Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It Takes a Muscle

Do you take note of what kind of shape a fighter has? I don’t mean whether they are ripped or soft, but rather how big their individual muscles are. Let me explain. Satoru Kitaoka and Rin Nakai have common features for me. Both have small frames. They have a disadvantage in striking reach due to being smaller than the division's average size, but they develop huge muscles in their shorter arms in order to grapple and submit opponents. Kitaoka is best known for his guillotine and Nakai often attempts kimuras. Both do so because of their strong arms.

Satoru Kitaoka

Of course, having a longer reach and bigger frame generally benefits a fighter, but when you watch fighters and guess how they build up their muscles, it makes MMA more interesting. Check out each fighter’s muscles because there is purpose and benefit to building up specific muscles in order to fit a fighter’s particular skill set. Also, while Joe Stevenson is very similar to Satoru Kitaoka in facial resemblance, I would also point out that their muscular builds are very similar as well since each one’s top move is the guillotine.

Big thanks to Robert Sargent  (MMA Rising) for English editing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DEEP 68 Impact to stream on international iPPV

DEEP 68 Impact iPPV official purchase web

DEEP 68 Impact iPPV offer biggest JMMA flyweight battle for late half of 2014. Yuki Motoya was not favorite when DEEP flyweight tournament which crown first DEEP flyweight champ. But he rapidly improve and won the belt.This tournament can watch stream when it happen and now upload to youtube.When he capture DEEP title, he is youngest fighter ever take DEEP belt.

Yuki Motoya vs Akito Sakimura

Yuki Motoya vsNaoyuki Kato

Yuki Motoya vs  Akira Kibe

Tatsumitsu Wada do not have attention at early stage of career.He have five losing streak till get first victory.But he change his career with his strike trainer Katsuhisa Tashiro.Tashiro, known by improve boxing for Yuki Kondo, Michihiro Omigawa HidehikoYoshida and many other MMA fighters.He did coach for Yoshida Dojo at that time. He had winning streak with improve strike skill but that was stopped by Bellator Veteran Hiroshi Nakamura.Nakamura succeed take down Wada and secure decision.After that fight he understand importance of sprawl. He succeed avoid Takafumi Otsuka's ground game.

Wada and Motoya's first match ups hold at DEEP 63 Impact. Wada succeed taking top with Judo throws and leg trips.But Motoya succeed scrambles and make fight close.But Wada have enough position control to get unanimous decision.

Both are known for striker but I interest how much Motoya can sprawl against Wada.Wada become more total fighter. At last fight Wada take down Haruo Ochi to avoid trade. At other side Motoya completely crushed Yoshiro Maeda at last fight. Maeda known for his inconsistency.But at that fight Motoya make it like not competitive fight.Maeda often suffer KO lose but during the strike fight he never look like dominate by opponent.That make Motoya's odds higher at before fight prediction.But I should remain the question about Motoya can solve his lose at positional grappling.

This is most competitive and high level flyweight JMMA fight for later half of 2014.I can't convince myself who is winner cause both improve rapidly but let's confirm this big local fight with us. Japanese side already access major organization's match maker for prepare after the fight situation.

DEEP 68 Impact will stream August 23 17:30 (Japanese time)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

DEEP Jewels 5 to stream on international iPPV

DEEP Jewels 5 iPPV official purchase web

DEEP Jewels hits ustream PPV again with two Invicta veteran.

Mizuki Inoue rematches Emi Tomimatsu. Mizuki Inoue missed weight at last match against Emi. Which was title fight. So I understand Mizuki don't win a belt if she win.But Mizuki can't score win even she submit Emi.Because of ruled as DQ lose.Of course I don't defend Mizuki missed the weight, but I don't like finish didn't define the fight.I personally think If Mizuki don't score finish, give Emi a decision nod is fair point of that situation.(I know it's not become fair anyway though.)

So I do think Emi don't like the fact do not win at actual fight and become champ.That's make this instant rematch.I hope Mizuki make weight and people more discuss about how to treat over weight fighter.

Ayaka Hamasaki will debut at 106, face former champ Naho Sugiyama is important fight for that days too.Curious how Ayaka's condition after surgery, which defines her future.

DEEP Jewels 5 will stream August 9 17:30 (Japanese time)

Mizuki Inoue

Monday, August 4, 2014

Japan will be getting a non-TUF new-format TV show from the UFC

Gong Kakutougi, which has authority in the Japanese MMA industry, published an article discussing the awaited Japanese UFC program. It includes speculation, but it also tells us a lot about what is planned for the new show in Japan.

