While most MMA fans stateside were hitting the hay after watching Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante upset Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal for his light heavyweight crown at “Strikeforce: Houston,” World Victory Road hosted “Sengoku Raiden Championship 14” inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
The card was headlined by a middleweight title scrap between champ Jorge Santiago and top challenger Kazuo Misaki. Santiago pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the the talented Japanese star in their only meeting back in January 2009. Although most fighters will never be able to stake claim to a 5thRound stoppage win, Santiago now has two under his championship belt.
Misaski once again took an early lead courtesy of takedowns, submission attempts and an extremely effective defense. Santiago appeared frustrated and confused throughout the night, however that was until the final stanza came calling.
After eating a vicious barrage of strikes in the final round, Misaki’s corner opted to throw in the towel with only 29 ticks remaining on the clock. Their decision to call the fight not only cost their client a unanimous decision win, but his championship aspirations as well. However, tough not to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting your boy.
“I showed what champions are made of,” Santiago said. “This is how I expect to fight.”
In addition, the event also featured the opening round of their Welterweight Grand Prix, as well as the 2ndRound of their bantamweight tourney.
Here are the results, courtesy of MMAJunkie.com:
* Jorge Santiago def. Kazuo Misaki via TKO (corner’s stoppage) – Round 5, 4:31 (Santiago retains middleweight title)
* Jadamba Narantungalag def. Akihiro Gono via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-29, 30-28)
* Hatsu Hioki def. Jeff Lawson via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:09
* Leonardo Santos def. Sotaro Yamada via DQ (illegal groin shots) – Round 1, 3:56
* Taisuke Okuno def. Nick Thompson via KO (punch) – Round 3, 0:27*
* Yasubey Enomoto def. Kenta Takagi via submission (bulldog choke) – Round 2, 0:53*
* Takuya Sato def. Motoki Miyazawa via unanimous decision#
* Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Kil Woo Lee via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:20^
* Shoko Sato def. Takuya Eizumi via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 1:38^
* Wataru Takahashi def. Tatsuya So via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:34^
* Jae Hyun So def. Hirokazu Nishimura via unanimous decision^
* – welterweight grand prix opening round
^ – bantamweight grand prix second round
# – bantamweight grand prix reserve bout