Pancrase 297: Franca new KOP, Kume loses to Kuivanen

Pancrase 297 Welterweight King of Pancrase
Pancrase 297 Welterweight King of Pancrase match

Pancrase 297 took place on 1 July, 2018 at Studio City in Tokyo, Japan. Asia MMA will be live with results and updates from today’s card, which features the fight to be the Welterweight King of Pancrase between Takashi Sato and Glaico “Nego” Franca. The event is live on UFC Fight Pass.

Main Card

#14 Welterweight King of Pancrase
Takashi Sato vs. Glaico França

Number 1 ranked Sato takes on UFC vet Nego Franca for the Welterweight King of Pancrase belt that was vacated by Daichi Abe when he signed to the UFC.

Franca opened the first round with a low kick, and Sato utilized his jab as the two felt each other out. As they started to trade, it was darting in an out with single shots, and Sato looked for body shots. Franca’s right cross landed with speed, and he followed up with a high kick. Sato found his distance and let out a few combos so Franca went for the low kick. With one minute left, they both come even closer to landing in the pocket with calculated striking.

In the second round, Franca took the center and put out some low kicks, one of which ende with fingers grazing Sato’s eye. On the restart, Franca got a right, and a takedown, kept control of the back and wrestled him against the cage. Sato returned with a huge hip toss, but Franca immediately reversed it. Franca doggedly kept on the takedown attempts and Sato defended with elbows and hip throws, but Franca just kept on trying to drag it down until the ref stopped for a doctor check to Sato’s eye. On the restart, Sato landed his jab and found a great distance to tee off on Franca to the bell.

In the third round, Sato smelled blood and went in with combo after combo and elbows that rocked Franca and Sato just kept going in with everything in his toolbox. Franca tried for takedowns and Sato retained the top position, pounding on him. Fanca reversed and got a take down, took the back and locked in a choke. Sato pushed it off, reversed into guard, and put the pressure on. Franca went for an armbar, Sato scrambled out to a back take, and Franca reversed it at the bell.

The fourth and first championship round opened with a doctor check to Franca, whose nose looked broken in the previous round. Franca immediately shot and got the take down, scrambled to the back and looked for the choke. Franca got the tap.

Glaico França def Takashi Sato by Submission, RNC, R4 1:15

#13 Lightweight
Takasuke Kume vs. Anton Kuivanen

Lightweight KOP Kume takes on number 1-ranked Nordic UFC vet Kuivanen.

In the opening round, Kume went right in with combos, clinch, big kick, and punch after punch. Kume faked a big overhand to a shoot and got the takedown. Kuivanen got the reversal but Kume made it to the cage and walked out. The two engaged in the clinch with very technical and aggressive wrestling. They broke the clinch with elbows and settled into a range testing minute. Kuivanen went for a double at the end of the round, but Kume defended.

In round two, Kuivanen took the center first and threw some kicks, but Kume quickly went back to his aggression. Kuivanen took the center again, landed a right cross and kept up with jabs until Kume made his own combination to shoot to the cage. Kuivanen reversed with a low bodylock and got a huge lift takedown. Kume made it up but Kuivanen put him right back down. Again Kume got up and after wearing him with wrestling, Kuivanen lets it off the cage. Kume went in and slipped and Kuivanen took complete advantage, pounding on Kume until he dropped. Kume made it to his feet, but Kuivanen had him out standing.

Anton Kuivanen def Takasuke Kume by TKO, R2 4:46

#12 Flyweight
Yuya Wakamatsu vs. Mamoru Yamaguchi

It’s youth versus experience as 2016 NeoBlood MVP and 2018 fight of the year candidate Wakamatsu faces one of the greatest Japanese flyweights of all time, Mamoru.

Wakamatsu and Mamoru open the round by going toe to toe and inch by inch. Wakamatsu wasn’t intimidated by the fame, and he came in first and active. Mamoru started walking him down, so Wakamatsu changed levels for a surprise shoot. The round continued standing, and Wakamatsu skirted and looked for creative ways inside. It was a tense round. In the second, Wakamatsu took the center and threw a combo that dropped Mamoru, but he let him up! Mamoru tried to survive, but Wakamatsu picked him apart until he was done.

Yuya Wakamatsu def Mamoru Yamaguchi by TKO, R2 0:39

#11 Bantamweight (19:00 JST start)
Toshinori Tsunemura vs. Kenta Takizawa

Reversal versus Reversal. Fourth ranked Tsune of Shinjuku Me, We meets 6th ranked Takizawa of Tokyo Standout.

Takizawa threw out the first kick, and then they began to show off some very nice technique. Tsune simply waited for the takedown opening. Takizawa threw a high kick and a low kick that took out Tsune’s legs, and ended strong with a big punch. The second round opened with Takizawa’s kicks and Tsune grew frustrated, finally committing to a shoot that failed. Takizawa blasted out a knee and right that dropped Tsune cold.

Kenta Takizawa def Toshinori Tsunemura by KO, R2 2:03

#10 Flyweight
Toru Ogawa vs. Tateki Matsuda

2015 NeoBlood Tournament champ Ogawa welcomes back Tech for his first post-shoulder surgery fight in the Pancrase Decagon.

In the first round, Ogawa took the center and put on the pressure, and Matsuda handled it with good footwork. They stepped in and out of the pocket multiple times, looking for a big KO. Ogawa was the first one to land hard, and Matsuda dropped where Ogawa pounded until the ref waived it off.

Toru Ogawa def Tateki Matsuda by TKO, R1 2:15

#9 Women’s Flyweight
Raika Emiko vs. Kseniya Guseva

Riding a 6-fight win streak, Leica is back against Russian Muay Thai proponent Guseva.