The Japanese UFC TV show will be more of a documentary than a reality show because of terrestrial broadcasting that won't permit an extreme character-based show. As such, they won't use a "House" or have cameras chasing fighters. Because of that, the name of show won't be "TUF" and a new name remains to be announced.

Zuffa wants Vale Tudo Japan (VTJ) to run the event, and they want talent not only from Shooto but also from Pancrase and DEEP. DEEP's Shigeru Saeki has said that MMA becoming a major attraction again is completely beneficial to DEEP itself, and so he will cooperate with this TV program.

The show's format has four fighters competing in a league-style tournament with two leagues in total. The winners of the leagues will fight in the finale and the first season of the show will only include Japanese fighters.

I have made my personal list of fighters fit for the show's cast. The UFC uses age as an important factor, so I've used age (30 or younger) and cleaner records for the list, but those two factors do not always determine the best talent.

I want to see some veteran fighters on the show as well. My 145-pound list is very weak, so veterans and other fighters dropping down from 155 should make for a better list. I also think that selecting either 155 or 125 as the sole division for the show will result in a better competition.


Yusuke Kasuya (Akimoto Dojo Jungle Junction)
Nobumitsu Osawa (Tsudanuma Dojo)
Kazuki Tokudome (Paraestra Hachioji) 
Yuki Kawana (Shinwa Total Combat)
Kota Shimoishi (BLOWS)
Akira Okada (Kugayama Rascal)
Takasuke Kume (ALIVE)
Tetsuya Yamada (Shinwa Total Combat)
Chuji Kato (Reversal Gym Yokohama Groundslam)

Yusuke Kasuya


Yusuke Yachi (Krazy Bee)
Isao Kobayashi (Sakaguchi Dojo) 
Akiyo Nishiura (STGY)
Ryogo Takahashi (Krazy Bee)
Tatsuya Ando (Tribe Tokyo MMA)
Yuta Sato (Akimoto Dojo Jungle Junction)
Yutaka Saito (Paraestra Koiwa)
Hiroyuki Oshiro (Vos Gym)

Yusuke Yachi


Shintaro Ishiwatari (Cave)
Teruto Ishihara (Chokushinkai)
Keita Ishibashi (Wajutsu Keishukai Duro) 
Takafumi Otsuka (AACC)
Daichi Takenaka (Paraestra Izumi)
Ryo Okada (Paraestra Matsudo)
Go Kashiwazaki (K-Place)
Shoko Sato (Sakaguchi Dojo)

Keita Ishibashi


Yuki Motoya (Club Barbarian Impact) (Can go straight to the UFC)
Tatsumitsu Wada (Yoshida Dojo) 
Hiromasa Ogikubo (Paraestra Chiba)
Yusaku Nakamura (Alpha Male Japan)
Takeshi Kasugai (Shimura Dojo)
Hayato Suzuki (Brave)
Yuya Shibata (Style)
Seiichiro Ito (Reversal Gym Yokohama Groundslam)

Yuki Motoya

Big thanks to Robert Sargent  (MMA Rising) for English editing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Breakdown of Josh Thomson vs Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 7

When Josh "The Punk" Thomson knocked out Nate Diaz last year, I was really moved by the content of the fight. It was a totally strategic fight. Recently, when Diaz has lost, it has normally only happened when he is forced to grapple from the bottom. Thomson did not go that route, and instead he chose to strike and knocked Diaz out. It reminded me how Thomson himself was knocked out during his first UFC run by Yves Edwards (and his high kick), but in the fight with Diaz, Thomson used Diaz's reflexes against him to land his own high kick.

Let me provide a breakdown of that fight.

At first, Diaz was aiming to brawl with his hands from a comfortable distance. What Thomson did to counter that was to avoid fighting from that distance. He either kicked from far away or used clinch work in close. Another key tactic was Thomson’s decision to change stances, which made Diaz's reflexes slower. That made Thomson’s attacks more varied and gave Diaz more to worry about.

Also, Thomson’s clinching and shots forced Diaz to sprawl and that made Diaz's reflexes slower as well. Thomson landed a variety of kicks and even punches to the knee. He tried to avoid being predictable, and because of that, it was harder for Diaz to predict and anticipate high kicks. All of these things confused Diaz. In the end, he could not figure out what was coming next and he was unable to react in time with his blocking hand before Thomson’s high kick landed.

When Thomson was asked to describe his fight with Tatsuya Kawajiri, a question was posed as to whether he had become frustrated by Kawajiri’s ability to control the action on the ground. Thomson answered that he did not feel that Kawajiri had frustrated him, but rather that Kawajiri had succeeded at executing his strategy and that he had not. That ultimately cost Thomson the fight. There was no "what if?" scenario about Thomson’s opponent or about the fight after it had ended.

