Kron Gracie scored the biggest win of his burgeoning MMA career at the Saitama Super Arena on Sunday. The Brazilian submitted Japanese veteran Hideo Tokoro with a rear-naked choke in the final seconds of the first round.
Their fight headlined the Rizin FF 2 card with Gracie looking to become the latest member of his famous family to make it big in Japan. He looked comfortable in the early striking exchanges, but it took the Brazilian just 90 seconds to take Tokoro down.
Tokoro is a 64-fight veteran and used all of his craft and experience to survive on the ground with Gracie for the best part of eight minutes. The former Dream 135-Pound Grand Prix winner successfully fought off attempts at triangles, armbars, and rear-naked chokes from the BJJ black belt.
Just when it seemed Tokoro would see out the round, Gracie slipped an arm under his chin and finally finished a rear-naked choke with just 17 seconds left on the clock when the Japanese fighter finally tapped.
The win takes Gracie to 3-0 and after making his pro debut less than two years ago. The 28-year-old’s level of competition has stepped up dramatically. Tokoro drops to 33-29-2 and has now lost four out of his last five fights.
The biggest story of the night was the submission win for Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic over Hyun Man Myung. He progresses to the quarter final of the Rizin open weight tournament, where his opponent will be none other than Wanderlei Silva.
Cro Cop (32-11-2-1) surprisingly elected to take Hyun Man Myung (3-3) down and submit him with an arm-triangle choke. The two have met twice previously with the first match ending in a draw and the second won by the Croatian with a trademark head kick knockout.
It wasn’t such a successful night for two-time K-1 Max champion Andy Souwer (1-1). He tasted defeat for the first time with UFC veteran Daron Cruickshank (18-8-1) using all of his experience to get the fight to the ground and submit the decorated kickboxer with a rear-naked choke.
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