6/26 Tokyo Korakuen Hall 2,350 sellout
Sanae Kikuta made Matt Trihey submit to an udehishigigyakujujigatame at 1:11 of R1.
Kiuma Kunioku made Mathieu Nicourt submit to a chickenwing armlock at 3:35 of R2.
Daisuke Ishii defeated Jason Delucia via unanimous decision after 3 rounds.


3/31 Osaka Namihaya Dome 2,800
Paolo Filyo (sp?) won a 3-0 decision over Ikuhisa Minowa. Minowa actually did a piledriver in this match.
Yuki Kondo made Brian Gassaway submit to an ankle hold at 2:45 of round 1.
Kiuma Kunioku won a 2-0 decision over Daiju Takase.


2/4 Tokyo Korakuen Hall 2,350 sellout
Osami Shibuya TKO'd (ref stop) Ian Freeman at 3:51 of round 1.
Yuki Kondo TKO'd (doctor stop) Eiji Ishikawa at 4;16 of round 3. Kondo announced that he would be competing in PRIDE because he wants a match with Sakuraba. Pancrase & Kondo realize they aren't big enough at this point to get a big name from another organization to fight their guy there, so the only way they can prove how good their guys are is to send their best to the bigger name (since UFC actually isn't bigger at this point) shows and hope he wins. If Kondo can beat Sakuraba then his chances of fighting Rickson increase from none to very slim, as DSE might promote the match if Kondo could exceed Sakuraba as the top native. Of course, I think Kondo would have to do a lot more than just beating Sakuraba to establish his name enough that he'd get the big match of the year, not that beating Sakuraba is any small task.
In the opeing match fought under catch wrestling rules, Jason Delucia made Minoru Suzuki submit to a sankakujime at 2:49 of round 1.


Since his loss to Tito Ortiz on 12/16 where his mat defense was atrocious, Yuki Kondo is doing twice as much groundwork as he had been. His goals for this year are to avenge this loss and to defeat Rickson Gracie. He couldn't even draw 1,500 for the Ortiz match so there's no way anyone could profitably promote him against Rickson, the overhead is way to high to even consider it.


Pancrase changed their rules again. The fights will be more dangerous because kicking is now allowed from any position and heel holds were reinstated, Leggers, kneepads, and shoes, which like boxing gloves only offer protection for the person wearing thems, were also reinstated. The matches will now have three 5-minute rounds, with the added two guaranteeing more standup. These rules will make for more exciting fights, but even with dangerous strikes and submissions banned after the first year or so, they were notorious for burning their fighters out at such young ages. The two main reasons the league hasn't been as successful in recent years and has been surpassed by some of the other promotions is that the fights aren't as exciting and they lack star power because their fighters are washed up before what would/should be their drawing peak. They've probably remedied the former here, but that's not a bonus when the solution can only speed up the later.


Satoru Sayama announced that Seikendo would be exchanging talent with Pancrase. They will have some fighters on Pancrase's year end show in December, which should give them some more exposure. Pancrase fighters will appear on their shows, which should help them draw since the Pancrase guys have name value in comparison.


9/24 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan 4,500 sellout
Semmy Schilt made his second successful defense of the KING OF PANCRASE, defeating Osami Shibuya by TKO when the ref stopped the match at 8:55. The finish came when Schilt used a series of punches to the face to stop Shibuya's udehishigigyakujujigatame attempt.
KEI Yamamiya became the first lightheavyweight champion, defeating Ikuhisa Minoru by unanimous decision in the final after making Omaru Bouiche submit to a choke sleeper at 6:46 in the semifinal.
Nathan Marquardt becamse the first middleweight champion, defeating Shonie Carter by unanimous decision in the final and Kiuma Kunioku by unanimous decision in the semifinal.
Kengo (Watanabe) beat Joe Charles by unanimous decision.
Minoru Suzuki came back to his hometown for yet another loss, this time Dennis Kang made him submit at 3:43.


8/27 Osaka Umeda Sutera Hall 800 sellout
Daisuke Watanabe won the Neo Blood Tournament, defeating Yuji Hoshino when the ref stopped the bout due to punches at 13:22.
Yoshiki Takahashi won a unanimous 30-26 decision over Masutatsu Yano after 10:00.


