Sean McCully vs. Wataru Sakata 19:41. Pretty good bout. Sakata was the aggressor, but his technique wasn't good enough to get McCully into any trouble so McCully would wind up catching him in mistakes. One sided, but fairly interesting.
Grom Zaza vs. Masayuki Naruse 10:12. Good worked bout. Pretty even. Smooth matwork.
Mikhail Ilyukhin vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka 10:04. Very good bout. Exciting with near flurries and near finishes back and forth.
Maurice Smith vs. Akira Maeda 5:35. Poor bout.
MEGA BATTLE TOURNAMENT '96 3rd Place Match: Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Bitsadze Tariel 6:19. Yamamoto did a good job of putting Tariel's blows over, but there was only so much he could do because Tariel's strikes didn't look good at all. Dramatic match, but only ok because Tariel is horrible.
MEGA BATTLE TOURNAMENT '96 Final: Volk Han vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 12:36. Great bout. Both men were excellent, but Han was the better of the two and he carried Tamura on the mat. Exciting match with a super hot crowd. They went from submission to submission, but on one could lock one in during the first half. Han won the tournament, but picked Tamura up in admiration after the bout because it was so good.
WORLD MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT 1996 ikkaisen taped 10/25/96 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
Todor Todorov vs. Gokiteze Bakhouri. *
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Dick Vrij. *3/4
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin. ***1/2
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Willie Peeters. *1/2
Nikolai Zouev vs. Bitsadze Tariel. DUD
Volk Han vs. Masayuki Naruse. ***3/4
WORLD MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT 1996 quarterfinals taped 11/22/96 Osaka Jo Hall
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Mitsuya Nagai. *1/4
Volk Han vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka. ****
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Gokiteze Bakhouri. *1/4
Bitsadze Tariel vs. Hans Nyman. DUD
WORLD MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT 1996 junkessho (semifinals) taped 12/21/96 Fukuoka Kokusai Center
Volk Han vs. Bitsadze Tariel. **1/4
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto. ***1/4
WORLD MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT 1996 kesshosen (finals) taped 1/22/97 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
3rd Place Match: Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Bitsadze Tariel. *1/2
Kesshosen: Volk Han vs. Kiyoshi Tamura. ****1/2
Akira Maeda Non Tournament Matches
10/25/96 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan: Akira Maeda vs. Andrei Kopylov. *
11/22/96 Osaka Jo Hall: Akira Maeda vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara (PWFG). *1/4
12/21/96 Fukuoka Kokusai Center: Akira Maeda vs. Vladimir Klementiev. 1/2*
1/22/97 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: Akira Maeda vs. Maurice Smith. *1/4
*Replica package available*
Gilbert Yvel vs. Rob Von Leeuwen 4:06
Iouri Bekitchev vs. Peter Dijkman 2:25
Sergei Sousserov vs. Willie Peeters 4:51
Lee Hasdell vs. Hans Nyman 5:35
Masayuki Naruse vs. Valentijn Overeem 3:58
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Joop Kasteel 5:12
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Andre Mannaart 2:11
Toon Stelling vs. Bob Schreiber 6:01
Rob von Esdonk vs. Dennis Krauweel
Dick Vrij vs. Pedro Palm 1:00
Minoru Tanaka vs. Todor Todorov
Christopher Haseman vs. Willie Peeters
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Bitsadze Tariel
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Hans Nyman
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Akira Maeda
Sanae Kikuta vs. Kaichi Tsuji. Realistic enough to be somewhat credible, but it wasn't exciting and was rather one-sided. No tension or flare. *
Sean McCully vs. Lee Hasdell. McCully was giving up several inches. That made this a bad matchup for him because his shoots and charges are so verticle and high up on the opponent. It was rather easy for Hasdell to guillotine McCully, all he had to do was bring one of his free arms over the top.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Christopher Haseman. Least interesting match I've seen from Tamura in RINGS. Fairly believable, but not really compelling. Low impact match with nothing difficult attempted. Tamura took it easy. *1/2
Masayuki Naruse vs. Valentijn Overeem. This match really surprised me. Naruse looked so overmatched. Overeem's striking was very powerful, but what made him so deadly was his quickness. At one point he nailed Naruse with two nasty shotei's in rapid succession. Naruse's chance seemingly was to beat Overeem on the mat, but he didn't have confidence he could get the takedown. For the most part he let Overeem come to him so he'd have the chance to react to Overeem's attack. Long after I gave him no chance, he caught Overeem with an uraken out of nowhere for the shocking victory. Good stuff.
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto. I probably underrated these two a bit because it seemed to take Tamura or Han for them to do something memorable. This was one of RINGS finest though, a precursor to the classic Tamura vs. Kosaka 6/27/98. It was a technically excellent match with great movement on the mat and some fantastic counters. You might say they didn't do much early on, but there was never any lying around. It's just that they had plenty of time so they weren't rushing things. They had a lot of tricks up their sleeves, but they knew when to use them. They didn't go through many points because they were going for believability, but also because it's much more interesting to show counters for even the locked in submissions. I thought the match was really well structured. They used their energy well, knew when to do things to keep interest, and when to finally let loose. The crowd got into it more and more as the match went on. Unlike the afformentioned Tamura vs. Kosaka, it seemed like these two won everyone over, as the whole building was going nuts toward the end, especially for Yamamoto's heart and courage, and there was a long round of applause after the match. One hell of a grueling match to do at Korakuen during a time when almost every RINGS show was in an arena that held at least twice as many. Both men were cut, I believe accidentally, in their quest to make the strikes totally credible. ****1/2
Christopher Haseman vs. Alexander Otsuka
Dick Vrij vs. Tony Halme
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Joop Kasteel
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Masayuki Naruse 21:20
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka 13:57
Volk Han vs. Akira Maeda
Masayuki Naruse vs. Willie Peeters
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Valentijn Overeem
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Herman Renting
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Grom Zaza
Volk Han vs. Joop Kasteel
Akira Maeda vs. Bitsadze Tariel
Wataru Sakata vs. Youri Bekichev
Masayuki Naruse vs. Lee Hasdell
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Andre Mannart
Ricardo Morias vs. Iouri Kotchkine
Adilson Lima vs. Alexander Fedorov
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Maurice Smith
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Mikolai Zouev
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Grom Zaza
Minoru Tanaka vs. Christopher Haseman
Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Sakata
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Mitsuya Nagai
Akira Maeda vs. Hans Nyman
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Bitsadze Tariel
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Mihail Simov 6:38. Decent.
Tournament 21 3rd Place Match: Wataru Sakata vs. Minoru Tanaka 5:03. Pretty Good.
Tournament 21 Final: Masayuki Naruse vs. Christopher Hazeman 14:26. Naruse wins tournament in a good bout.
Ranking Bout: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Hans Nyman 9:14. Very good, all due to Tamura.
Ranking Bout: Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Volk Han 11:30. Great
Kochkin Youri vs. Malcol Nay. Bad.
Joop Kasteel vs. Peter Williams. Ok
Wataru Sakata vs. Valentijn Overeem. Short, but cool finish.
Frank Shamrock vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka. Arguably the best shoot match of 1997.
Akira Maeda vs. Andrei Kopylov. Pretty good.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Volk Han. Off the charts work. Best RINGS match up to this point in time. *****
Sanae Kikuta vs. Minoru Tanaka R2 3:08
Alexander Otsuka vs. Christopher Haseman 18:10
Wataru Sakata vs. Dominque Deligny 4:02
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Elvis Sinosic 10:11
Willie Peeters vs. Masayuki Naruse 16:44
WORLD MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT ikkaisen (1st round)
Joop Kasteel vs. Lee Hasdell. 1/2*
Masayuki Naruse vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin. ***
Mitsuya Nagai vs. Christopher Hazeman. **
Bitsadze Tariel vs. Dick Vrij. DUD
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Boris Jeliaskov. **
Nikolai Zouev vs. Akira Maeda. **
Volk Han vs. Andrei Kopylov. ***
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Hans Nyman. **1/2
*Replica package available*
Gilbert Yvel vs. Lev Barkala 10:47. Good
Masayuki Naruse vs. Mohammad Yone 5:35. Bad
Mega-Battle Quarterfinal: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 14:16. Good
Mega-Battle Quarterfinal: Akira Maeda vs. Mitsuya Nagai 17:00. Average
Mega-Battle Quarterfinal: Volk Han vs. Dick Vrij 7:15. Best match on the show due to Han
Mega-Battle Quarterfinal: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Joop Kasteel 6:30. Even Tamura can't carry Joop. Bad
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Christopher Hazeman 11:12. Good.
Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Sakata 12:10. Very dull chess match.
Special Match Vale Tudo Rules: Sean Alvarez vs. Willie Peeters 9:40. One sided.
Special Match Vale Tudo Rules: Ricardo Morias vs. Grom Zaza 20:00. Very even. Very exciting. Some great reversals by Zaza
MEGA-BATTLE Semifinal: Volk Han vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 9:36. Great up to the ref stops it due to Han's knee injury.
MEGA-BATTLE Semifinal: Akira Maeda vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 6:30. Tamura's first win over Maeda. Good.
Herman Renting vs. Wataru Sakata 3:24. Ok
Dominique Deligny vs. Masayuki Naruse 19:24. Decent
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Sione Latu 1:58. Good.
Hans Nyman vs. Bitsadze Tariel 6:31. This sucked, obviously.
MEGA-BATTLE 3rd Place Match: Volk Han vs. Akira Maeda 4:24. Good.
MEGA-BATTLE Final, RINGS Openweight Title Decision Match: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 18:12. ****1/4
Christopher Haseman vs. Valentijn Overeem 2R
Sandor MacKillian vs. Pedro Palm R1 2:13
Sandor Tonhauser vs. Kees Bessems R1 0:58
Johan Boolean vs. Dave Von De Ven R1 1:54
Wataru Sakata vs. Willie Peeters 2R
Bitsadze Ameran vs. Joop Kasteel R1 2:15
Gilbert Yvel vs. Bob Schreiber R2 1:12
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Rob Van Esdonk R2 0:57
Paul Varelans vs. Dick Vrij R2 0:30
Akihiro Gono vs. Tatsuya Kurahashi 7:07
Christopher Hazeman vs. Minoru Tanaka 12:01
Alexander Otsuka vs. Wataru Sakata 30:00
Masayuki Naruse vs. Troy Ittensohn 8:22
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Sergei Sousserov 9:27
Kenichi Yamamoto vs. Valentijn Overeem 6:36. Very Good.
Vale Tudo Match: Bob Gilstrap vs. Grom Zaza 30:00. Very bad and boring.
Sander Thonhauser vs. Masayuki Naruse 10:37. More interesting than good.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 14:03. Very good.
Ranking Match: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Nikolai Zouev 10:20. Decent.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Dick Vrij 7:46. Very good.
*Reviewed in Quebrada #42
Sander Thonhauser vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara 6:26. Decent.
Gokiteze Bakhouri vs. Wataru Sakata 8:44. Good.
Ranking Match: Andrei Kopylov vs. Masayuki Naruse 7:19. Pretty good.
Ranking Match: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Joop Kasteel 7:49. Decent.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Valentijn Overeem 3:56. One sided, but very exciting.
Volk Han vs. Akira Maeda 5:43. Maeda's last match in Osaka. Good match due to Han.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Lee Hasdell 30:00
Christopher Hazeman vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 12:39
Joop Kasteel vs. Grom Zaza 5:54
Masayuki Naruse vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 13:52. Very good
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Volk Han 10:10. Read Review. ****1/4
RINGS Openweight Title Match: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Bitsadze Tariel 3:39. Tariel wins title(:.
Kevin Thompson vs. Shiro Temma
Colin Turnbull vs. Maynard Marcum
Barnie Cook vs. Steve Farnell
Pat Couran vs. Sean Price
Leigh Brein vs. Sam Koch
Ryan Henry vs. Dominique Deligny
Christopher Haseman vs. Kenichi Yamamoto
Daniel Bond vs. Dean Lawler
Akihiro Gono (Free) vs. Tomoki Kanuka (Grappling Universal) R1 2:27. This was almost all standup, and Gono was totally dominant.
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Minoru Toyonaga (Takada Dojo) 15:00. Excellent match. These two were very inexperienced, in fact Namekawa made his debut here, so their technique wasn't great. However, it was almost more exciting because of that because there were so many times when someone had a chance to win but wound up getting countered or reversed. Both were hungry and fought really hard for a really long time without really gassing. There was a lot of pride on the line because even though these were undercarders, it was still Maeda's league against Takada's league. Namekawa was more dominant here, but Toyonaga may have been more impressive just for the heart and determination he showed. His nose was busted open a minute into the match, and I mean busted open. We're talking bloody streaming for the rest of the match, it was sick, but he never considered quitting and really wasn't even distracted by it. For technical merit this wasn't one of the top shoots of the year, but for pure entertainment, it's one of the best.
Wataru Sakata vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara (Free) R2 0:56. Kanehara is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world. The sequences and counters in this match were excellent. It wasn't really believable because of the moves they did, but the setup was excellent and their work looked seemless. It was a little on the short side, and the second round was kind of goofy with Kanehara forgetting it was illegal to kick when the opponent is on his knees, then laughing because he had stopped himself the first time then decided it was okay, only to have the ref get all over him and give him a red card. Then Sakata did a choice kick that was like a cross between a wheel kick and an abise-giri, but Kanehara didn't sell it at all. Still, if the match wasn't so short it might have been the best match on the show. ***1/4
Masayuki Naruse vs. Daniel Higgins (RINGS Australia) 10:46. Slow boring match where Higgins really didn't show anything. *
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Kenichi Yamamoto (Free) 9:15. Excellent performance by Kosaka, carrying Yamamoto to his first really good match in RINGS (and it's not like he had many anywhere else). Yamamoto had a lot of offense early so the fans would believe he could win, then they mainly exchanged big spots. Kosaka's offense was near submissions while Yamamoto rocked Kosaka with strikes. It was Han-ish in the way they plowed through the spots, but that made it really exciting. They really did a great job of going in and out of the standup portions, the match flowed so well and everything was done so smoothly. ***3/4
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Troy Ittensohn R2 1:43. Shoot. Namekawa, in his second pro fight, looked really good here especially considering his experience level. He controlled if not dominated all aspects. He especially exploiting his quickness advantage in standup, both by beating Ittensohn to the punch and by taking him down. Ittensohn bloodied Namekawa's nose in the 1st round, with Namekawa returning the favor in the 2nd. Pretty good.
Wataru Sakata vs. Willie Peeters R1 1:45. Another shoot. Great pre match, but other than the controversial finish it was pretty uneventful once it started. The story was Sakata was still furious about the ref on the February Holland show pulling a Tirantes and ruling his facelock submission was illegal while at the same time letting Peeters get away with things that really were illegal. Sakata refused to so much as look at Peeters until the match started. The irony is Sakata made short work of Peeters this time, beating him with an Achilles' tendon hold that Peeters wrongly claimed was an illegal heel hold.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Sander MacKiljan R1 3:25. MacKiljan had a 10 inch height advantage and knew how to use it to some extent. After a few minutes Kanehara was able to start getting takedowns, and he had a huge advantage on the mat. Okay shoot.
Hans Nyman vs. Vladmir Klementeiv 4:44. Surprisingly, this work was somewhat entertaining. All standup. Highlight was Klementiev trying an axe kick, but Nyman charging forward and tackling him like he was roughing the kicker. Klementiev tried to get back to his feet, but Nyman had his leg so he tried an enzuigiri. Nyman caught his other leg though and actually made him submit soon after this. Some really stiff blows.
