Rafael Silva cements his bantamweight crown at Pancrase 303

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Is a ONE Championship debut next for Rafael Silva? Photo: Akihito Tatematsu.

Rafael Silva has cemented his position at the top of the Pancrase bantamweight division, with a sensational first-round finish of Kenta Takizawa at Pancrase 303.

It was the Brazilian’s first title defence since winning the belt at Pancrase 296 and he wasted no time getting the job done.

Silva scored a huge takedown early into the first round and wrapped up Takizawa to secure a rear-naked choke at 3 minutes and 22 seconds.

Takizawa was well outside his comfort zone. The 24-year-old knockout-artist made several attempts to escape, but it was not to be.

With the win, Silva moves to 30-6 and could now consider a move to ONE Championship, after a new partnership agreement between both organisations.

Hiroto Fights Back

In the co-main event of Pancrase 303 former DEEP champion Hiroto Uesako survived a first-round massacre to finish Salimkhan Sadulloev in the second round.

Sadulloev served up a punishment in the opening round, getting close to finishing the bout on several occasions. But the veteran rebounded and lit up the stadium with his stunning comeback.

With the win he moves to 6-1 and has won both of his Pancrase outings.

Rilley Dutro falls short in his Pancrase debut. Photo: Akihito Tatematsu.

Elsewhere on the card, Shohei Masumizu spoilt the debut of Rilley Dutro with a decision win, while Yoko Higashi finished South Korean Jung Seo Yoon with a first-round TKO.

Pancrase will return to Studio Coast on Sunday, 14 April for Pancrase 304, with its lightweight and women’s flyweight titles on the line.

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