t know what to do once the fight hit the mat. LeBanner would eventually stand up and get the fight back to the feet, and hammered the mid section of Karaev winning by KO.

In the main event of the evening Kid Yamamoto showed plenty of patience in his fight with Genki Sudo. Kid kept his composure with Sudo’s dancing and fighting, as Yamamoto landed a thundering combination that rocked Sudo, as Genki later hit the mat on his back. Yamamoto smelling blood dove in, as Sudo was trying to bicycle kick to keep Kid off of him. Yamamoto moved in and landed some great punches that caught Sudo flush. One right hand made Sudo go limp for a tenth of second, before the referee jumped in to stop the fight. Sudo recovered very quickly from the barrage and seemed ready to go, but when he went limp for that split second, that was the end of the fight. Yamamoto completed the impressive bracket sweep by knocking out Royler Gracie, beating Caol Uno by TKO/cut and Sudo by knockout to complete the tournament sweep and win the Lightweight Title.

In other K1 bouts…

Semmy Schilt followed up his 2005 World Grand Prix Championship performance with a very impressive win over 4-time Grand Prix winner Ernesto Hoost on Saturday night. Hoost could not get inside Schilt, as Semmy landed a razor sharp knee that immediately split open Hoost as blood was pouring out of Hoost above his left eye. The cut was very deep as one official said, “you could see the bone.” The fight was immediately stopped and Schilt showed everyone that he is the most dominant force in K1 bar none.

In a bizarre fight, Musashi came back from a foul in the second round that literally knocked him out and won a decision over Bob Sapp. In the second round Musashi was tied up with Sapp in the corner of the ring. The referee called for a break, as Musashi turned his back to Sapp during the break, Sapp unleashed two huge rabbit punches to the back of Musashi’s head, when the Japanese fighter wasn’t looking.

The force of the two punches immediately dropped the Japanese fighter down and apparently knocked him out. Sapp immediately received two yellow cards for the cheap shots receiving a two-point deduction in the round. Musashi remained on the ground for several minutes, as doctors looked him over. Musashi was then given five minutes to recover. Musashi said, “I need only three…” He later stood back up and barely survived the second round, as Sapp came in and landed a thunderous combination that sent Musashi reeling. It appeared Sapp would get the knockout, but the bell saved Musashi to end the second round.

As the third began any questions about Musashi’s health went away as he came out with renewed confidence, apparently shaking out the cobwebs of Round 2 and gave an impressive performance in Round 3, pushing the action and overwhelming Sapp in the third and final round. All three judges gave the decision to Musashi for the win.

Another Japanese fighter looked impressive this weekend. Masato overwhelmed Akira Ohigashi by KO in Round 2. Masato chopped down the former WBC 5th ranked welterweight boxer with vicious kicks to the left leg, as Ohigashi could not get out of the second round.

Remy Bonjasky won a very controversial split decision over the Predator Sylvester Turkay. How bad of a decision was it? MMAWeekly’s Ryan Bennett who called play by play for the event said, “I don’t think Remy won a round in the fight.” Bennett scored the fight 30-27 Predator, but somehow the judges scored it 29-28 Bonjasky. One other fight to mention, Bobby Ologun defeated Akebono by decision in an uneventful fight.

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