Now, when I think about Thomson’s fight with Diaz, it reminds me of his answer to the question about the Kawajiri bout. Thomson built a strategy and he detailed the skills and techniques that he needed in order to knock Diaz out. Most of the time, a fight isn't going to go exactly how one fighter imagined, but Thomson’s strategic movement and his striking and grappling skills were executed perfectly against Diaz. Before the fight, Thomson really broke down what Diaz had to offer him and he prepared a great game plan. That, along with Thomson’s past fight history and veteran mentality, made me feel that this was the most enjoyable strategic fight in recent times.

My checkpoints during the watching of the fight:

Round 1:
With 3:26 remaining, Thomson punches Diaz’s knee.

With 3:19 remaining, Thomson lands a high kick, but beforehand Diaz reacts to Thomson’s punch.

With 2:42 remaining, Thomson tries to initiate a clinch.

With 2:39 remaining, Thomson touches Diaz's arm and then lands a high kick (Diaz again reacts to Thomson’s hands).

With 1:33 remaining, Thomson tries strike when Diaz show back (which reminded me of how Edwards finished him). This indicates that he was not very worried about the risk of getting hit.

With 0:32 remaining, Thomson gets a takedown. With so little time left in the round, there was little risk of getting submitted.

Round 2:
With 3:28 remaining, Diaz takes Thomson down. Thomson is only focused on getting back to his feet and he does so.

With 1:37 remaining, Thomson shows high kick movements and then goes to a clinch.

With 1:29 remaining, the final head kick lands. Diaz tries to react to Thomson's hands, but he ducks into Thomson's high kick and is finished with punches soon after.

Big thanks to Robert Sargent  (MMA Rising) for English editing.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Grandslam Way of the Cage get international IPPV

Grandslam Way of the Cage iPPV official purchase page

2014 is somewhat new start for Japanese MMA. Gym's head start own event. Common thing for those event are give chance to young talent and fighter who known but had lose recently.For this event Hideo Tokoro try to restart after his controversial decision lose against Will Campuzano.After that decision Katsumura who was Tokoro's corner argue for Shooto commission. Yuki Nakai who did judge for that fight open his criteria .That is risky move for judges and authority but he take that risk.Katsumura feel sincere for his attitude and that make him Nakai do judge for his new event.Which is Grandslam "Way of the cage".Tokoro will face Victor Henry, who train at CSW.

UFC veteran Nam Phan will face Kenichi Ito for back to win column.Nam train Judo lately,so curious about what he can do at throw category.

Shunichi Shimizu who drop flyweight will fight against Yosuke Saruta.This fight show spirit of event.Fighter who fail at major drop to new division and fight against Shooto title challenger.He suffer lopsided lose at UFC, But if Shimizu claim great perform at local and make himself a champ, I will talk about his future foreign possibility.I'm just glad there is people give chance to him who want reclaim position.

At this event, there is new trial for audience.This Ustream iPPV is 800 yen for last 3 fights (Tokoro vs Henry, Nam vs Ito and Shimizu vs Saruta). That's mean other fights are free.So if you want test yourself watching Japanese local MMA live, this is your occasion.Of course it's local MMA and not major, but you can see "local" feel at here.If you want see last 3 fight, which is near major level card, you can pay to them for support their come back story."Way of the cage" start July 13 5:30PM (Japanese time).

Hideo Tokoro

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DEEP 67 Impact to stream on international iPPV

DEEP 67 iMPACT iPPV official purchase web

DEEP decide do iPPV event for there event, DEEP 67 Impact .

Of course, most looking forward fight is main event between Yuki Motoya vs Yoshiro Maeda.Motoya is expect as golden prospect for DEEP organization but he  lose his belt against Wada.Beating Maeda value him as a challenger for Wada, because Maeda had beaten Wada.It's cross road fight for young vs old.You can looking forward it.Also it added Masakazu Imanari vs Haruo Ochi.It defines Imanari can still claim local title challenger or become mid tier fighter.But you can always think about this is still watching Imanari's fight at live, you can't expect many when think about his ages.

Also there is Kenji Osawa's retirement exhibition match and ceremony.You can expect special guest for exhibition opponent.

Yoshiro Maeda

Monday, May 19, 2014

TTF CHALLENGE 01 to stream on international iPPV

TTF CHALLENGE 01 iPPV official purchase web

After his retire, Ryo Chonan's gym Tribe Tokyo MMA started own event. TTF challenge is for young prospect and fighters try to rebound.This kind event is hard to run because not as flashy as championship.But personally I enjoy watching prospect grow than anything. Also I know  everybody loves huge comeback story in sports.

