It’s a total oversimplification, and it’s not entirely true, but I’m going to say it anyway: DREAM attracts more attention because of the big names and freak show fights, but Sengoku is the organization that does everything it can to match the best fighters against each other and create the most exciting bouts. Most of the names on the card for Sengoku 8 will be familiar only to the hardest of hardcore MMA fans, but don’t let that stop you from going out of your way to catch this one. There are almost definitely going to be half a dozen barn-burners on the show.
Featherweight Grandprix Second Round Bouts:
Ronnie Mann vs. Hatsu Hioki
The Main Event of the evening pits Hioki, a 143-pound former Shooto contender against a Cage Rage vet who has never been submitted or knocked out in eighteen professional fights. Hioki has twice beaten Mark Hominick, the first time by choking him out to take the TKO featherweight title, and the second by decision in a fight where the fighters mostly stayed on their feet. Hioki advanced to the second round by convincingly beating the American Top Team’s Chris Manuel on the ground with a first-round triangle arm bar. Mann made the second round by earning a close decision victory over young ZST fighter Tetsuya Yamada at Seventh Battle.
Michihiro Omigawa vs. Nam Phan
Phan is probably best known in America for getting crushed by “JZ Calvan” at Dynamite! USA, but he has fought very well since that loss, including an impressive right hook knockout of Hideki Kadowaki in the tournament’s first round. Omigawa is a judo champion who scored a carefully-fought upset over IFL and Affliction vet L.C. Davis to advance to the second round. The decision win was Omigawa’s first victory since losing to Matt Wiman at UFC 76.
Chan Sung Jung vs. Masanori Kanehara
The undefeated “Korean Zombie” claimed the most exciting victory at Seventh Battle, going toe to toe with Shintaro Ishiwatari before knocking him down, taking his back, and choking him out. Kanehara, who has competed for ZST, DEEP, Shooto, and Pancrase, took a smartly fought but unexciting victory over Jung’s CMA Korea teammate Jong Man Kim in the first round of the grand prix. Hilariously, Kanehara promoted this fight by sparring with a guy dressed as a zombie at his open training session in Tokyo on April 22nd.
Nick Denis vs. Marlon Sandro
This will be a battle between two undefeated pro fighters. Both men looked very impressive in their first round victories. The Canadian fighter, nicknamed “The Ninja of Love” put a solid beating on former Pancrase rising star Seiya Kawahara and forced the referee to call a stop to the bout at 2:36 of the first. The Brazilian Sandro finished American Matt Jaggers in spectacular fashion, choking him old cold with an arm triangle while both fighters were standing.
The rest of the bouts scheduled for the card are listed below:
Stanislav Nedkov vs. Travis Wiuff
Leonardo Santos vs. Kazunori Yokota
Alexandre Ribeiro vs. Keiichiro Yamamiya
Michael Costa vs. Makoto Takimoto
Akihiko Mori vs. Maximo Blanco
Shigeki Osawa vs. Kota Ishibashi
Hirotoshi Saito vs. Yoshitaka Abe