Pancrase's top ranked fighter, Yuki Kondo, will challenge Tito Ortiz for the UFC Middleweight Title on 9/22. One has to question the timing of this match because this would be a pretty big match in Japan, but this show is somewhere in America where Kondo's name means absolutely nothing to anyone but the hardcore fans. I give the edge here to Ortiz because he's fought under UFC rules several times, while Kondo has never entered the octagon before. It also doesn't hurt that by the time he rehydrates, Ortiz will probably have about a 30 pound weight advantage. The rules they are fighting under definitely favor Ortiz because of his wrestling background, particularly his takedown ability. He's also more powerful and a better striker than Kondo, which is important because Kondo can't hope to win it on his feet and isn't likely to take Ortiz down very often, so if he's going to win it'll probably have to be a submission from his back (unlikely against a fighter of Ortiz' caliber) or after gaining dominant position off a reversal. It'll take a mistake or probably two for Kondo to win, but he'll capitilize on them if they are made, and he's not going to lose easily. I think a decision win for Ortiz is the most likely result. The fight is more important to Kondo in that if he loses that totally kills whatever small chance he has of getting to fight Rickson Gracie or Naoya Ogawa in the next year or so.


7/23 Tokyo Korakuen Hall 2,100 sellout & 2,300 sellout
Ikuhisa Minowa & Brian Gassaway advanced to the finals of the Lightkyu Ranking Tournament B Block. Minowa made Masaya Kojima submit to an ankle hold at 1:42 then beat Tony Ross in the semifinal with an udehishigigyakujujigatame at 1:32. Gassaway beat John Cristosomo, who he also beat at Super Brawl 12, in the semifinal by 30-29, 30-29, 30-28 unanimous decision.
Chris Lytle & Shonie Carter advanced to the semifinals of the Middlekyu (middleweight) Ranking Tournament. Lytle made Tara Obaba submit to a katagatame at 2:56, while Carter walked over Yoshinori Kawasaki for a unanimous 30-27 decision.
Massive Ichi & Daisuke Watanabe made it to the finals of the annual NEO BLOOD TOURNAMENT. Ichi beat Hattori Jimmy Matoki by 2-0 decision in the first round then made Yuji Hoshino submit to a choke sleeper at 3:45. Watanabe made Yohei Ota submit to an arm bar at 4:52 then beat Eiji Ishikawa by 3-0 decison.
In a match under Colloseum 2000 rules, Yuki Kondo made Dan Theodore submit to a hizajujigatame at 3:08. After the match Kondo issued challenges to both Naoya Ogawa & Rickson Gracie. While he could most likely take either of them if he doesn't burn out by the time they fight, Rickson won't fight him because Kondo isn't a big enough draw to warrant a promoter building a dome show around and Ogawa already has the fight (payday) he wants, so he has nothing to gain and everything to lose by having a Rickson challenger decision match with Kondo.
Bob Stines KO'd Ian Freeman with a punch at 2:38.


6/26 Tokyo Korakuen Hall 2,300 sellout
Kiuma Kunioku & America's Nathan Marquardt advanced to the semifinals of the Middlekyu (middleweight) Ranking Tournament. Kunioku made American Matt Lee submit to an udehishigigyakujujigatame at 4:15, while Marquardt KO'd Daiju Takase, who you may remember from his PRIDE.3 win over the "legendary" Emanuel Yarbrough, with a hizageri at 1:30.
KEI Yamamiya & Sweden's Omar Bouiche advanced to the finals of the Lightheavykyu Ranking Tournament A Block. Yamamiya beat Naohisa Kawamura from S.A.W. (Submission Arts Wrestling) in the first round then won a majority decision over Kosei Kubota 30-29, 30-29,30-30 after the 10 minute time limit expired. Bouiche upset Jason Delucia in the first round then TKO'd Daisuke Ishii when the ref stopped the bout at 4:15.


Masakatsu Funaki's will be doing some acting now that he's retired. It remains to be seen if he can actually act, but he has the look that makes you think he could be/could have been really successful as an action star. In order to try to draw for their two remaining major shows this year, Pancrase is supposed to unveil a "new-born Pancrase concept" on the September show and will have the retirement ceremony of Funaki on their year end show in December.


Masakatsu Funaki's successor Yuki Kondo would like to fight Rickson Gracie to try to regain the honor of the Yokohama dojo. Funaki is staying with Pancrase on as the trainer for the Yokohama dojo and as one of the match makers, and will also be an executive producer. His main goal now that he's retired seems to be to train Kondo to do what he couldn't do, beat Rickson, but it will be tough to get that match made because Kondo doesn't have the star power to warrant taking out a Dome and Rickson demands too much money for the match to be profitably promoted in a smaller arena.


4/30 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan 4,500 sellout
Semmy Schilt made his first successful defense of the KING OF PANCRASE, beating Yoshiki Takahashi via TKO when the referee stopped the match due to strikes.
Kiuma Kunioku went to a draw with Shonie Carter. After 10:00 regulation and 3:00 overtime, all three judges scored it 30-30.
In his first match since injuring himself at UFC XXIII on 11/14/99, Jason Delucia TKO'd Bob Stines in 32 seconds with a punch to the face.
In his first match since 12/18/99, the last time they were in his hometown of Yokohama, Minoru Suzuki actually got a win in 1:01 with a chickenwing armlock. Of course, it was over the world reknown Sean Daugherty, but at this point any match where Suzuki doesn't get hurt is a positive.
Hikaru Sato made his pro debut, beating Michael Sa Jin Kwok with an arm bar at 2:23.