I looking forward prospect crush, Yuya Shibata vs Yasutaka Koga most. I find Yuki Suzuki get evaluated from veteran fighter.It's rare to see this kind of event get ppv.So if you interest,spend dollars for make you fun.

Yuya Shibata

Friday, May 16, 2014

DEEP Jewels 4 to stream on international iPPV

DEEP Jewels 4 iPPV official purchase web

Recently, Japanese MMA organizations have tried to reach foreign fans with iPPV streams. It is a constant struggle to attract more fans and viewers, but at DEEP 66 Impact, Shigeru Saeki said that the event had performed better than he had initially thought. There is still a ways to go in order to meet his expectations and that has led him to the challenge of using PPV for DEEP and DEEP Jewels events. On May 18, DEEP Jewels 4 debuts on iPPV at Ustream.tv.

I hope that WMMA fans encourage others to watch the event because the number of people that watch will decide whether DEEP Jewels continues or not. You may remember that Pancrase did trial streams on Ustream, but it was short-lived. It's all about business. Saeki took over Jewels business when it was heavily in the red and many were against his decision to do so. If you see yourself as a WMMA fan, it's a do-or-die situation in defending one of the few all-female MMA promotions that still exists.

Seo Hee Ham

Big thanks to Robert Sargent  (MMA Rising) for English editing.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

DEEP 66 get international iPPV

DEEP 66 iMPACT iPPV official purchase web

DEEP decide do iPPV event for there landmark event, DEEP 66 Impact .It include 5 title fight.BW, FW,LW,WW.MW. That's almost every championship they can offer.Price is around 9 US dollars.Also there is chance to watch free if you follow DEEP's this twitter account and retweet designate tweet.

All title fights they do at this event are

LW Satoru Kitaoka vs Naoto Miyazaki
FW Kazunori Yokota vs Katsunori Tsuda
BW Kenji Osawa vs Takafumi Otsuka
MW Yoshiyuki Nakanishi vs Shunsuke Inoue
WW Taisuke Okuno vs Yuta Watanabe

If prospect beat major name.There is a possibility fighter can make himself into majors.So it's not only for JMMA lovers.It can be prospect check.DEEP 66 Impact will be hold at April 29.

Kenji Osawa

Friday, March 7, 2014

What lies ahead for Japanese MMA in 2014

Shooto's main promoter, Sustain, runs Vale Tudo Japan (VTJ) as an upper-tier MMA promotion now, and the most interesting bout at their recent event, Yuta "Uruka" Sasaki vs. Teruto "Yashabo" Ishihara, became Fight of the Night. Uruka scored a choke-out win over Yashabo. After the fight, Uruka called out Shintaro Ishiwatari. On the other hand, when Kim Soo-Chul knocked out Motonobu Tezuka, his training partner Yashabo said he was going to fight Kim. I am curious to see whether a match will be made between them.

Yuta Sasaki

Hideo Tokoro vs. Will Campuzano became a controversial decision at VTJ 3rd. After an official argument against the decision was denied, Tokoro and his team refused to fight for VTJ in the future if the problem was not resolved. This argument also led to Shooto's official authority, Toshiharu Suzuki, refusing to referee at VTJ 4th because that judging problem hurt the Shooto Commission's image. Therefore, VTJ invited Larry Landless to come to VTJ 4th not only to referee but also to open a seminar to explain the Unified Rules to Japanese officials.

Hideo Tokoro

We learned recently that World Series of Fighting has affiliated with Pancrase. If you follow Japanese MMA news, you can watch the press conference with SRC Entertainment. WSOF Japan will be run by Pancrase president Masakazu Sakai, but SRC Entertainment is also involved. So will the new organization perhaps be known as a revived Sengoku or SRC?

At the press conference, we were informed that SRC Entertainment is no longer related to Don Quijote, which was the main sponsor for Sengoku, but SRC Entertainment will take part in running events for WSOF Japan and will also distribute classic Sengoku and SRC fight videos. At same press conference, Ray Sefo announced that the first WSOF Japan event will be in August or September, and Emi Fujino will participate in that event.

Finally, DEEP promoter Shigeru Saeki has said that he wants to hold a New Year's Eve event because right now only IGF does a NYE event with MMA in Japan and it's not a pure MMA event.

Shooto, Pancrase and DEEP are each trying to hold bigger upper-tier events and adapt more to American ideals, and that is the theme of 2014's Japanese MMA scene.

