On New Years Eve, the IGF – Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 event took place in Tokyo, Japan, and in the main event, Olympic judoka Satoshi Ishii took home a unanimous decision victory over MMA and professional wrestling veteran Kazuyuki Fujita.
While the proceedings before the bout were fairly extravagant, the fight itself was lackluster.
There was little action in the first round as both fighters were hesitant. Ishii took the round on my scorecard by consistently landing leg kicks.
The second round began playing out like the first, until the period was interrupted when Ishii grazed the groin of Fujita with a low kick. Fujita dropped to the floor and remained there for some time.
It looked as though the fight would be called, but Fujita recovered and resumed the contest. Throughout the frame, Ishii was trying to work the clinch game, only for Fujita to shuck him off.
Ishii’s most dominant round was the third. Towards the end of the period, Ishii backed Fujita into the corner and unloaded a barrage of punches and knees that nearly finished his opponent.
The victory over Fujita is Ishii’s (11-2-1) seventh in a row. The last loss in his career came at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko, who as actually present at the show. Fujita’s (15-10) losing streak has been extended to four with the defeat.
Minowaman knocks out debuting fighter
Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa, who has 101 fights on his resume, knocked out Atsushi Sawada, who was making his pro debut, in the first round with an overhand right.
To the surprise of no one, Sawada looked sloppy on the feet, and Minowa kept his distance until he was able to knock down Sawada with a right. After the fight, both men did a worked wrestling angle where they got on the microphone, cut promos on each other, and feigned a brawl. It was just silly.
Minowaman’s record improves to 58-35-8, while Atsushi Sawada’s pro career starts off with a loss.
Aoki submits Harada in under a minute
Shinya Aoki made short work of Toshikatsu Harada by pulling guard and submitting Harada with a triangle-armbar in the first period.
From the replay, it looks as though Harada’s corner threw in the towel. Regardless, the submission was tight, and there was no way Harada would’ve been able to escape.
Aoki was just at a completely different level than Harada when it comes to MMA, and it’s a shame that we don’t see him fight high level competition on a consistent basis. Aoki is undoubtedly one of the premier fighters not signed to a UFC, Bellator, or WSOF contract. Currently, he is one of the big stars of ONE FC.
The winning streak of Aoki (34-6, 1 NC) has been extended to five, and Aoki now has twenty three submission victories on his resume. After an 8-1 run that started in 2010, Harada (11-10-2) has now failed to capture a victory in his last four bouts.
De Fries impresses by submitting Rogers
Fresh off of being released by the UFC, Philip De Fries remained unbeaten outside of the organization when he submitted Strikeforce veteran Brett Rogers with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Trading blows with a slugger like Rogers appeared to be the last activity De Fries wanted to partake in as he initiated a clinch early on in the bout. Although he was on the receiving end of some dirty boxing from Rogers, De Fries won the battle in the clinch with knees and and by keeping pressure on his opponent.
Eventually, the British heavyweight took Rogers down, got his back, and locked on a rear-naked choke that earned him the victory.
De Fries (10-3, 1 NC) is building a reputation as a man who is quite skilled with submissions. The win over Rogers was the ninth submission win of De Fries’s career. Rogers (13-6, 1 NC) inability to win back-to-back fights continues with the loss. Rogers hasn’t won two fights in a row since 2009.
Russian prospect shines against veteran
In the second round, lightweight prospect Ramazan Esenbaev knocked out Satoru Kitaoka, a veteran of 54 MMA bouts, with a powerful uppercut.
From the start of the fight, Esenbaev was the aggressor. He was constantly fishing for the chin of Kitaoka with his heavy right hand. Since he was unable to land a definitive blow early on in the first, the Russian decided to take his opponent down a couple of times to score points.
Those points proved to be useless as Esenbaev’s aggressive start in the second round led to a clean, fight-concluding uppercut landing flush on Kitaoka’s chin.
With the victory, Esenbaev (6-1) is now on a three fight winning streak. He started his career off with three consecutive victories, but that streak was interrupted by a decision loss to Bruno Carvalho at M-1 Challenge 31. The last fighter to beat Kitaoka (32-13-9) was Bellator lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks.
Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2013 Results:
Satoshi Ishii def. Kazuyuki Fujita via unanimous decision
Shinya Aoki def. Toshikatsu Harada via submission (triangle-armbar) – Round 1
Philip De Fries def. Brett Rogers via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1
Ramazan Esenbaev def. Satoru Kitaoka via KO – Round 2
Ikuhisa Minowa def. Atsushi Sawada via KO – Round 1