Masayuki Naruse vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 11:07. This match would have come off better on a different show. After seeing three shoots, it was hard to adjust to a match that was so obviously a work. Although it had too many holes, like Naruse letting Yamamoto take the dominant position without putting up a fight, it was a good match and clearly the best so far. Lacked intensity, but very explosive at times. The crowd was really into it. ***
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka 30:00. One for the ages. Probably the best match of 1998 and best worked shoot ever. Incredible. Read Review. *****
Gilbert Yvel vs. Orjol Bekov R1 2:28. Pretty good shoot. Yvel was able to get away with nothing but striking because Bekov couldn't take him down and had no answer or defense for his knees. Short, but any match where Yvel can stay on his feet is fun because he comes flying in from all different angles.
Christopher Hazeman vs. Borislav Jeliaskov 8:30. Another shoot that was all standup. Jeliaskov is a wrestler, so that meant he didn't have much chance. His defense seemed more awkward than good, but in any case Haseman had a hard time getting really good shots in. Jeliaskov didn't do much offensively. It wasn't boring, but it wasn't good either.
Joop Kasteel vs. Paul Varelans 7:27. Boring all stand up shoot. Varelans was all out of shape and is still terrible on his feet. Joop, of course, didn't look good, but wasn't an embarrassment like Varelans. The most awkward moment actually came during a delay, with Yvel rubbing Kasteel's groin because Varelans had hit him low.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Dick Vrij 4:22. The first of five worked matches. Pretty realistic. Not great, but had it's moments. I was pleasantly surprised that Kanehara was put over as much as he was. Vrij "wasn't able to" catch him with many strikes. Kanehara did a good job of getting the crowd into it. **
Volk Han vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 8:24. All action match where points were vanishing in a hurry. Exciting and somewhat dramatic, but it seemed a little forced and never really came together. The match boasted some great transitions and one awesome sequences of near submissions though. **3/4
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Wataru Sakata 9:48. Solid match. Very realistic with nice movement on the mat. They had a lot of patiences and built the match well. The striking was better than you might expect. ***
RINGS Openweight Title Match: Bitsadze Tariel vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka 7:43. Kosaka did everything he could to make it exciting and dramatic. Unforunately, Tariel offers less than nothing. His offense is so lame looking, and there's nothing worse in a supposed shoot than guys who strike all the time but never do it decently. Kosaka at least made Tariel work. He sold some of Tariel's shots, but he wasn't going to embarrass himself too much. This was one of the results that irks me the most because it was so obvious that Tariel was out of his depth and Kosaka would have whipped him had it been real. Beyond that though, the timing could never have been better to make a move because you had 17,000 fans looking for a new native to support, yet RINGS gave Tamura a nothing match (solid opponent that has no credibility), Kosaka a loss to the most useless foreigner, and Yamamoto a loss to a retiring wrestler (granted it's THE MAN in RINGS, but without a new man how do you get people into the arena?). Kosaka may not have been ready to be the man, but at least he had credibility from a series of shoots against top opponents, and what does it matter if you wait until the crowds are gone? This was one last night to believe, and then? *3/4
Akira Maeda RINGS Last Match: Akira Maeda vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Maeda got an incredible reaction coming out. I mean, he (mainly his escorts) had to fight his way to the ring because everyone was leaning over the guard rail trying to touch him. Unfortunately, once the match started it was easy to see why Maeda was retiring. He had nothing left. The years of not keeping himself in shape had caught up to him. He tried to go 20 minutes, but since he has no tank the matwork was just him laying on top of Yamamoto to rest. Yamamoto throught some good hard kicks since Maeda was a fairly stationary target. Standup was fine, but as a whole the match was kind of boring and not very dynamic. The fans weren't into it, which should be surprising but they didn't give them anything to cheer about. There was nothing technically wrong with the match, it just wasn't very interesting. Yamamoto clearly won because he had the stamina to look impressive on offense while Maeda can't kick anymore and just laid around, but they gave the decision to Maeda (it was a work and that was the decided result). This was such a bad decision that the fans booed their hero winning and Maeda immediately tried to wave it off because like everyone else he realized him going over couldn't be justified given the 20 minutes we just saw. *1/2
5/11/91 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena: Akira Maeda vs. Dick Vrij
8/1/91 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Dick Vrij
9/14/91 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center: vs. Willy Wilhelm
12/7/91 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Volk Han
1/25/92 Tokyo Bay NK Hall: vs. Dick Vrij
3/5/92 Amagasaki Shi Kinen Koen Taiikukan: vs. Busariashibin Ramaji
4/3/92 Hiroshima Sun Plaza: vs. Volk Han
5/16/92 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Hank Newman
6/25/92 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center: vs. Hans Nyman
7/16/92 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Willy Williams
8/21/92 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena
10/29/92 Nagoya Rainbow Hall: vs. Volk Han
11/13/92 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukan: Akira Maeda vs. Demita Petokov (sp?)
12/19/92 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Chris Dolman
1/25/93 Tokyo Bay NK Hall: vs. Herman Renting
10/23/93 Fukuoka Kokusai Center: vs. Sotir Kochiev
11/18/93 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan: vs. Herman Renting
12/8/93 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Chris Dolman
12/25/93 Niigata Shi Taiikukan: vs. Mitsuya Nagai
1/21/94 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: vs. Bitsadze Tariel
3/19/94 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena: vs. Andrei Kopilov
4/23/94 Hiroshima Sun Plaza: vs. Peter Ura
5/17/94 Sendai Shi Taiikukan: vs. Willy Williams
6/18/94 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Volk Han
7/14/94 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Dick Vrij
8/20/94 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan: vs. Tsubataze Zaor (sp?)
9/21/94 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Dick Vrij
11/19/94 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Tony Halme
12/16/94 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan: vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto
12/24/94 Niigata Shi Taiikukan: vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto
1/25/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: Akira Maeda vs. Volk Han
2/19/95 Amsterdam Holland: vs. Chris Dolman
3/18/95 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Dick Vrij
4/28/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Bitsadze Tariel
5/20/95 Kagoshima Arena: vs. Nikolai Zouev
6/17/95 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum: vs. Vladimir Klementiev
7/18/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Haharishivilli David (sp?)
