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Lightweights advance to semifinals at 'Sengoku 4'

All four Japanese fighters were victorious in the first round of the Lightweight Grand Prix Sunday at "Sengoku 4" at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

Satoru Kitaoka, a training partner of DREAM GP runner-up Shinya Aoki, needed only 31 seconds to tap out King of the Cage lightweight champion Clay French with an ankle lock.

Eiji Mitsuoka submitted the highly touted Rodrigo Damm with a rear-naked choke at 3:13 of the first round.

Former DEEP lightweight champ Kazunori Yokota won a unanimous decision over Bojan Kosednar after three rounds.

Cage Force lightweight champion Mizuto Hirota knocked out the IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz with a Superman punch at 4:25 of the second round.

Kitaoka, Mitsuoka, Yokota and Hirota move on to the same-night semifinals/finals at "Sengoku 6" in November. The tournament winner earns a shot at Takanori Gomi to crown the promotion's first ever lightweight champion.

Non-Tournament Bouts

Gomi was in action winning all three rounds to earn the unanimous decision over DEEP champion Bang Seung Hwan in the main event of the night.

The two Olympic Gold Medalists in Judo both fell short. 1996 winner Pawel Nastula, coming out of retirement, was the recipient of two low blows in the first round that led to a TKO loss to Dong Yi Yang in the second when the referee declared Nastula couldn't continue, while 2000 winner Makoto Takimoto lost a three-round decision to Frank Trigg. Nastula later said he didn't hear the referee tell him to get up.

Moise Rimbon of France toppled kickboxer Peter Graham with an overhand and followed with punches. Once Graham gave up his back, Rimbon secured a rear-naked choke for the submission win at 42 seconds of the second round.

Valentijin Overeem, the older brother of Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, knocked out Pancrase veteran Kazuo Takahashi with a flying knee at 2:42 of the second round.