A string of ONE Championship’s brightest Japanese prospects were in action today at Road to ONE 7. The event took place at Tsutaya O-East in front of a limited live audience.

In the main event judo black belt Itsuki Hirata was in action. The undefeated 21 year old is a ONE Championship veteran and has been matched with Miku Nakamura in this atomweight contest.

The charismatic youngster, who has been targeting a place in ONE’s upcoming atomweight Grand Prix, showed effective striking and grappling against Nakamura. Hirata also floored her opponent several times with her clinical judo.

Miku Nakamura punches Itsuki Hirata

Susumu Nagao

Unanswered punches 

Nakamura, a Shooto regular, battled back gamely in round one but found herself trapped in a guillotine choke. She was able to escape and survive until the bell sounded.

In the second round Hirata upped her intensity and launched Nakamura through the air with a hip throw before transitioning into a scarf hold choke. Instead of trying to make her opponent tap she went to work with ground and pound.

After a series of unanswered punches the referee stepped in at the 2:34 mark. With the win Hirata improves to 4-0 and potentially secures a spot in the atomweight Grand Prix while Nakamura drops to 3-4.

Itsuki Hirata finishes Miku Nakamura

Susumu Nagao

Conceding defeat

In the welterweight co-main event Takuya Nagata was stopped by Kazuki Kasai in the third and final round. Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai’s student chased the Shooto and ONE Warrior Series veteran down and landed a hard knee.

With Nagata on all fours Kasai proceeded to punish him with punches to the head prompting the corner to throw in the towel. With the win he improves to 6-1 while his opponent drops to 9-4-1.

Kazuki Kasai punches Takuya Nagata

Susumu Nagao

Best of the rest

Toru Ogawa (12-8) bested fellow Pancrase bantamweight Kenji Yamanaka (11-9) by decision, ending his opponent’s unbeaten run in an entertaining bout. In the lone kickboxing bout of the evening the much-talked about teenager Shoa Arii scored  a convincing win over Yu Hiramatsu, scoring three second round knockdowns

ONE Warrior Series competitor veteran Hikaru Yoshino (9-2) showcased his judo skills to score a split decision win over Shohei Nose (4-2) in their featherweight fight. At lightweight Hirotaka Nakada (2-1) stunned Tatsuhiko Iwamoto (10-7) stopping his opponent with strikes in the opening round.

Road to ONE 7, Tokyo, February 23rd
Itsuki Hirata def Miku Nakamura via TKO (Punches) at 2:34 of Round 2
Kazuki Kasai def Takuya Nagata via TKO (Corner threw in towel) at 2:50 of Round 3
Toru Ogawa def Kenji Yamanaka via Decision (Unanimous)
Kickboxing: Shoa Arii def. Yu Hiramatsu via TKO (Three knockdowns) at 2:25 of Round 2
Hikaru Yoshino def Shohei Nose via Decision (Split)
Hirotaka Nakada def Tatsuhiko Iwamoto via TKO (Elbows and punches) at 3:33 of Round 1
Keito Yamakita def Shuto Aki via TKO (Knees) at 2:21 of Round 1
Toshiomi Kazama def Kohei Maeda via TKO (Punches) at 3:04 of Round 1
Koyuru Tanoue def Takafumi Ato via Decision (Unanimous)