8/27/95 Tokyo Bay NK Hall: vs. Andrei Kopilov
9/22/95 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center: vs. Volk Han
10/21/95 Fukuoka Kokusai Center: vs. Dick Vrij
11/16/95 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan: vs. Bitsadze Tariel
12/19/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Hans Nyman
1/24/96 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto
10/25/96 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan: vs. Andrei Kopilov
11/22/96 Osaka Jo Hall: vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
12/21/96 Fukuoka Kokusai Center: vs. Vladimir Klementiev
1/22/97 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: vs. Maurice Smith
3/28/97 Tokyo Bay NK Hall: vs. Kiyoshi Tamura
4/22/97 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Volk Han
5/23/97 Sendai Miyagi Sports Center: vs. Bitsadze Tariel
7/22/97 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Hans Nyman
8/13/97 Kagoshima Arena: vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka
9/26/97 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center: vs. Andrei Kopilov
10/25/97 Tokyo Bay NK Hall: vs. Nikolai Zouev
11/20/97 Osaka Shi Cho Taiikukan: vs. Mitsuya Nagai
12/23/97 Fukuoka Kokusai Center: vs. Kiyoshi Tamura
1/22/98 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: vs. Volk Han
4/16/98 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: vs. Volk Han
4/25/98 Russia: vs. Nikolai Zouev
7/20/98 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena: vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto
Daniel Higgins vs. Yasuhito Namekawa 14:28
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Grom Zaza 10:17
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Nikolai Zouev 13:30
Kenichi Yamamoto vs. Wataru Sakata 20:00
Volk Han vs. Bitsadze Tariel 4:06
Ranking Match: Kiyoshi Tamura (#1) vs. Masayuki Naruse (#8) 24:33
Dustin Matterson vs. Steven Farnell
Dave Kristich vs. Craig Booth
Nathan Woodington vs. Kevin Thompson
Tim Thomas vs. Sam Koch
Troy Ittensohn vs. Maynard Markham
Tyrone Crosse vs. Daniel Higgins
Brad Aird vs. Barry Cook
Al Reynish vs. Elvis Sinosic
Christopher Haseman vs. Wataru Sakata
Ryuki Ueyama vs. Yasuhito Namekawa 15:00
Lee Hasdell vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 10:56
Wataru Sakata vs. Christopher Hazeman 12:21
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Willie Peeters 6:57
Ranking Match: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 12:00
Ranking Match: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto 18:52
Masayuki Naruse vs. Yasuhito Namekawa 4:50
Team Netherlands (Hans Nyman, Dick Vrij, & Joop Kasteel) vs. Russia "A" Team (Volk Han, Mikhail Ilyukhin, & Sergei Sousserov)
a) Hans Nyman vs. Sergei Sousserov 2:59
b) Hans Nyman vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin 2:54
c) Mikhail Ilyukhin vs. Dick Vrij 2:50
d) Dick Vrij vs. Volk Han 2:01
e) Volk Han vs. Joop Kasteel 2:21
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Vladimir Klementiev 7:51
Japan "A" Team (Yoshihisa Yamamoto, Hiromitsu Kanehara, & Wataru Sakata) vs. Team Bulgaria (Dimitri Petkov, Todor Todorov, & Boris Jeliazkov)
a) Wataru Sakata vs. Todor Todorov 5:14
b) Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Boris Jeliazkov 6:01
c) Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Dimitri Petkov 3:32
d) Dimitri Petrov vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara 4:55
Yasuhito Namekawa drew Lee Hasdell 20:00
Team Georgia (Bitsadze Tariel, Grom Zaza, & Bitsadze Ameran) vs. Team Australia (Christopher Haseman, Daniel Higgins, & Troy Ittensohn)
a) Bitsadze Tariel vs. Daniel Higgins 0:22
b) Tariel vs. Troy Ittensohn 0:42
c) Tariel vs. Christopher Haseman Tariel 1:57
d) Haseman vs. Bitsadze Ameran vs. Haseman 1:32
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Dave van der Veen 7:24
Russia "B" Team (Nikolai Zouev, Andrei Kopilov, & Vladimir Klementiev) vs. Japan "B" Team (Kiyoshi Tamura, Tsuyoshi Kosaka, & Masayuki Naruse)
a) Masayuki Naruse vs. Vladimir Klementiev 2:16
b) Naruse vs. Andre Kopilov 2:32
c) Kopilov vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 1:35
d) Tamura vs. Nikolai Zouev 3:17
e) Zouev vs. Kosaka 10:00
Team Netherlands (Hans Nyman, Dick Vrij, & Joop Kasteel) vs. Japan "A" Team (Yoshihisa Yamamoto, Hiromitsu Kanehara, & Wataru Sakata)
a) Wataru Sakata vs. Dick Vrij 12:29
b) Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Hans Nyman 9:04
c) Masayuki Naruse vs. Joop Kasteel 8:33
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 11:26.
Team Georgia (Bitsadze Tariel, Grom Zaza, & Bitsadze Ameran) vs. Russia "B" Team (Nikolai Zouev, Andrei Kopilov, & Vladimir Klementiev)
a) Nikolai Zouev vs. Bitsadze Ameran 4:01.
b) Zouev vs. Grom Zaza 2:28
c) Zaza vs. Andrei Kopilov 4:12
d) Kopilov vs. Tariel 2:18
e) Tariel vs. Klementiev 5:17
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Lee Hasdell 20:00. Shoot. Namekawa could keep the kickboxer down where he couldn't do anything. Namekawa came close to getting arm bars a few times. Namekawa tired first, which gave Hasdell the opportunity to get his striking going for more than brief segments. The match became good, with Hasdell flurrying a few times and bloodying Namekawa's nose.Fans got into it because it was close and the effort was there even though the technique wasn't. Namekawa had to be helped out of the ring after the fight. Pretty good.
Willie Peeters vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 13:45. Also a shoot. Peeters had a 30 point weight advantage, but Yamamoto is better defensively and has improved his striking. Mainly a standup fight. Yamamoto looked good when they were at a distance, but Peeters dominated the inside. It was the same type of thing over and over, but it was competitive. Kind of a weird match with Peeters taking rope escapes before he was really in trouble, the hardest strike of the match probably being a low blow, and Yamamoto seeming somewhat lost and out of it as the fight progressed like he was suffering the effects of damage sustained in previous fights.
Wataru Sakata vs. Dave Von De Veen 2:41. Karelin came out before this fight to watch the rest of the card, which was weird because every match from this point was a work. A brief dull match with a spectacular finish.
Highlights of the previous MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT matches
Ranking Match: Volk Han (#4) vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara (#9) 13:32. I can see where people would be disappointed by this match because it's not what we'd expect from Han. Judging on the match itself though it was very good. The RINGS style was becoming more and more realistic at this time, and this was the one time where Han went with the flow. It's obviously not his favorite thing, but he showed he could do it really well if he wanted to. The match was very technical with impressive manuevering on the mat and a good deal of patience shown. If anything, the downside was I kept waiting for it to pick up, but the finish was true to the rest of the match. I wouldn't want to see one point each lost during the first 11 minutes in every Han match, but this match and his shoots are more proof that he's one of the all-time greats. Neither are his thing, but not many performers in their late 30's or beyond prove they can be formidable at other styles. Of course, Kanehara was quite good and he's a great guy to do something different with because he pretty much does everything well. ***1/2
Ranking Match: Kiyoshi Tamura (#1) vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka (#2) 9:42. I would have been happy with this match had it not come after the unbelievable 6/27/98 match. It was the same realistic style, but it wasn't nearly as amazing and beautiful. Much of the problem was the length was cut to 1/3. One of the main things that made the last match so impressive was how long they were able to keep things even, interesting, and exciting doing such a realistic work. Technically this was still at an extremely high level, but with all the action in the last two minutes and the quick exit, it just felt incomplete.***1/2
WORLD MEGA-BATTLE TOURNAMENT 1998 FINAL: Team Holland - Dick Vrij
& Joop Kasteel & Hans Nyman vs. Team Georgia - Bitsadze Tariel &
Grom Zaza & Bitsadze Ameran
a) Dick Vrij vs. Grom Zaza 1:22
b) Zaza vs. Joop Kasteel 3:32.
c) Kasteel vs. Bitsadze Ameran 2:46.
d) Kasteel vs. Bitsadze Tariel 1:30.
e) Tariel vs. Hans Nyman 2:50.
It was adequate until Tarial got involved. Unfortunately, his two disgraceful segments were the final two. Kasteel & Tariel were put over big, so it was hard to like anything about this match. Kasteel actually wasn't all that bad and inept considering. He made one good move on the mat, but his hadakajime was only good if he was trying to recharge something that's solar powered. His segment with Ameran was exciting, but it got truly disgraceful when the "deadly striker" Tariel got involved and everyone was flopping for his slow blows that usually grazed at best.
Ryuki Ueyama vs. Yasuhito Namekawa 20:00. Very even shoot.
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Andrei Kopylov 6:55. Solid work with submissions back and forth. **1/4
Ranking Match: Volk Han (#4) vs. Nikolai Zouev (#10) R1 4:49. Good short worked match. **1/2
Special Match: Wataru Sakata vs. Sean Alvares 20:00. This was awful. Sakata was badly outsized, and Alvares just lied on top of him all night.