Big thanks to Robert Sargent  (MMA Rising) for English editing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Japanese MMA scene Fighter to watch out 2014

Here is the 2014 edition of Fighters to Watch For. Kyoji Horiguchi landed himself a spot in a major organization (UFC), but there are many newcomers on this year's list.

Michinori Tanaka

Tanaka's 2013 campaign involved winning a championship in Guam/Philippines promotion PXC and carefully developing his career. While fighters he has defeated have begun to land themselves positions in the UFC, Tanaka's coach Katsumura has a conservative plan for his career. I think he needs improvement in his striking, but his grappling is already top-level. Tanaka went to donate money to the Philippines embassy for victims of Haiyan and I am looking forward to his 2014 campaign.

Yuta Sasaki

Sasaki beat Wajyutsu Keisyukai mentor Tetsu Suzuki and took Shooto's Pacific rim title during his 2013 campaign, and he beat Naoya Uematsu in a grappling match. He has become Japanese MMA's best grappler in his weight class. I am curious about what will happen when he can't take opponents down. He struggled against Kota Onojima when he could not get him down. His 2014 campaign starts with a fight against Keisuke Fujiwara, who is ZST champ.

Shintaro Ishiwatari

Ishiwatari's 2013 campaign did not go the way that he had wanted it to. He lost to Shooto champ and current UFC fighter Kyoji Horiguchi in the Japanese fight of the year and best comeback in Japanese local MMA history. His 2014 campaign begins with a title defense against Yo Saito, who is known as a guillotine specialist.

Mizuki Inoue

Inoue's 2013 campaign is best remembered for her first appearance in Invicta FC. She showed continuous improvement in her striking against Bec Hyatt. In that fight, she won clearly, but it wasn't a perfect game since she get overpowered in the clinch. After that, Inoue faced Emi Fujino, who has outstanding power for a Japanese female MMA fighter, but Fujino never got a chance to use that power. I saw drastic improvement in Inoue and I am looking forward to her next fight against Emi Tomimatsu.

Koji Ando

In 2013, Ando was best known for becoming a champion for Legend FC. Not only that, but he became champ by defeating Jadamba Narantungalag, who is considered to be one of top talents in the Asian MMA scene. Their fight ended due to an unfortunate ankle injury when Jadamba's weight was only supported by his right leg and his ankle broke, but Ando's win is legit since he led the fight at that point. His 2014 campaign will decide how his new contract goes and hopefully he will fight again soon.

Taiyo Nakahara

Nakahara's only fight in 2013 was against UFC veteran Marcos Vinicius Borges Pancini for Rebel FC. He finished Pancini, but I want to emphasize that his left body shot determined how the fight went. It's hard to land effective body blows in the lower weight classes.

Takaki Soya

Last year's Shooto Rookie tournament MVP was Paraestra Matsudo's Takaki Soya. 2012's MVP Masatsugu Sakaki, 2011's MVP Michinori Tanaka and 2010's MVP Kyoji Horiguchi are all still unbeaten in their professional MMA careers. Before entering the tournament, Soya won the East Japan Amateur Shoooto tournament and became the youngest professional Shooto fighter at age 17.

This year's rookie tournament's number of participants was reduced because of Shooto's policy change for non-Tokyo fighters who build their early careers in the regions where they live. That reduced regional promoters' expenses, but at the same time I can't say that this year's rookie tournament was the same as the previous three in terms of quality.
Still, I can say that Soya is a good finisher. I can't say that he'll become a local Japanese champ because bantamweight is the most crowded division in this country and the fighters he faced in the tournament aren't as good as the ones that Horiguchi and Tanaka faced in their tournaments. Shooto Rookie tournaments are still high quality and they bring about awareness of young talent like Soya.

DEEP Flyweights (Photo is Yuki Motoya)

I said last year that I was looking forward to the DEEP flyweights and Tatsumitsu Wada vs. Yuki Motoya was one of the best fights of 2013 in DEEP. Wada took down Shooto striker Haruo Ochi for a decision win. Former champ Yuki Motoya got a decision win over Pancrase champ Kiyotaka Shimizu. With those wins over rival organizations' champs and contenders, I feel that DEEP's most high-level weight class is flyweight.

Mikihito Yamagami

Last year, one of the best upsets was Mikihito Yamagami's decision win over Mamoru Yamaguchi. Yamagami succeeded by continuously taking the back of Mamoru. Allowing back-takes is considered to be a primary fault in Mamoru's fighting style, but people did not expect that Yamagami would be able to exploit that so well. Yamagami used 2013 to build up his body for a new weight class and he will appear for Road FC this year.

SKILL MMA : Japanese MMA scene Fighter to watch out 2013

Big thanks to Robert Sargent  (MMA Rising) for English editing.