Two of Japan’s new and future generation of MMA stars met in the main event of ZST 44 as undefeated Ryo Hatta defended the Flyweight belt for his first time against Seiichiro Ito.
While almost all of both young fighters’ wins have come by submission, this hotly contested match set for five rounds did not end in the manner anyone expected.
The first round erupted in a back and forth seesaw of striking with Ito being determined to shoot and ground and pound. By the end of the round, that’s with where he had Champ Hatta. In the second, Ito got even more ferocious but Hatta did his best to match him, throwing punches and an up kick from the bottom.
Ito kept up his perfect plan to beat and/or tackle Hatta to the ground, and at three minutes into the second, he did just that. His punches to Hatta’s head put the belt holder out cold, and Ito claimed the ZST title from him.
Tsudanuma Dojo’s Sotaro Yamada was cunning and violent in his match with Teruhiko Kubo that was to determine Welterweight Champ Masayuki Hamagishi’s next challenger. He crushed the takedown and latched on to one of Kubo’s legs for an Achilles’. As Kubo tried to roll out of it, Yamada grabbed his neck and Kubo had to tap to the guillotine with less than two minutes of mat time.
Yamada was equally entertaining when he said that all he heard was Kubo’s ankle, but he’d really like to hear Hamagishi’s bone break.
Yojiro Uchimura celebrated his ZST comeback by knocking out Hiroki Takayama in a little over two minutes of the first round. Uchimura’s striking overwhelmed Takayama from the get go.
Fusano Tetsuya and Kashiwazaki Tsuyoshi faced Suzuki Hiroshi and Kengo Okubo in a match under very unique ZST tag team rules. The former pair won 1-0 by Kashiwazaki’s securing an arm bar at 9:32 of Suzuki.
After the match, Kashiwazaki was announced as having earned a shot at Bantamweight Champ Keisuke Fujiwara on May 24th Differ Ariake.
February 22, 2015