TOKYO - Yoshiyuki Nakanishi was crowned DEEP's first light heavyweight champion and secured himself a slot in DREAM's light heavyweight tournament at DEEP 47 at Korakuen Hall on Saturday.
In the final of the one night tournament, Nakanishi dominated Kyokushin stylist Ryuta Noji with superior wrestling over two rounds to claim the vacant strap. While he couldn't put Noji away, Nakanishi controlled his opponent comfortably and came close to stopping Noji with armlocks and ground and pound.
Full results after the break.
In the opening round of the tournament, Nakanishi bested tournament favorite, France's Christian M'Pumbu. Cornered by UFC veteran and Anderson Silva-heel hooker, Ryo Chonan, Nakanishi landed the better strikes and takedowns, also dropping the striker in the opening round with a left hook to secure a split decision.
M'Pumbu has already signed a multi-fight contract with DREAM to fight in the May 29 tournament and with this win Nakanishi will be joining him there.
Promotional bantamweight champion Masakazu Imanari got his first win of 2010 in the books with a third-round submission over the heavy-hitting Isao Terada.
Imanari was noticeably more aggressive than his 1-1 and slightly snooze-worthy 2009 run in DREAM, flying in and securing a mid-air single leg takedown in the opening seconds of the first. On the ground, Imanari shunned his patented leg locks and instead looked to positionally dominate his opponent and worked some effective ground and pound and soccer kicks.
Despite a hard second round knee from Terada, and some failed takedown attempts, Imanari finished the job early in the third with an armbar coming off an omoplata.
Miku Matsumoto bid the MMA world goodbye with a surprisingly spirited exhibition bout with friend and fellow top pound-for-pounder, Megumi Fujii. After Fujii gifted Miku a flying armbar in the dying seconds, the 106-lb. DEEP women's champ attempted to return the belt but it was promptly returned to her by DEEP boss, Shigeru Saeki.
DEEP Light-Heavyweight Tournament Finals / DEEP Light-Heavyweight Title Match:
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi def. Ryuta Noji - Decision (Unanimous)
Masakazu Imanari def. Isao Terada - Submission (Armbar), Round 3, 0:27
Ryuki Ueyama vs. Hidetaka Monma - Draw
Tomoya Miyashita def. Darren Uyenoyama - Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 2, 1:10
Kazuhisa Tazawa def. Roque Martinez - Submission (Achilles Lock), Round 2, 2:11
DEEP Light-Heavyweight Tournament Reserve Match:
Bernard Ackah def. Minoru Kato - Decision (Unanimous)
DEEP Light-Heavyweight Tournament Quarter Finals:
Ryuta Noji def. Shunsuke Inoue - Decision (Unanimous)
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi def. Christian M'Pumbu - Decision (Split)
Hirohide Fujinuma def. Yoichi Babaguchi - TKO (Punches), Round 1, 0:17
Yasuhiro Kawasaki def. Tomoya Kato - DQ (Kicks to the Groin), Round 2
Yusaku Tsukumo vs. Yoshitomo Watanabe - Draw
Akimitsu Tsuchiya def. Shawn Dean by TKO (Punches) Round 1, 4:14