Special Match: Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Ricardo Morias 20:00. Basically the same as the previous match. Kanehara had a few brief opportunities, but Morias had a huge reach advantage and was too big for Kanehara to take down.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Valentijn Overeem 6:08. One of the stiffest works you'll find, with Tamura being momentarily KO'd from a vicious shoda and having one of his front teeth knocked out from either a high kick or a knee lift (one was right after the other so I couldn't be certain which it was). ***1/4
Akira Maeda Intai Jiai The Final: Akira Maeda vs. Alexander Karelin 2R. This wasn't a shoot, but it was believable enough for people to think it was. It was basic since Karelin was making his pro debut on the grandest stage, but it was what it had to be. Maeda didn't win, but the match made it seem like he was actually the real deal so the fans went home happy. **
Christopher Haseman vs Yasuhito Namekawa 7:42
Wataru Sakata vs Borislav Jeliazkov 8:28
Dave "Popeye" Van De Veen vs Masayuki Naruse 7:36
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs Valentin Overeem 2:40
Randy Couture vs Mikhail Ilyukhin 7:43
Kiyoshi Tamura vs Hiromitsu Kanehara 20:14
Lee Hasdell vs. Ryuki Ueyama 4:18. Shoot.
Grom Zaza vs. Sander Thonhauser 4:02. Zaza would take Thonhauser down at will and Thonhauser would just grab the ropes to get back to his feet.
Christopher Haseman vs. Masayuki Naruse 13:18. Worked to look like it was totally legit. It wasn't dull though because they kept things moving and used up some of their points. The standup was good, but the mat had too much of one guy lying on top of the other "looking for an opening."
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Joop Kasteel 7:32. Good story with Yamamoto being way down, but coming back. This had the stiffness, but not much else because Joop isn't capable of doing any work beyond the basics.
Gilbert Yvel vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka 19:58. One of the better striker vs. grappler shoots you'll ever see. Kosaka was supposedly winning the match since he actually made Yvel go through 5 points in 2 1/2 minutes, but he wasn't doing much damage or coming close to winning, while Yvel was rocking Kosaka with wickedly powerful strikes. Kosaka could take Yvel down, but he couldn't keep Yvel down, and Yvel would tag him everytime they were on their feet. Excellent.
Special Match: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Frank Shamrock 20:00. In almost all cases, you wouldn't expect the best technical wrestler against the best technical shooter to be much of a shoot because the wrestler is usually wrestling for a reason and working screws up his instincts since his job is to leave openings and go with moves. However, not only were these two even for 20 minutes, but they put on a technical clinic in the process, and that's the best case you can make for Tamura as the best wrestler of his generation. There was so much movement, but the defense was so good that all the attempts were failing. Action on the mat is what you want as a fan, so quick movement even if the opponent reacts makes for the best viewing because that's what the opponent is supposed to do. There were definitely some close calls on the mat, but both men react so quickly that the threat is over by the team we recognize it even exists. If you judge matches based on the moves that are pulled off than this wouldn't rate highly, but this was a great match that had more action than pretty much any 20 minute sprint, it's just that it was a different type of nonstop action.
Yasuhito Namekawa vs Sara Umer
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs Valentijn Overeem
Volk Han vs Masayuki Naruse
Joop Kasteel vs Mikhail Ilyukhin
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto
Kiyoshi Tamura vs Bitsadze Tariel
World Combat Fight #31 Mix-Fight Tournament taped 4/12/98 Amsterdam, Holland Sporthal Zuid
Super Prestige Fight: John Mannion vs. Holiari el Nekka
Ronny Rivano vs. Vincent Vielvoye
Mix Fight Tournament 1st Round
Gilbert Yvel vs. Algirdas Darulis
Bob Schrijber vs. Glen Brown
Super Prestige Fight: Rodney Glunder vs. Tomas Valatkevicius
Mix Fight Tournament Final: Gilbert Yvel vs. Bob Schrijber
WCF #71 RINGS Holland The Kings of the Magic Ring 6/20/99 Utrecht City, NED Vechtsebanen Sport Hall
Richard Plug vs. Rick Rootlieb R2 2:22
Arie Maigret vs. Marcus Hapi R2 0:54
Big Mo T vs. Sander MacKilljan R1 1:39
Ricardo Fyeet vs. Jerrel Venetiaan R1 1:08
Gilbert Yvel vs. Semmy Schilt R2 4:45
Ryuki Ueyama vs. Willie Peeters 18:05
Yasuhito Namekawa v. Minoru Toyonaga 9:51
Wataru Sakata vs. Boris Jeliaskov 6:49
Ranking Match: Hiromitsu Kanemara vs. Masayuki Naruse 30:00
Ranking Match: Grom Zaza vs. Volk Han 30:00
Ranking Match: Joop Kasteel vs. Bitsadze Tariel 6:01
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Yoshihisa 20:00Yamamoto
Ryuki Ueyama vs Yasuhito Namekawa
Willie Peeters vs Chrisopher Haseman
Ricardo Fyeet vs Lee Hasdell
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs Wataru Sataka
Gilbert Yvel vs Tsuyoshi Kosaka
Kiyoshi Tamura vs Joop Kasteel
Highlights from 9/15 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Wold Mega Battle Open Tournament Round 1
Lee Hasdell vs. Labazanov Arhmed. Arhmed was about the most predictable fighter I've seen. He went firght for the takedown then tried to go into the akiresukengatame every time. Hasdell wasn't afraid to strike when Arhmed was shooting in, which was all the time since he was so predictable. These did more damage because of the momentum of Arhmed coming forward, and even if he missed Hasdell could still fall down on top and get right back up. Hasdell didn't win because of his skill; he won because Arhmed totally gassed. Also, Arhmed was demoralized when his 2 techniques failed him. Arhmed started looking like Coleman of a few years ago minus the muscles, just leaning over with his hands on his knees.
Renato Babalu vs. Grom Zaza. Zaza went for takedowns, but Babalu did a good job of defending them so Zaza didn't get great position when he was successful. Babalu bloodied Zaza's lip with a punch. The finish was rather brilliant on Babalu's part or rather sad on Zaza's part depending on your perspective.
Kotchkine Iouri vs. Alister Overeem. Easily the best fight so far. Overeem was overmatched in standup and couldn't get Iouri down because he was always on the defensive. First round was mainly standup with both men being active and aggressive. Iouri took Overeem down with something of a belly to belly, but Overeem managed to sneak behind and almost got the hooks in. Fight was so even. Iouri won the 1st round with his
Antonio Noguiera vs. Valentijn Overeem. Overeem wasn't impressive here, and this wasn't a notable fight as far as quality went.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Jeremy Horn. Kanehara was really impressive here, especially since Horn is no slouch. He can really manuever on the mat. Still, Horn was able to avoid Kanehara's submissions, which included a few notable kneebar attempts.
Dan Henderson vs. Gokiteze Bakhouri. Henderson was giving up a lot of weight, but sometimes there's still enough of a technical difference for the small man to win.
Mikhail Ilyukhin vs. Justin McCully. McCully is no match.
Brad Kohler vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Kohler went full force from the get go. He didn't pace himself or worry about making a mistake, but Yamamoto was caught off guard by this and couldn't handle Kohler's power. Good while it lasted.
Renato Babalu vs. Lee Hasdell. Hasdell obviously wanted to keep it in standup, but for the most part Babalu was able to take him down quickly. Babalu didn't do much damage, but he was usually in control. It wasn't boring because there was a lot of movement, but it wasn't exciting because it never lead to good shots or near submissions.
Antonio Nogueira vs. Iouri Korchikin
Dan Henderson vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara. Excellent and intense standup fighting. Kanehara's nose was busted open from Henderson's punches. Both men were blown up by the middle of round 2 because they went at it so hard in round 1, not to mention having fought earlier in the night. Still, there was great action throughout. Even though he was also tired, Henderson really took over toward the end because he could take Kanehara down and control him. That was the difference, that Kanehara doesn't have the takedown to fall back on like Henderson does. Still, two out of three judges ruled it a draw. Easily the best fight of the show.
