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Shintaro Ishiwatari, Kil Woo Lee Impress at SRC Asia Volume 1

Sengoku Raiden Championship's 20-man Asian Bantamweight Tournament got under way at Differ Ariake in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday. Drawing on mostly lesser known fighters from all of the second-tier events within Japan and representatives from Korea, eight bantamweights advanced through to the next round of the tournament to be held in August.

Impressive in victory were Kil Woo Lee and Shintaro Ishiwatari, both with first-round knockouts and Lee's KO coming only 10 seconds into the bout. Also noteworthy, Jae Hyun So's grappling display and odd triangle submission attempt were brutally effective and entertaining and the veteran of the tournament, Kazushi Sakuraba-trained Wataru Takahashi, dominated his opponent on the mat and got locked in a slick rear-naked choke without the hooks in.

A full breakdown of the fights after the break.

Late replacement Kil Woo Lee blasted Ayato Taneichi only 10 seconds into their bout. The Korean landed a right to floor Taneichi and followed up with punches on the ground to bring an end to the bout.

Gutsman Dojo's Shintaro Ishiwatari was impressive in his victory over Nobuhiro "Punch" Yamauchi. Ironically, Punch was defeated by punches in the first round round at 3:13. Unable to land effectively on the feet, Ishiwatari instead secured the takedown into side mount and from there rained in hammer fists until the referee was forced to stop the contest.

The smallest fighter in tournament at 5-foot-2, Takuya Eizumi managed to continue despite two massive cuts over his eye and on his hair line to defeat Taro Shimazaki by unanimous decision. Eizumi waded through punches to land his own shots and edge out the close decision. Eizumi was getting the better of the exchanges, but his paper-thin skin almost betrayed him and he is being cut badly in nearly every bout now.

Sakaguchi Dojo's Shoko Sato came in on late notice to defeat Hiryu Okamoto by decision. Throughout the bout, Sato scored better in the exchanges on the feet in a crowd-pleasing though technically devoid stand-up bout.

Tatsuya So's reverse crucifix gave him the edge in his bout with Min Jeong Song. So, only minutes away from hearing the final bell where he would have been announced the loser after being dominated positionally, locked on the crucifix and cranked the neck of the Korean hard, coming close to getting the tap. The final bell released the lock and Song was left with a rubber neck and So the close victory.

Kazushi Sakuraba trained Wataru Takahashi mimicked his mentor with his submission win over Shohei Kondo. Kondo's attempts on the feet were avoided by the most experienced fighter in the tournament he took the fight to the mat where he easily passed guard and threatened with kimuras. The submission came in the second when he cinched in the rear-naked choke at 1:22.

Hirokazu Nishimura and Wataru Inatsu fought largely to a stalemate, neither fighter committing enough with their strikes and both fighters giving far too much respect. Nishimura got a takedown in the second as Inatsu faded and there he was able to stomp and punch to get the decision.

Jae Hyun So and Ichiro Sugita were first up for the evening and got things started on the right foot with the fight of the night. A dynamic grappling clinic was put on by the Korean, threatening with triangles and armlocks all throug the bout. The telling moment came in the second round when So had Sugita locked in an awkward triangle that was locked in from the back a la a rear naked choke. Sugita was unable to escape for some time and in that position his face was free to be pounded on, which So did liberally. When Sugita finally escaped his nose was clearly broken and bloodied and the bout probably should have been stop but it made it to the cards where So took the unanimous decision.

With Sunday's results we are left with the following match-ups to take place in late August at SRC 14.

Jae Hyun So vs. Hirokazu Nishimura
Wataru Takahashi vs. Tatsuya So
Shoko Sato vs. Takuya Eizumi
Shintaro Ishiwatari vs. Kil Woo Lee

After the second round in August, one seeded fighter from Shooto, Pancrase, ZST and Cage Force will be joining the tournament to bring the tournament back up to eight fighters.

Although it wasn't the most impressive display, Takauji Kanechika shut down Sang Soo Lee in the main event of the evening in a non-tournament bout. Predictably, the fight between the two wrestlers largely took place in the clinch and things were even going into the third round but Kanechika finished stronger and managed to edge out the decision. Post fight, Kanechika called out Beijing gold medalist Satoshi Ishii and reiterated his challenge to his mentor Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao.

In the other non-tournament bout, Masahiro Toryu made short work of Team Akebono's Noah Villanueva, taking the Hawaiian down immediately and securing the heel hook at 2:56 of the first.

Sengoku Raiden Championship Asia Vol. 1 at Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan

Takauji Kanechika def. Sang Soo Lee by Unanimous Decision
Masahiro Toryu def. Noah Villanueva by Submission (Heel Hook), Round 1, 2:56

SRC Bantamweight Asia Tournament 2010 by Unanimous Decision
Kil Woo Lee def. Ayato Taneichi by KO, Round 1, 0:10
Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Nobuhiro "Punch" Yamauchi by TKO, Round 1, 3:13
Takuya Eizumi def. Taro Shimazaki by Unanimous Decision
Shoko Sato def. Hiryu Okamoto by Unanimous Decision
Tatsuya So def. Min Jeong Song by Unanimous Decision
Wataru Takahashi def. Shohei Kondo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 1:22
Hirokazu Nishimura def. Wataru Inatsu by Unanimous Decision
Jae Hyun So def. Ichiro Sugita by Unanimous Decision

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