Hiroki Ito extended his winning streak to three with a split decision win against Toru Hara at Deep 109. This was the 25 year-old’s first main event and he apologized afterwards for his performance despite getting the nod from four of the five judges.
The Aichi-native came into the bout on the back of a knockout victory against Yuichi Miyagi at Rizin 36 and this was certainly a winnable fight on paper with Hara boasting a mere 2-3 record including losses in his last three outings.
In the first round it was Ito who got the better of the striking – finding joy with a combination of low kicks and body kicks, jabs and one-two combinations. Hara responded with a takedown. Ito soon found his feet and went for a kimura but Hara was able evade and got the sweep before taking side control.
Ito landed with an overhand left and a low kick in the second round. Hara replied with the jab. Ito caught Hara on the back with a left high kick who soon shot for a double leg.
Hara wobbled his opponent with a jab in the final round and Ito almost gave up his back in a scramble. He soon secured a takedown and dished out some ground and pound towards the end of the round to put the result beyond doubt. His record climbs to 12-3. Hara slips to 2-4.
In the co-main event Pancrase stalwart Toru Ogawa saw his Deep debut spoiled by Tomohiro Ataniya who secured the tap with a kimura in the first round to extend his record to 17-16-3. This was a second straight loss for Ogawa following his defeat to Satoru Enomoto at Pancrase 326.
Best of the rest
Elsewhere there was a return to action for grappling icon Masakazu Imanari who lost a unanimous decision against Takahiro Ashida. The 46-year-old ‘Ashikan Judan’ is a former Deep bantamweight and featherweight champion.
The 36 year old is coming off a win over Takeshi Kasugai at Rizin Landmark 1 but came up short here as Ashida extended his record to 25-12-2. Imanari drops to 39-21-2.
Deep 109, Tokyo, August 21st
Yuki Ito def Kotetsu Hara via split decision
Tomohiro Adaniya def Toru Ogawa via submission
Ryosuke Honda def Haruo Ochi via split decision
Jae Woong Byun def Kazuki Shibuya via submission
Takahiro Ashida def Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision
Shingo Suzuki def Ryuichiro Sumimura via TKO
Koichi Ishizuka def Seigo Yamamoto via TKO
Seigo Mizuguchi def Thomas via submission
Yutaka Hayashi def Masato Nakamura via majority decision
Hiroto Gomyo def Deogracias Lebana via TKO
Kenta def Ryo Iwami via submission