Mikhail Ilyukhin vs. Brad Kohler. Kohler was acting pretty goofy, trying to psyche Mikhail out. Mikhail was not impressed. Not a good match, but after his intimidation tactics it was fun seeing Kohler lose without doing anything positive.
Andrei Kopylov vs. Castello Branco. One of the quickest submission wins I've ever seen. Branco didn't know what hit him.
Ricardo Fyeet vs. Tyrone Roberts. Roberts controlled most of the fight, but Fyeet's strikes are so powerful. Roberts was able to survive one of Fyeet's high kicks, only one.
Maurice Smith vs. Brandon Lee Hinkle. Smith let Hinkle dictate the match. Kind of a weird fight because Hinkle was often in control, but he did no damage. Smith didn't do any damage either, but he had the reversals, escapes, and near submissions. The highlight was Smith's reversal of Hinkle's arm lock.
Renzo Gracie vs. Wataru Sakata
Gilbert Yvel vs. Bitzsadze Tariel. Really funny to watch. Tariel is completely lost and helpless once he's on his back. Yvel could have hit him all night, but he was wise to take the submission.
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Christopher Haseman. Aside from manuevering out of an udehishigigyakujujigatame, Kosaka wasn't very impressive here. Near the end he got the mount and tried to explode into an udehishigigyakujujigatame, but he couldn't get the arm. I have no problem with this going overtime (under these silly rules it only happens if all three judges rule it a draw), but some of the others should have as well. Kosaka finally got it going in OT, so one judge then gave the bout to Haseman.
Boris Jeliaskov vs. Tim Lajcik. Lajcik talked about how he accepts these rules in his pre match interview only to get a yellow card a little over a minute in for a punch to the face to stop a leg lock. Lajcik throws some hard punches, but needs more practice defending submissions.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Dave Menne. Menne could take Tamura down. Tamura landed two hard lefts in this fight, but he doesn't really have KO power. The first time he was nearly able to go into a hadakajime though.
Andrei Kopylov vs. Ricardo Fyeet. This was 1/2 the length of Kopylov's earlier match! Fyeet charged at the bell...right into Kopylov's left hand. Kopylov them made his stunned opponent submit.
Renzo Gracie vs. Maurice Smith. This was not exactly the high point of Mo's career. He let little Renzo take him down and get side mount. Renzo just worked the position until he got the submission, which wasn't long. Smith didn't do much after Renzo took him down, just one move that worsened his position.
Gilbert Yvel vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka. Kosaka was desperate for a takedown because he'd felt the wrath of Yvel's feet and knees before. He was able to take Yvel down, but not before Yvel hit him several times. Kosaka got a huge cut on his head, perhaps from Yvel's fingernail because the punch only graved Kosaka but left him with a nasty cut above his eyebrow that cost him the match.
Kiyoshi Tamura v. Boris Jeliaskov. Tamura outmanuevered Jeliaskov. Pretty good, but hardly up to the standard of Tamura's works.
Tournament Junjunkessho (quarterfinal)
Mikhail Illoukhine vs. Renato Babalu. Babalu actually threw Mikhail over the top rope, which drew a yellow card. Mikhail didn't seem to know what he could do with Babalu since his takedowns weren't working and Babalu was clearly the better standup fighter. Mikhail did the best when he threw low kicks and let Babalu come to him, but we didn't see this often enough. Babalu's size advantage made a big difference. Remarkably, all three judges ruled it a draw even though pretty much all Mikhail did was hold Babalu in a failed attempt to take him down. The finish where Babalu stops Mikhai's standing arm lock and wins with an udehishigigyakujujigatame was great, but the rest wasn't too good.
Dan Henderson vs. Gilbert Yvel. Really intense, like fighting for their lives intensity. Henderson had Yvel dead in an udehishigigyakujujigatame, but Yvel rolled out. Yvel really tried to nail Henderson before he could take him down. Henderson can really take a punch though. This was much closer to a draw than the previous fight because Yvel got some shots in before he was taken down. Of course, that meant it wasn't a draw. Still, it was a very good, exciting match.
Andrei Kopylov vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Kopylov's numerous tricks didn't work against the much better versed Nogueira. Still, Kopylov's innovation is what carried him.Unfortunately, he doesn't have much stamina. He was blown up a little into round 2, which is really where his size and age works against him. Nogueira was definitely better in standup when Kopylov was fresh, much less now. As tired as Kopylov was, and as ineffective as it made him, only one judge gave it to Nogueira. A draw was accurate based on what they'd done, but Kopylov appeared to be dying out there even though Nogueira wasn't able to do much to him.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Renzo Gracie. The match was just okay, but this was the most important win of Tamura's career. As impressive as Tamura usually is, this was just an okay match that wasn't particularly exciting. Both men were somewhat cautious. Tamura had Gracie in something of a crucifix in round 2. He definitely won this round. The decision was probably okay, but they needed more time for one guy to really prove anything.
Special Match: Grom Zaza vs. Bobby Hoffman. Hoffman leveled him with a left hook.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dan Henderson. Henderson could outgrapple a man his size, but Nogueira is that much bigger that, with his skill, it didn't really happen. Really close, but kind of dull because they pretty much negated each other. Too much lying around. Nogueira was in control more often than so he deserved to win due to the absense of any other reason to go one way or the other. Also, Nogueira at least landed a few good punches. I had Nogueira winning both regulation and overtime.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Renato Babalu. Babalu controled Tamura the whole first round. Tamura faired much better in round 2 though, briefly having a few submissions. As Tamura was also controlling Babalu in round 2, you had to give him that round and thus it should have been a draw at worst because Babalu didn't win the first round any more convincingly. Also, since rules were in place to give the nod to the smaller man, all the weight Tamura gave up should have been the difference if it had to go one way or another.
Special Match: Christopher Haseman vs. Brad Kohler. Kohler thought he had control of Haseman and could release one hand from the waistlock to punch wih, but Haseman took the arm Kohler left around his waist and barred it for the win.
Tournament Kesshosen: Dan Henderson vs. Renato Babalu. Henderson is the best striker of all the wrestlers. He already looked like a real boxer when he was punching, but obviously doesn't have all their limitations.Babalu has some kicking ability though. He showed us some nice low kicks in round 2. He might have had the decision with a late takedown if not for Henderson guillotining him when he tried. Pretty even fight. Henderson did have a neck lock at the beginning of round 2, but it's hard to say Babalu did anything to warrant losing. Good match.
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Alistair Overeem
Wataru Sakata vs. Brandon Lee Hinkle. Good match due to near submissions that were nicely escaped.
Bobby Hoffman vs. Boris Jeliaskov. Jeliazkov was too small (he gave up 26kg) and didn't do anything to wear Hoffman out. Not too entertaining due to a lot of ground and pound by Hoffman.
Renato Babalu vs. Travis Fulton. Fulton tried some things from the bottom, but it was Babalu's fight throughout. Okay, but definitely nothing special.
Andrei Kopylov vs. Ricardo Arona. Arona, who gave up 28kg, was able to take Kopylov down regularly without much trouble. He's quick, and knows how to use that to his advantage. Due to his quickness, he also beat Kopylov in standup. Kopylov wasn't very aggressive, perhaps afraid of blowing up again, and couldn't take Arona down. Arona had Kopylov's back for a sustained period of time, but in spite of all his punches he couldn't open up a choke. Arona accidentally fingered (or thumbed) Kopylov in the eye, which really screwed him up. Had action, but was rather one-sided. Decent.
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Jeremy Horn. Very good fight, powered by a 2nd round that was great while it lasted. Just excellent diverse striking from both men in round two, resulting in some knockdowns. It wasn't all striking though; Horn even did a more deadly version of the fireman's carry.
