World Victory Road's Sengoku 9 took place early Sunday morning (EST) in Saitama, Japan at the Super Arena. A featherweight champion was crowned and the lightweight title was on the line. Let's recap the card:
Featherweight Grand Prix
Marlon Sandro v. Michihiro Omigawa
This fight was originally scored a draw but because someone had to win to move on to the finals the judges determined that Omigawa would move on. This was a huge upset. This was Sandro's first loss ever and it was to an opponent who had a sub .500 record before beating him.
However, Omigawa has been the biggest Cinderella story of the tournament so this win isn't exactly unprecedented but it's still very shocking none the less.
Hatsu Hioki v. Masanori Kanehara
Hioki beat Kanehara by unanimous decision. This fight basically went as expected.
Omigawa v. Kanehara
Unfortunately Hioki was unable to continue due to a concussion. Kanehara won a very tough match by split decision to be crowned featherweight champion and to end Omigawa's Cinderella run. However, this leaves a lot of unhappy fans.
I think Hioki has the right to challenge Kanehara immediately for a title shot considering he already beat him and should've been in the finals. As for Omigawa, winning a title by split decision, while still fair, is not really how a title should be won. I think he should also have some say in the title picture but he will probably get passed over for some bigger names.
Satoru Kitaoka v. Mizuto Hirota
Hirota won by TKO in the fourth round to become the new lightweight champion. This was another big upset. It's not as shocking as Omigawa beating Sandro but it was still quite a surprise. Hopefully Kitaoka can get back on the horse soon and get another shot at the title.
Kazuhiro Nakamura v. Kazuo Misaki
Misaki won by submission, guillotine choke, in the first round.
Kazuyuki Fujita v. Blagoi Ivanov
Ivanov won by split decision. This was both a good and bad first showing for Ivanov. While it's always good to get a win your first time out especially on a big stage he wasn't exactly impressive. On top of that Fujita isn't exactly top notch competition.
Hopefully Ivanov learned a lot from the fight and got the first time jitters out of the way if he wants to make a real go at MMA.
Akihiro Gono v. Dan Hornbuckle
Hornbuckle won by KO in the third round. This was supposed to be a return match for Gono who was coming off an unsuccessful stint in the UFC but Hornbuckle spoiled those plans. Gono is now on a real slide having lost his last three fights in a row.
Eiji Mitsuoka v. Clay French
Mitsuoka defeated French by submission, guillotine choke, in the first round.
Yoshiro Nakao v. Choi Mu Bae
Nakao defeated Choi by unanimous decision.