Megumi Fujii’s retirement fight at VTJ 3rd ended in anticlimactic fashion after two first-round eye pokes from Jessica Aguilar ultimately settled the contest. The Japanese veteran received treatment for the injury twice in the opening round, but bravely decided to battle on.
Fujii’s right eye appeared to swell completely shut after the second eye poke, but the 39-year-old, who made her debut back in 2004, was determined not to close the curtain on her MMA career prematurely and insisted on continuing.
She made it to the end of the second round at which point the doctor belatedly decided to call off the contest. Aguilar (16-4) was awarded the TKO win, her second over Fuji (26-3), whom she also outpointed at Bellator 69 last year.
It was a decidedly unsatisfactory climax to both the event itself and the career of the Japanese legend.
In the co-main event, 38-year-old Caol Uno (29-16-5) rolled back the years to submit Daniel Romero (8-5) with an inverted triangle choke midway through the second round. The UFC veteran executed a trip straight into side control and then used a Kimura attempt and a few elbows to the body to set up the rarely seen submission.
Now competing at featherweight, Uno has submitted his last three opponents. After famously facing the likes of Jens Pulver and BJ Penn in the original UFC lightweight division, he is enjoying an unlikely renaissance in the twilight years of his career.
Hideo Tokoro (32-26-2) was taking on an opponent from Team Alpha Male for the second fight in succession after submitting Taylor McCorriston with a heel hook at VTJ 2nd. Will Campuzano(13-4) exacted revenge for his teammate with a controversial split decision victory, which increases his current win streak to five.
Tokoro controlled the opening round courtesy of a couple of takedowns and seemed to slightly get the better of the second although Campuzano had his moments, in particular an eye-catching takedown when he ducked under a wild punch from the Japanese veteran and slammed him to the ground.
Campuzano came out all guns blazing at the start of the third and had Tokoro in all sorts of trouble as he attacked with flying kicks and knees. The DREAM Bantamweight Grand Prix winner was on wobbly legs and would have been grateful to be taken down and given the opportunity to utilize his ground game.
Campuzano ended up in mount, but Tokoro quickly reversed the position, buying some much needed recovery time. They continued to exchange top position for the remainder of the round with the American looking the more energetic and landing some solid elbows from off his back.
The judges, to their credit, showed no bias whatsoever towards the Japanese veteran with two of the three scoring the fight in favor of Campuzano. The split decision was greeted with boos by a crowd that felt Tokoro had done enough to take the first two rounds.
Takeshi Inoue (21-8) suffered his third straight loss when he dropped a unanimous decision to Yusuke Yachi (10-4). The Krazy Bee fighter’s sideways stance seemed to confuse “The Lion,” who was on the receiving end of a barrage of unanswered kicks from his southpaw opponent in the opening round.
In rounds two and three, Inoue was able to score some signature takedowns, but it was Yachi’s superior striking that caught the eye of the judges, who all voted in favor of the current Shooto Pacific Rim 143-pound champion.
One fighter with Octagon experience who did not fare so well was bantamweight Motonube Tekuka (20-7-4), who dropped a decision to Yuta Nezu (15-7-1). The UFC veteran kept shooting for takedowns, but the judges all preferred the accurate striking of his opponent.
Earlier in the night, Naoyuki Kotani (32-10-7) cemented his status as one of Japan’s leading lightweights with a quickfire armbar win over Daisuke Hoshino (8-7-1), while bantamweight Yuta Sasaki (14-1-2) scored a straightforward submission victory against overmatched Korean debutant Geun Do Park (0-1).