RINGS Musabetsukyu Oza Title Match: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Gilbert Yvel. Yvel wins title. Read Review
Match list coming soon
Jeremy Horn vs. Keith Mielke R1 1:47
Griffen Reynaud vs. Trent Jenkins R1
Jermaine Andre vs. Clint Wiggins R1 0:57
Christopher Haseman vs. Matt Frost R1 0:30
Bobby Hoffman vs. Victor Burtsev R1 3:13
Aaron Brink vs. Harry Moskowitz R1 0:47
Greg Wikan vs. Craig Montgomery R1 4:19
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Travis Fulton 3R
Christopher Haseman vs. Jermaine Andre R1 1:23
Bobby Hoffman vs. Aaron Brink R1 3:12
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Greg Wikan R1 2:53
Match list coming soon
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Adrian Serrano R1 2:07
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Falanivs. Vitale R2 0:27
Chris Munsen vs. Dave Menne 2R
Valentijn Overeem vs. Tali Kulihaapai R1 2:05
Tom Sauer vs. Mike Dresch R1 0:13
Eric Pele vs. Wes Correira R2 2:30
Roger Neff vs. Rocky Batastini R1 2:13
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Josh Hall 2R
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Chris Munsen 2R
Tom Sauer vs. Valentijn Overeem R1 0:35
Eric Pele vs. Roger Neff 2R
Christopher Haseman vs. Matt Hughes. Hughes controlled the fight because he could always take Haseman down, but wasn't getting anything done on the mat. One highlight was Haseman getting a reversal and applying an akiresukengatame, but Hughes used free his leg to push his other leg out. A few exciting moments, but mainly dull.
Andrei Kopylov vs. Dan Severn. Kopylov won the standup exchanges because he has quicker hands, but Severn was able to take him down. Kopylov tired 3/4 of the way through round 1, so Severn was then able to do some damage in standup. Kopylov got a bloody nose. Once he tired, he didn't do much. Dull match.
Jeremy Horn vs. Ricardo Arona. Dull, kind of slow paced match.
Valentijn Overeem vs. Joe Slick
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Kosaka was cut from a punch to the upper nose about 30 seconds into the match. It looked like it was going to be a long day for Kosaka because Noguiera was out grappling him and out striking him. Kosaka took over at the end of the round, which probably helped him a little with the judges. Although neither came close to winning, Kosaka faired better here than he had in the first round. If I had to pick I'd give round 1 to Noguiera and 2 to Kosaka, but either round could have been scored either way or a as a draw.
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Pat Miletich. Tamura was content to keep it in standup. Miletich won some of the engagements, but Tamura definitely faired better overall because a lot of times he could get one kick in and disengage before Miletich could counter. Miletich had problems taking Tamura down because Tamura would see it coming and kick him in the ribs. They didn't stall or anything, but it was not the most exciting fight. It was an impressive showing by Tamura though because he did what Miletich is usually able to, take what's given to him. Miletich wasn't able to find a weakness in Tamura and exploit it.
Jermaine Andre vs. Adrian Serrano R1 2:29
Jeremy Horn vs. Josh Hall R1 3:50
Christopher Haseman vs. Yasuhito Namekawa R1 1:30
Bobby Hoffman vs. Eric Pele 3rd
Aaron Brink vs. Tom Sauer R2 4:29
Matt Hughes vs. Robbie Newman R1 1:40
Nate Schroeder vs. Jack Nilson R1 0:36
Travis Fulton vs. Greg Wikan R1 3:48
Rising Stars Middleweight Tournament 2000 Final: Jeremy Horn vs. Christopher Haseman R1 2:36
Rising Stars Heavyweight Tournament 2000 Final: Bobby Hoffman vs. Aaron Brink R1 1:34
A Block Ikkaisen
Roberto Travan vs. Borisov Mikhail. 2:18 shown
Dave Menne vs. Wataru Sakata. Menne seemed to control position, but his offense was mainly dull and ineffective ground and pount. 3:41 shown
Valentijn Overeem vs. Balachinsky Suren. Overeem was throwing some really hard blows. His accuracy wasn't much, but Suren wasn't really a threat and it wasn't going to take many blows when he had this kind of power behind them. Overeem went to low kicks when he saw Suren's knee was giving him trouble. He got a yellow card for grabbing the robes to avoid a takedown, but if you don't mind cheating it was well worth it because Overeem landed 4 punches to Suren's face and it was back to standup when they were restarted. I didn't like the stoppage here because Suren wasn't given a chance to show the ref whether he was able to continue or not. Generally enjoyable even though it was one-sided.
Renato Babalu vs. Bitsadze Tariel. Tariel is too out of shape, slow, and clumsy, but since I can't stand him that makes it really funny for me to watch him try to shoot. Surprisingly, Tariel wasn't totally dominated. He did apply a somewhat effective neck lock when Babalu tried to take him down, which produced an interesting moment as Tariel held onto the hold while he was on his back after Babalu managed to get him down. The fans were really reacting to this one, which certainly helped. More of a guilty pleasure match than a good one, but it's definitely not boring.
Randy Couture vs. Jeremy Horn. Couture has definitely improved his boxing. A lot of good standup action. They were both very active on the mat as well. The best thing about this match is that nobody sustained a clear cut advantage. Couture might be getting the better of Horn, but then Horn would (at least nearly) pull off a move out of nowhere. The first round was by far the best, but it was very good overall. 11:04 shown
Ryushi Yanagisawa vs. Boris Jeliazkov. Due to their constant activity, it was a very good and exciting match.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Labazanoz Arhmed
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Grom Zaza. Tamura had trouble with Zaza due to his wrestling background and the 45 or so pound weight advantage. This was not one of Tamura's better matches or showings, but somehow he won a decision without it even going overtime. 8:30 shown
A Block Nikaisen
Dave Menne vs. Roberto Travan. Boring fight with too much dancing. 6:47 shown
Valentijn Overeem vs. Renato Babalu. Babalu knocked Overeem silly with an illegal punch to the face while Overeem was on his back trying to prevent an ankle lock. Surprisingly, after a long recovery break, Overeem was able to get a quick submission.
Randy Couture vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa. Dull fight, particularly the 1st round. 7:01 shown
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Kiyoshi Tamura. Good technical match. Tamura was never able to get anything going though.
B Block Ikkaisen
Bobby Hoffman vs. Joop Kasteel. As always, Joop was poop. Hoffman got one blow past, which opened up 3 others, and the combination put everyone out of their misery.
Volk Han vs. Lee Hasdell. Both men tried to play to their strengths as much as they could. Han didn't look pretty when they were on their feet, but he was able to quickly tie the kickboxer up and get him to the mat. Han's KO seemed as much a surprise to him as anyone.
Tom Sauer vs. Andrei Kopylov. What a crock. Sauer put Kopylov down with a big right, but Kopylov hopped back up ready to go. The only problem is the ref stopped it without giving Kopylov any chance to show him whether he was okay or not. It was a hard punch, sure, but Kopylov is a professional and should at least get a chance to try to show whether he can continue or not. It would be one thing if he'd been getting his ass kicked all night, but it was one punch 10 seconds into the fight.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Alexandre Cacareco. Good technical match. It had a few lulls, but you felt like they were thinking about what they could do next to lead them to victory, not just resting or stalling. Kanehara winning out of one of these lulls gave some credence to that theory.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ricardo Arona. 1st round was mainly on the ground. Arona had a takedown and a near choke, while Fedor had a reversal. 2nd round saw more standup from Arona. Fedor had Arona in an akiresukengatame, but Arona didn't submit and quickly took the top position. It was a pretty good fight because they were actively going for submissions and Arona got a few on. It was a close fight, but I'm not sure what Fedor did to win it.
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Illioukhine Mikhail. Exciting fight because there were several advantage changes. Nice standup segment in round 2 leading to the KO. Better than the earlier Kanehara match.
Christopher Haseman vs. Carlos Barreto. Basically a kickboxing match. Haseman can do this style, but Barreto had a considerable reach advantage. Haseman was cut on his forehead. I thought it was a mistake for Haseman to let Barreto up after he put him down with a right hook. Clearly this was a match where both men decided they wanted nothing to do with the mat. As Haseman won, I guess he knew what he was doing.
