Last night, I was in attendance for Shootboxing's 2014 Act 2 show at Korakuen Hall. In the past when I have gone to Shootboxing events, the fights have tended to be decision heavy and usually went to extension rounds. Not only did none of the fights go to extension rounds, but there were numerous knockdowns, throws, submissions, and knockouts.
Fights that stood out
Yuji Ishikuza vs M16
M16, the brother of Oikawa, vs Ishikuza was the classic young lion vs old lion fight. Ishikuza, the young lion, had power and speed on his side where M16 had experience and technique. The first round was very close but at the fight went on M16 began to counter the aggressive Ishikuza and wobbled hims several times eventually knocking him down in the 3rd. The fight had me on the edge of the seat because it had the feel of a fight that could end at any second.
Kikukawa Matsukuma vs Takahashi Ai
Not much to say about this fight. Before the event I was talking to some people who said that Masukuma wasn't very good. She was knocked down twice and TKO'd at 2:04 of the 1st round so I guess they were right.
Rena vs Im Seo Hee
I got the chance to meet Im before the fight and she looked very young. She was noticeably a lot smaller and less defined than Rena. That being said she was not afraid of Rena. She hit Rena with a very hard right and knocked Rena on her butt several times with side kicks to the mid section. A visibly annoyed Rena pushed Im into a corner and with 20 seconds left locked on a front choke. With 10 seconds left Im started frantically tapping but the referee didn't see it or ignored it. A couple of seconds later Im fell unconscious to the mat. It is interesting to note that the other Korean fighter, from Im's gym, who fought immediately after her lost in the exact same fashion. Both fighters showcased flashy Taekwando kicks but seemed ill prepared for some of Shootboxing's unique rules. I would like to see Im get another chance to fight as with a little practice under Shootboxing rules, I think she could be an exciting fighter.
Omigawa vs Masaya
Omigawa, the shorter of the two, completely destroyed Masaya. Omigawa ceaselessly darted into clinching range throwing hard punches. He bobbed and weaved his way in while throwing looping hooks. He tried to showcase his Judo but Masaya employed the dead fish defense of just going limp and falling to the ground. There is only one Shootboxing Referee who is proactive in penalizing this and he wasn't in the ring so it happened over and over again. Omigawa wobbled and bloodied Masaya throughout the fight. In the third he appeared to throw less punches and afterwards looked like he might have injured his hand. It didn't affect the outcome as he won a lopsided decision.