Genpei Hayashi was crowned the new Pancrase welterweight champion at Pancrase 334 in Tokyo on Sunday. The Shizuoka-native is part of the furniture in these parts, having first fought for the promotion back in 2013.

The 33-year-old came into the bout on that two straight victories and faced an opponent 10 years his senior. The veteran had earned his shot at the crown with a win over Hiroki Nagaoka at Pancrase 330.

In the first round, Murayama gauged the distance and timing with low and front kicks, while Hayashi countered with left inside low kicks. Hayashi utilized his right cross and closed the distance with a powerful left high kick.

Murayama tried to defend with a right low kick, but Hayashi swiftly closed the gap and unleashed a strong right hand. Murayama attempted to grapple and landed a left hook, but Hayashi countered with a right straight.

Despite Murayama’s efforts to maintain control, all three judges scored the round 10-9 in favor of Hayashi under Pancrase’s open scoring.

Genpei Hayashi punches Akihiro Murayama at Pancradse 334

Keisuke Takazawa

Clean sweep

The second round saw Hayashi maintaining distance with left inside low kicks and pushing Murayama towards the cage with a variety of strikes. Murayama retaliated with grappling, but Hayashi skilfully evaded his attempts and landed precise shots, including a left hook and a right Superman punch.

Hayashi continued to dominate the round, earning another 10-9 score from the judges.

As the third round commenced, Hayashi closed the distance with a left jab, but Murayama countered with a powerful right cross. Murayama effectively countered Hayashi’s strikes, pushing him into the cage and landing punches.

However, Hayashi’s agility and accuracy proved superior, as he continued to showcase a range of strikes and grappled Murayama into the cage. The judges once again awarded the round 10-9 to Hayashi who was on course for a clean sweep on the scorecards.

Genpei Hayashi kicks Akihiro Murayama

Keisuke Takazawa

Foregone conclusion

Entering the fourth round Murayama knew he needed a stoppage to win and both fighters exchanged jabs and hooks. The older man was attempting to grapple but Hayashi kept him at bay with low kicks and front kicks.

Despite Murayama’s efforts Hayashi’s output was superior and and he effectively kept him at bay with distance control and strikes to win another round 10-9 across the board.

If Murayama couldn’t finish the fight in the final round than the result was a forgone conclusion. He looked to catch his opponent’s kicks and take him down but had no success.

Hayashi continued to score with jabs, low kicks, and body punches while Murayama struggled to bring the fight to the ground. In desperation he tried a spinning back fist but lost his balance and finished the fight on the bottom.

All three judges scored the fight for Hayashi who captures the Pancrase welterweight crown and improves to 13-11-1. His opponent drops to 23-13-9 but deserves credit for fighting 25 minutes at the age of 43.

Genpei Hayashi with the Pancrase welterweight title

Keisuke Takazawa

Best of the rest

In the co-main event there was a first-round submission win for Seiichiro Ito (16-4-2). He finished Taiki Akiba (11-13-1) with a rear naked choke in their flyweight fight to extend his winning streak to four.

Pancrase 334, Tokyo, June 4th
Genpei Hayashi def Akihiro Murayama via Decision (Unanimous)
Seiichiro Ito def Taiki Akiba via submission via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 4:39 of Round 1
Hiroshi Fujita def Kota Shirakawa via Submission (Kneebar) at 0:29 of R2
Ryutaro Sato def Kenta Takagi via TKO (Injury) at 0:08 of R1
Daichi Kamiya def Tenya Yoshimura via DQ (Illegal knee) at 2:30 of R3
Harumasa Yachi def Kazuki Itaya via Decision (Unanimous)
Takashi Mochizuki def. Rikuya Ishida via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 2:44 of R2
Takuma Okada def Tomohiro Ueda via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 2:22 of R1
Hiroya Takeda def Murao Maeda via Submission (Rear naked choke) at 2:19 of R2
Toya Ohara def Tokumitsu Takagi via submission (arm lock) at 3:59 of R1
Ayumu Kan def Yuki Teramoto via TKO (Punch) at 1:02 of R1
Shoui Urushima def Junpei Ueno via TKO (Punches) at 4:25 of R1
Seiya Yamazaki def Misaki Umehara via Decision (Unanimous)
Genta Shindo def Tomoya Ono via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:18 of R1
Takuei Teraoka def Yuito Yoneyama via Decision (Unanimous)