Guseva showed a nice quick combination to open the round, including some rangy kicks. Raika looked for a different strategy to get inside the reach, and ate a shin kick to the head for it. Raika found her way in but Guseva got the hip throw. Raika showed her experience and popped out the back and took Guseva’s back, looking for a choke to the bell. In the second round, Guseva kept up her activity with the jabs and high kicks which didn’t allow Raika to get in. Raika finally started to find her distance halfway through and landed a few times, and got the clinch, but Guseva picked her apart. In the final round, Raika came in early but Guseva upped her output and threw knees and elbows too. Raika just kept stomping forward into everything through half the round. Raika got an opportunity to reverse on the ground, but they stood and banged for the entire final minute.

Kseniya Guseva def Raika Emiko by Split Decision

#8 Bantamweight
Yoko Higashi vs. Nao Date

Higashi went in for the clinch over her 12-years younger junior Date. Date threw kicks, but Higashi handled them, threw a right, and another takedown kept her dominance throughout the round. Opening the second, Higashi walked right up to Date, punched and tripped her, and put on the top control pressure again to the bell. Higashi repeated her plan in the third, walking through the kicks for a takedown and top control. Higashi moved to side, and Date threw up some changes in guard attempts, but it got her nowhere.

Yoko Higashi def Nao Date by Unanimous Decision

#7 Featherweight
Masaya Takita vs. Kazunari Kimura

Takita J-Taro comes out in lovely silver attire and singing. Takita came out with the quick takedown. Kimura was finally able to cage walk up and reverse to the cage, but on a ref break, Takita was able to take back clinch control. Takia ended the first round with a tenacious single. Kimura thought he could control in the second with some striking, but Takita kept it in the grappling realm. Kimura finally gave up his plan and tried for a double, but Takita maneuvered to a crucifix, rolled him over, and went for a choke. The final round was Takita Takita Takita. An early taketown got him position on the ground where he worked to the back and tried for choke after choke.

Masaya Takita def Kazunari Kimura by Unanimous Decision

24th NeoBlood Tournament 2018

#6 Strawweight Finals
Satoshi Miyokawa vs. Ryusuke Noda

Noda ate a knee and used it for a takedown. Miokawa defended will and turned it into cage control for himself, and threw knees, elbows and punches from inside. Off the ref’s break, Miyokawa skirted and threw low kicks, and Noda finally came on strong. Into the second round, Noda ran into the center and Miyokawa was forced to backpedal. On a kick, Noda got his takedown and really smothered his top position. Noda spent too much time on a kimura and Miyokawa was able to stand. Noda snuck in a single leg takedown and controlled until the bell. In the final round, Noda made good use of pressure, but Miyokawa handled it better, although Noda still ended with control in the clinch. Miyokawa couldn’t pull off enough at the end to win it.

Ryusuke Noda def Satoshi Miyokawa by Unanimous Decision

#5 Flyweight Semifinals
Chihiro Suzuki vs. Satoru Enomoto

Great flurries as the two really engaged from the opening bell. Both jockeyed for hooks at the cage and tried for takedowns, and Enomoto was the first to get the position for it. Enomoto climed onto the back standing and tried for a choke to the bell. In the second round, Suzuki landed two great rights, and Enomoto saved himself with a shoot but Suzuki got the throw. Enomoto recovered to the top, and from his back, Suzuki defended and threw short shots until he finally recovered half guard and tried for an armbar that looked horrid. In the final round, Suzuki opened with a hip throw and landed a right hook until they ended up wrestling at the cage. Suzuki got a final hip throw and they both popped up and tried to wrestle for the throw. Off a break, Suzuki went for the flying knee and hammerfists.

Chihiro Suzuki def Satoru Enomoto by Unanimous Decision

#4 Flyweight Semifinals
Kiyoshiro Akasaki vs. Kohei Sugiyama

Sugiyama comes out the aggressor, but Akasaki reverses to the cage and goes for throws. Sugiyama really muscled his was around and was able to reverse the position, get the takedown, and pound from the back. Finally, Sugiyama gets a facelock and a tap.

Kohei Sugiyama def Kiyoshiro Akasaki by Submission to RNC, R1 2:21

#3 Bantamweight Semifinals
Masahide Hiraoka vs. Yosuke Nomura

Hiraoka opened the first round with striking, but Nomura went for the clinch to the cage. Hiraoka reversed and showed good control, but it went back and forth with scrambles and Nomura scored with a takedown. They popped up and Nomura had Hiraoka tied up at the cage. Hiraoka threw a nice kick to open the second, then Nomura got a takedown. Hiraoka popped up, but Nomura was so quick to control with a bodylock and cage wrestling and constant trip attempts. In the final round, Hiaoka’s jabs were on display. Nomura shot for the single leg, and almost lost the position, the forced Hiraoka to defend at the cage until he got another takedown.

Yosuke Nomura def Masahide Hiraoka by Unanimous Decision

#2 Bantamweight Semifinals
Yuichi Ohashi vs. Junya Ogawa

Ohashi assaulted Ogawa right from the bell and got the TKO in quick order.

Yuichi Ohashi def Junya Ogawa by TKO, R1 0:30

#1 Featherweight Semifinals
Takuya Saito vs. Darani Date

In round 1, Date showed off his kicks and Saito muscled him around the cage. In the second, Saito got the takedown, but lost control, and Date got the back, landed elbows, and locked in a choke. Saito defended all the way to the end of the round, reversed, and escaped. In the final round, Date opened with a side kick to the knee and a high kick, and then a time stop for a soccer kick that was ruled just legal. Saito rushed in and got the worst of Date’s kicks and wasn’t able to close for a takedown until the final stanza.

Darani Date def Takuya Saito by Unanimous Decision