The 4/30 show at Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan, which is traditionally one of their three biggest of the year, is headlined by Semmy Schilt defending the King Of Pancrase against Yoshiki Takahashi. That isn't a great main event from a drawing standpoint, but should be a good match to watch. Beyond that there isn't much of markee value with Masakatsu Funaki, Minoru Suzuki, and Yuki Kondo not on the show and Kuima Kunioku vs. Shonee Carter as the semifinal.


2/27 Osaka Stella Hall 800 sellout
Sanae Kikuta beat Ryushi Yanagisawa in a Ranking Match via unanimous 30-29 decision to capture the #6 ranking.
Kiuma Kunioku defeated Genki Sudo via 30-29, 30-29, 30-28 decision after 10:00 plus 3:00 overtime.


1/23 Tokyo Korakuen Hall 2,200 sellout
Daisuke Ishii scored the second quickest win in their history, the quickest by knockout, when he used a killer right on Matsutatsu Yano in just six seconds. The knockout was largely made possible by Pancrase's rule change to allow the competitors to where gloves, a change that began on this show. This change should make the fights more exciting because the fighters can hit harder with less risk of breaking their hands.
Yuki Kondo not surprisingly dominated Manabu Yamada in the main event, winning a lopsided 30-25, 30-25, 30-26 unanimous decision.
Osami Shibuya was supposed to have a no rule match with UFC veteran Chuck Liddell, but Liddell had to forfeit.

12/18: Suzuki Fails In Comeback Attempt

12/18 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan 5,500 sellout
Minoru Suzuki fought for the first time since blowing out his knee against Osami Shibuya on 12/19/98. Not surprisingly, he once again proved that he can't get the job done anymore, losing to Sanae Kikuta via TKO when the referee stopped the match at just 2:39 because Suzuki was trapped in Kikuta's katagatame (shoulder hold). Suzuki was the second best native in the league in the early years, and still runs their Yokohama dojo, but injuries burned him out at a young age and he should have retired in 1997. During the first three years of Pancrase when Suzuki was in his prime and ahead of the curve, Suzuki's record was 16-6-1, with the losses coming to Bas Rutten (twice), Masakatsu Funaki, Frank Shamrock, Manabu Yamada (a nearly 15 minute fight during the original King Of Pancrase tournament, with Yamada going on to lose to Wayne Shamrock in the final), and Maurice Smith (this was a kick rule match so Minoru had no chance as a submission fighter is not going to beat a kickboxing champion under rules that only allow strickes). From 1996 on, Suzuki is 7-14, and those losses are hardly confined to luminaries like Bas and Frank. The crowd was said to be papered by about 1,500, but Suzuki is still a pretty good draw in his hometown.
The semifinal saw Yoshiki Takahashi win a Pankration match, making John Cronk give up at 7:59 following headbutts from the mount. Cronk was replacing Chuck Lidell, who had the flu.
Pancrase's #2 ranked fighter Kiuma Kunioka also won a Pankration match by forcing Lane Andrews to submit to an udehishigigyakujujigatame at 14:44.
Masakatsu Funaki had a 3 minute exhibition match with Osami Shibuya (not one where he could get hurt). He announced that he won't be fighting in Pancrase before the Rickson fight and will start training hard in January. Aside from honing his skills, he will be doing special training in yoga. He feels it will allow him to better understand Rickson, and a mental edge could help him win that fight.
Ikuhisa Minowa went to a 15:00 draw with Chuck Lytle under Pankration rules.
The final Pankration match was Genki Sudo beating Nathan Marquardt with an udehishigigyakujujigatame at 13:31.
The first two matches were under Pancrase rules with 10:00 time limits. Hiroshi Ota won a unanimous decision (30-29 on all three cards) over Pancrase veteran Katsumi Inagaki and Kosei Kubota winning a unanimous decision (30-29, 30-28, 30-29) over UK's Leslie Allen.

11/28: Semmy Schilt Is The New King

11/28/99 Osaka Namihaya Dome 2,800 sellout:
Semmy Schilt won the King of Pancrase, defeating two-time champion Yuki Kondo with a choke sleeper in just 2:28. Schilt had lost a decision to Kondo in thier last meeting, a title match on the biggest Pancrase show of the year. Schilt is the 9th champion.

See also:
King of Pancrase Title History

Contact info
All inquiries and orders should be e-mailed to M.L.Liger@juno.com.