by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
World Victory Road on Saturday held its final event before the big Japanese fight night, New Year’s Eve. Sengoku 11th Battle proved to be a night of action, upsets, and even a little controversy.
The main event featured a highly competitive bout between No. 3 ranked featherweight Hatsu Hioki and a very tough Michihiro Omigawa that ended in controversial fashion.
While judging controversy has mostly been centered on the U.S. since the UFC 104 main event between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Sengoku judges stirred their own controversy by awarding a split decision victory to Omigawa.
Hioki easily displayed the wider array of mixed martial arts skill in the bout, attempting several submissions and showing a varied arsenal of strikes. Omigawa, though, earned the judges’ nod, likely to due to his more powerful punches and landing more damaging blows than those thrown by Hioki.
The fight really seemed like it could be awarded in either fighter’s favor without too much argument, but even Omigawa disagreed with the judges. He took the winner’s trophy he received and handed it over to Hioki’s corner, telling fans that he believed Hioki had won the fight.
Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago, in a non-title affair, took Mamed Khalidov down early and was in total control with his ground and pound attack from the top. Then, out of nowhere, Khalidov threw a series of hammerfists from the bottom that hurt Santiago, who then rolled off to the side, and was finished by repeated heavy hands from Khalidov.
In another upset, Jorge Masvidal manhandled former Sengoku lightweight champ Satoru Kitaoka, brutalizing him with flurries of power shots. He caught a Kitaoki kick midway through the opening round, dropped the Japanese fighter to his back, then followed with numerous hard right hands that knocked Kitaoka out cold.
After the bout, Masvidal, who has now reeled off three straight victories in Sengoku, said that he believes he deserves a shot at the belt, currently held by Mizuto Hirota.
Top 10 ranked featherweight Marlon Sandro on Saturday put an exclamation point on why he is considered among the world’s best. He took out Yuji Hoshino midway through the opening round with a combination of punches that ended with a right uppercut and right hook that floored the Cage Force featherweight champion.
Dave Herman ramped his record up to 16-1 with an impressive knockout of Jim York. Herman was caught in an Achilles lock, but used his free right leg to launch a series of chopping heel kicks to the head and face that knocked York out.
Sengoku 11th Battle Results:
-Michihiro Omigawa def. Hatsu Hioki by Split Decision, R3
-Mamed Khalidov def. Jorge Santiago by TKO (Strikes) at 2:45, R1
-Jorge Masvidal def. Satoru Kitaoka by KO (Strikes) at 3:03, R2
-Tomoaki Ueyama def. Hirokazu Konno by TKO (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:29, R1
-Kazunori Yokota def. Eiji Mitsuoka by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Stanislav Nedkov def. Kevin Randleman by Split Decision, R3
-Akihiro Gono def. Yoon Young Kim by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Marlon Sandro def. Yuji Hoshino by KO (Punches) at 2:33, R1
-Dave Herman def. Jim York by TKO (Kicks) at 2:25, R1
-Ronnie Mann def. Shigeki Osawa by Unanimous Decision, R3
-Ryota Uozomi def. Yuichiro Yajima by Submission (Armbar) at 1:06, R1