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Bitadze Amiran. Yamamoto tried to take it to the ground, but Amiran was hitting him and stopping his shoots. Yamamoto bled from the head. Amiran was dominating, but Yamamotmo made a few good moves and what makes shoots exciting is sometimes that's all it takes.
B Block Nikaisen
Volk Han vs. Bobby Hoffman. Hoffman used ground and pound as much as he could, so it was kind of dull. Hoffman controlled Han for the majority of the fight, but didn't do any real damage. Han worked from the bottom, but he wasn't getting near submissions. Regulation was dull and it was a gift decision for Han to send this to OT. Han clearly won the extra round though. He took Hoffman down in the corner and standing over him throwing punches. I think Hoffman was tired because he wasn't very active in this round.
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Tom Sauer. Match was nothing special, but the KO was spectacular.
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Emilianenko Fedor. Fedor got cut by Kosaka's elbow when he was trying to avoid a punch, and that was it.
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Christopher Haseman. Haseman did his best to keep it in standup again. Yamamoto's cut was reopened. Haseman was consistently getting the better of Yamamoto, but when he let Yamamoto up after stopping his hizajujigatame, Yamamoto hit a few low kicks for the KO. Very good.
KING of KINGS Quarterfinals
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Dave Menne. Very good match. Kanehara is fiesty. You think you have him where you want him, but he eventually surprises you. Kanehara looked impressive in standup the whole fight. On the hammering KO, Menne was up by the time the ref stepped in there to keep Kanehara way.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Volk Han. Nogueira controlled most of the fight, but didn't damage Han or put him in danger. Nogueira did have Han's leg extended once, but he didn't have any leverage. From that point, the match was quite interesting. Han may be older, but he hasn't lost his nerve. He realized he was probably behind and went for the big punch or submission. He certainly didn't have enough success to win the fight, but his performance was admirable and the fight was pretty good.
Randy Couture vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka. One of Couture's more interesting fights. Couture fought in stand up from the clinch. I usually don't like clinging, but both men were active and getting their shots in. Kosaka landed some decent blows, but Couture was clearly getting the better of him. Kosaka took Couture down with a judo throw and fans were yelling for every punch he threw from the mount. Kosaka was cut on the head from a Couture butt. Couture was cut on the head as well. Match was very even with both men having their moments and neither maintaining an advantage for all that long. I thought this would go the extra round. Couture won round 2 for sure, but I gave round 1 to TK for the takedown and ground and pound. Good fight.
Valentijn Overeem vs. Norihisa (Yoshihisa) Yamamoto. Overeem's submission skills have really come a long way.
Special Match: Alistair Overeem vs. Vladimer Tchanturia
KING of KINGS Semifinals
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara. These two were very active. Nogueira was usually a little ahead of the game because he's the better of the two, but Kanehara would squirm out of danger and sometimes into control. Good match.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara. Continued
Valentijn Overeem vs. Randy Couture. Couture's slammed Overeem into the mat, but Overeem was going for a front guillotine and was able to hold on and force Couture to submit a few seconds after he hit the mat.
Special match: Ryushi Yanagisawa vs. Wataru Sakata. Yanagisawa is too tall for Sakata. Sakata can't strike with him because Overeem is a kickboxer and has all the reach. Sakata couldn't take him down because he's not powerful enough considering Yanagisawa has all the leverage. Yanagisawa didn't use his reach advantage like he needed to though, so it wound up being the only boring match on the show. It did get a little interesting with Sakata trying to cartwheel around Yanagisawa's defense.
Special Match: Renato Babalu vs. Kiyoshi Tamura. Babalu used his size and strength advantages to control Tamura. Tamura didn't take a beating, but he wasn't able to do anything offensively. Babalu did what he had to do, but it didn't make for a particularly entertaining fight.
KING of KINGS Final: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Valentijn Overeem. I thought this is where Overeem would look to use his strikes, but he never got started.
Naoyuki Kotani vs. Jiro Wakabayashi. Largely a dull battle of positioning. It was too close to call, but not that good to watch because neither guy did any damage or came that close to winning.
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Wataru Imamura. Very short, but much more interesting than the previous match. Nice move to get the submission.
World Heavykyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Kerry Schall. Schall came out punching, but Fedor hurt him immediately with a left, took him down, and nearly won with an arm bar. No dull moments, but Schall was slow and left too many openings.
World Middlekyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Jeremy Horn vs. Iouri Bekichev. Didn't even last a minute.
World Heavykyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Ryushi Yanagisawa vs. Bobby Hoffman. In his pre-match interview, Hoffman explained, "Basically my strategy is to win." This was a good watch. Yanagisawa isn't used to fighting bigger fighters, and it showed. Hoffman used his weight and punching to his advantage, but Yanagisawa didn't use his reach advantage and was at disadvantageous positions most of the time it was on the ground. Hoffman did good damage throwing punches to the body when Yanagisawa was on the ground (tough under these rules where you can't go to the face), particularly when leaning over Yanagisawa.
World Middlekyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Gustavo Ximu. A match of strong defense and weak offense. Both fighters were very active, but Ximu did a good job of blocking Tamura's kicks and Tamura couldn't take him down. Ximu would be in control when it went to the mat, but he wasn't doing damage or going for submissions.
Volk Ataev vs. Maynard Marcum
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Masutatsu Yano
World Middlekyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Christopher Haseman vs. Alexandre Cacareco
World Heavykyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Mikhail Ilyukhin vs. Borislav Jeliazkov
World Heavykyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Renato Babalu
World Middlekyu Title Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Ricardo Arona
Match list coming soon
Takumi Yano vs. Goro Kobayashi
Hiroyuki Ito vs. Hidetaka Monma
Hirotaka Yokoi vs. Masaya Kojima
Genki Sudo vs. Brian Loanjoe
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Dexter Casey
Gen Isono vs. Eriya Matsuda. Digest
Hirotaka Yokoi vs. Ken Orihashi. Digest
Absoluteweight Tournament 1st Round: Lee Hasdell vs. Georgi Tonkov
Absoluteweight Tournament 1st Round: Christopher Haseman vs Grom Koba
Kenichi Ogata vs Curtis Brigham
Absoluteweight Tournament 1st Round: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa
Absoluteweight Tournament 1st Round: Yasuhito Namekawa vs Egidijus Valavicius
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs Kelly Jacobs
Hidetaka Monma vs. Kyosuke Sasaki. Digest
Takahito Iida vs. Naoyuki Kotani. Digest
Tatsuya Maeda vs. Stephen Gillinder
Kenichi Yamamoto vs. Genki Sudo
Absoluteweight Tournament Semifinal: Christopher Haseman vs. Egidijus Valavicius
Absoluteweight Tournament Semifinal: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Lee Hasdell
Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Volk Ataev
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Paul Cahoon
Takumi Yano vs. Hidehiko Matsumoto. Digest
Naoyuki Kotani vs. Yoshinobu
Hiroyuki Ito vs. Masutatsu Yano
Hirotaka Yokoi vs. Katsuhisa Fujii. Digest
Yasuhito Namekawa vs. Sam Nest
Exhibition Match: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Kaoru Uno
Volk Han vs. Andrei Kopylev
Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Mikhail Ilyukhin
Absoluteweight Champion Decision Tournament Final: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Christopher Haseman
Petras Morkevicius vs. Valdas Pocevicius 3R
Pavel Dolgov vs. Rokas Stambrauskas 3R
Kestutis Smirnovas vs. Mariusz Ligizynski R1 2:45
Antanas Jazbutis vs. Hideo Tokoro 2R
Mindaugas Smirnovas vs. Naoyuki Kotani 3R
Mindaugas Kulikauskas vs. Tadeushas Chilodinskis 4R
ZST Tag Match Rule: Remigijus Morkevicius & Erikas Petraitis vs. Takumi Yano & Masakazu Imanari
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Egidijus Valavicius R2 1:13
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