Caol Uno moved a step closer to the unlikely UFC return he craves with a unanimous decision win over Jesse Brock at VTJ 4th. The 38-year-old featherweight just edged the Bellator veteran to secure his fourth successive win.
In the opening round at the Ota City Gymnasium in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon, Uno was the dominant fighter as he took Brock’s back and had him frantically fighting off rear naked choke attempts. The American was clearly at a disadvantage in striking terms, but rallied in the second round to land a couple of takedowns.
Uno used his superior reach and height to good effect in the final round as he kept Brock away with kicks, teeps and punches without every doing any serious damage. It was enough to secure a unanimous decision win with all three judges seeing the fight in his favor.
The win takes Uno to 30-16-5 and having proved that he can still hold his own against young contenders in the featherweight division, he will be hoping for a UFC recall while Brock sees his drop to 16-8.
In the night’s main event, Hiroyuki Takaya knocked out Yojiro Uchimura with a flurry of punches 1:27 into the opening round of the fight.
The card also played host to the quarterfinals of the VTJ Flyweight Grand Prix and Kana Hyatt (13-12) was the first to book his spot in the final four, defeating Freddy Arteaga (4-3) by unanimous decision. The other American in the semifinals will be Czar Sklavos (9-3), who finished Mamoru Yamaguchi (26-9-4) with a rear naked choke early in the opening round.
In the two all-Japanese quarterfinal match-ups, former Shooto bantamweight champion Hiromasa Ogikubo (11-3-2) beat Takeshi Kasugai (13-3-1) by majority decision, and Ryuichi Miki (16-6-4) defeated former Deep bantamweight champion Yoshiro Maeda (30-14-5) by unanimous decision.
Earlier in the night, top Japanese bantamweight prospect Yuta Sasaki (16-1-2) submitted Teruto Ishihara (6-2-1) by technical submission (rear naked choke) at 1:41 in the second round, while in-form lightweight Naoyuki Kotani (33-10-7) scored his thirteenth straight at the expense of Yoshihiro Koyama (17-7-2) courtesy of a unanimous decision.
The remaining two fights on the main card were won by Kengo Ura (11-9-2), who defeated Daisuke Hoshino (8-8-1) by split decision in a 160-pound catchweight contest, and Korean featherweight Jae Woong Kim (4-2), who took a unanimous decision at the expense of Wataru Miki (20-12-6).
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