The legendary Vale Tudo Japan has returned with a vengeance. The event had fans the world over buzzing with excitement and it didn’t disappoint, receiving praise from all in attendance and those watching on PPV in Japan.
The night’s main event ended in the blink of an eye. Fan favorite Hideo Tokoro returned to action for the first time since his horrifying slam knockout loss at DREAM NYE last year, and he quickly blasted Japanese MMA icon Rumina Sato with a flying punch after pushing him to the ground.
Tokoro dedicated the win to the late Tomoya Miyashita, who passed away from leukemia at the end of last year.
The victory is very bitter sweet for many. The universally beloved Rumina Sato has now lost by knockout twice in a row, to guys not known for big knockout power. He has been around, pretty much as long as the sport of MMA has. One has to think his legendary career is nearing its conclusion.
Mamoru Yamaguchi is one of MMA’s pioneering flyweights, but he may have missed his last chance at a run stateside. The Fro lost to former Tachi Palace champ Darrell Montague over three close and technical rounds of all stand-up action. Montague got a split judges nod and picked up the biggest win of his career.
Shooto golden boy and one of AsianMMA.com’s most highly touted fighters, Kyoji Horiguchi has finally established himself as a top global bantamweight. Kyoji took a hard fought unanimous decision over Tachi Palace champion Ian Loveland.
The two exchanged head kicks and Loveland threatened with a few submissions, but Kyoji got the better, using thudding kicks and his wicked speed to drop Loveland and take a big 29-28 win.
Even though she stated in our interview with her that she would continue to fight in big name matches, if this was the last fight of the greatest female fighter in history – as some reports suggest – it will surely go down as one of the best retirement fights MMA has ever seen. Megumi Fujii and V.V Mei went to war for 10 minutes, trading furious punches and masterful grappling the whole time.
Fujii was naturally the dominant wrestler, but Mei reversed her a number of times, even scoring a sweep off the cage, but Fujii locked in several tight submissions, including an armbar and a sleeper. The ultra tough cookie that is Mei Yamaguchi simply refused to give in. Ultimately though, Fujii’s top control, ground and pound, and slight striking advantage saw her lead on all the judges’ scorecards.
Vale Tudo Japan 1st
Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo
December 24, 2012
-Hideo Tokoro def. Rumina Sato via TKO (Punches) – R1, 0:39
-Kuniyoshi Hironaka def. Carlo Prater via Unanimous Decision
-Darrell Montague def. Mamoru Yamaguchi via Split Decision
-Kyoji Horiguchi def. Ian Loveland via Unanimous Decision
-Megumi Fujii def. “V.V” Mei Yamaguchi via Unanimous Decision
-Kenji Osawa def. “Lion” Takeshi Inoue via Unanimous Decision
-Keita Nakamura def. Nobutatsu Suzuki via Submission (Choke Sleeper) – R1, 2:09
-Daisuke Hoshino def. Kuntap Weerasakreck via Submission (Armbar) – R1, 2:19