A Brazilian black belt living in Barcelona, Yan Cabral is no Lionel Messi, the star of Catalan soccer club Barcelona, but he pulled off an amazing feat of his own. Undefeated in MMA, Yan took on MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba and brought on the pressure, even nearly knocking out the king of Pride FC early on. In the second round, Yan got the takedown, made it to side control and sunk an arm-and-neck choke to notch the tenth win in his undefeated career.
“It’s an honor – I can’t explain what it feels like to face Sakuraba. Life is a battle and we have to overcome the obstacles. ‘Arigato.’” said Yan after the fight.
Rodolfo made his promotional debut kicking off the quarterfinals of the bantamweight GP against Yusup Saadulaev. The Brazilian had his work cut out for him and needed three rounds to win by unanimous decision and make it to his tenth win in a row.
Now Bibiano Fernandes was quick on the trigger, finishing off Takafumi Otsuka with a rear-naked choke in just 41 seconds, thus moving to the next stage of the GP.
In another heavily anticipated fight, Shinya Aoki used his slick Jiu-Jitsu skills to put away Rob McCullough with a rear-naked choke in the first round. Now Takeshi Inoue knocked out Caol Uno and Tatsuya Kawajiri submitted Joachim Hansen with an arm-and-neck choke.
Coming off a loss in the UFC and recovered from a hand injury, Brazil’s Willamy Chiquerim’s return to the Land of the Rising Sun came against Satory Kitaoka. The Nova União fighter was neutralized for the first two rounds, during which Kitaoka clinched, got the takedown and held the advantage on the ground. Advised by his corner to go all or nothing, Chiquerim went on an all-out striking onslaught that saw a hook drop his opponent. He ended up taking a yellow card for stalling, however, and escaped a tight guillotine. When the scorecards came in, Kitaoka took the split decision.
(By collaborator Junior Samurai)
Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
September 24, 2011
Ikuhisa Minowa submitted Baru Harn via arm-and-neck choke in R1
Bantamweight GP quarterfinals
Antonio Banuelos defeated Hideo Tokoro via split decision
Bibiano Fernandes defeated Takafumi Otsuka via rear-naked choke in R1
Masakazu Imanari submitted Abel Cullum via armbar
Rodolfo Marques defeated Yusup Saadulaev via unanimous decision
Yan Cabral submitted Kazushi Sakuraba via arm-and-neck choke in R2
Tatsuya Kawajiri submitted Joachim Hansen via arm-and-neck choke in R3
Shinya Aoki submitted Rob McCullough via rear-naked choke in R1
Satoru Kitaoka defeated Willamy “Chiquerim” via split decision
“Lion” Takeshi Inoue knocked out Caol Uno in R1
Gerald Harris defeated Kazuhiro Nakamura via split decision