clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kikuno, Shirai Retain Titles, Shinya Aoki Perfect at Deep 50th Impact

Deep celebrated 10 years and 50 "Impact" events in grand style on Sunday night at JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan with four champions, Shinya Aoki and a host of other star Deep returnees on display

Lightweight Champion Katsunori Kikuno fought three hard rounds against the hard-hitting Takanori Gomi disciple Nobuhiro Obiya to retain his strap with a unanimous decision while Deep Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai also went the distance against a hardy but outclassed Shigetoshi Iwase.

It is potential disaster when you have champions in non-title bouts but disaster was averted as Deep Bantamweight Champion Masakazu Imanari and Light Heavyweight Champion Yoshiyuki Nakanishi both picked up wins against Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata and Katsuyori Shibata respectively.

It would have been more of a disaster if DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki was to lose against MMA rookie Yokthai Sithoar but the reigning champion had no issues as he submitted the former WBA World Champion in the first round, first minute.

Katsunori Kikuno and Nobuhiro Obiya claimed the unofficial fight of the night honors with their three round bout for Kikuno's Deep Lightweight strap. Despite fighting only sporadically since dropping three fights in a row back in 2006-7, Obiya represented and interesting challenge for Kikuno's karate as a hardy striker with a affinity for wild fights. Kikuno's stalking one-hit-one-kill game was tested as Obiya pushed the defending champ out of his rhythm with his aggressive striking. Kikuno proved through the three rounds though to have the edge in the stand-up, not just with his trademark front kick but also with shorter punch combinations on the inside. Despite one judge giving it to Obiya, it was clear that Kikuno won the bout despite it getting far messier than he would have liked.

Defending Deep Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai picked up his second win against Tatsuya Kawajiri stablemate Shigetoshi Iwase by way of judo. It was not a particularly thrilling bout as Iwase ran out of options with Shirai, getting cleanly thrown and then out-worked on the ground and also losing the striking exchanges. Some first round submission attempts from Shirai came close but the final minutes showed Iwase's frustration as he was controlled but not really in danger of getting finished until the bell rang. All five judges agreed that Shirai should retain his title.

Deep Bantamweight Champion Masakazu Imanari defeated but didn't really impress in his decision over Daiki "DJ.taiki" Hata. As is typical for an Imanari bout where he can't get a fighter to play his ground game, Imanari spend most of the bout on his bike with Hata struggling to catch him and kick. Some triangle-armbar attempts in the second and third rounds were enough to sway two judges in a close bout. Post fight Imanari campaigned for another shot in a larger event (presumably DREAM) but given the lack of action it is unlikely that he will be called upon for Dynamite!!

In what were essentially exhibition bouts, Shinya Aoki, Sanae Kikuta, Ikuhisa Minowa and Ryo Chonan had no issues against their respective opponents.

Reigning DREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki was predictably perfect against the former WBA Super Flyweight Champ and MMA new-comer Yokthai Sithoar, taking him down immediately and locking up a reverse triangle and then Americana that brought a tap. The mounted reverse triangle had Sithoar gargling for air but with an arm dangling in front of him Aoki went the easier route with the shoulderlock.

Grabaka founder Sanae Kikuta took some punches early from the debuting Lee Sak Kim but experience won over aggression as Kikuta quickly went for the takedown and then moved to a topside crucifix where a series of punches elicited Kim's corner to show mercy with the towel.

Ikuhisa Minowa's bout against ultra heavyweight kickboxer Chang Hee Kim looked like every other Minowaman Superhulk bout that we have seen recently. Minowa took down Kim and locked in a straight armlock from a neck crank and then the whole of the arena (with the exception of Kim and his corner) spent the next five minutes fist pumping and having a good time in general.

Ryo Chonan took a few minutes more than his more experienced counterparts but he also had little trouble with his exhibition-like opponent. Chonan rattled Jun Hee Moon with powerful kicks to the body but looked as though he either broke or dislocated a toe in the process and so focused his efforts on the ground for the majority of the bout. Moon proved to be resilient on the mat and managed to almost the full three rounds against a much more experienced opponent before getting caught in a topside crucifix and eating punches that brought in the referee.

Yoshiro Maeda and Takafumi Otsuka fought three entertaining back and forth rounds, earning each others respect and the crowds applause. The fight clearly could have been ruled a draw with neither fighter taking a distinct advantage with Otsuka perhaps scoring better with this wrestling and front kicks and Maeda scoring equally well with his hands and kicks. Two of the three judges though ruled it for Maeda although he admitted post fight that he didn't deserve the victory.

Light Heavyweight Champ Yoshiyuki Nakanishi dropped his defense and ran through pro-wrestler Katsuyori Shibata, trading punches with him on the feet and then following Shibata into mount when the pro-wrestler was grounded. From there Nakanishi rained in fists and despite Shibata's best attempts to either fight back or intelligently defend, he was unable to and so the bout was called with a minute remaining in the first round.

In the evenings opening bouts, Shoji Maruyama looked as though he may have finally started to overcome his recurring knee injuries with an impressive TKO over Jin Suk Jung, fan-favorite Hidetada Monma disposed of a surprisingly slim Yoshihisa Yamamoto with a first round arm-triangle, Ryuta Noji kneed Hiroshi Nagao into submission, Hiroshi "Iron" Nakamura took a competitive decision over Yoshida Dojo's Tatsumitsu Wada and Yusaku Nakamura first bloodied and then devastated Isao Tereda with a second round hook.

DEEP 50th IMPACT - October 24th 2010, JCB Hall in Tokyo, Japan

DEEP Lightweight Title Fight
Katsunori Kikuno def. Nobuhiro Obiya by Majority Decision

DEEP Welterweight Title Fight
Yuya Shirai def. Shigetoshi Iwase by Unanimous Decision

Masakazu Imanari def. Daiki Hata by Majority Decision
Shinya Aoki def. Yokthai Sithoar by Submission (Keylock) – Round 1, 1:00
Sanae Kikuta def. Lee Sak Kim by TKO (Corner Stoppage) – Round 1, 1:21
Ikuhisa Minowa def. Chang Hee Kim by Submission (Armbar) - Round 1, 2:07
Ryo Chonan def. Jun Hee Moon by TKO (Punches) – Round 3, 2:57
Yoshiro Maeda def. Takafumi Otsuka by Majority Decision – Round 3, 5:00
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi def. Katsuyori Shibata by TKO (Punches) – Round 1, 4:06
Shoji Maruyama def. Jin Suk Jung by TKO (Punches) – Round 1, 2:58
Hidetaka Monma def. Yoshihisa Yamamoto by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) – Round 1, 1:07
Ryuta Noji def. Hiroshi Nagao by TKO (Knees) – Round 1, 1:33
Hiroshi Nakamura def. Tatsumitsu Wada by Unanimous Decision
Yusaku Nakamura def. Isao Terada by KO (Punch) – Round 2, 3:48

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting