It was not a satisfactory conclusion for the fans at the Korakuen Hall. But Koji Takeda would end up being happy about the result after defending his lightweight belt at Deep 92.
Takeda took home a technical unanimous decision victory over Juri Ohara in Tokyo. The end came abruptly at the 2:07 mark of the second round when Takeda inadvertently landed a knee shot to Ohara’s groin.
Ohara was given the mandatory five minutes recovery time, but he could not continue and the match went to the judges because the scheduled three-round encounter had already passed the midway point. Three of the five scoring officials at cageside ruled in favor of the champion.
From the opening bell, Takeda took control, securing a takedown and spending the majority of the opening round in a dominant position.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Ohara ended the frame on a more competitive note as he powered out of Takeda’s standing guillotine choke attempt and landed a few clean shots from an upright stance.
However, it was the same story in the second round as Takeda put the pressure on his compatriot, who was visibly starting to lose steam. He then scored two big takedowns to further demoralize the defenseless Ohara.
Unfortunately, Takeda caught Ohana with an illegal low blow while pressing him against the cage fence, which forced the referee to pause the match for injury time.
After five minutes, Ohara opted to throw in the towel, but enough time had elapsed for the contest to be decided on the scorecards. Three of the five judges opted for Takeda and the other two saw it even by margins of 20-18, 19-19, 20-18, 19-19 and 20-18.
“I am very sorry for this kind of outcome in our fight. I hope we can do this fight again,” an apologetic Takeda said in his post-bout interview.
Takeda improved his standing to 9-1 with the win, while Ohara dropped his professional record to 25-17-3.
Best of the rest
In other matches, 43-year-old Michihiro Omigawa (19-14-1) rolled back the years by scoring his first knockout victory since 2009 at the expense of Akihiko Mori (10-9-1).
Deep welterweight champion Ryuichiro Sumimura (14-7) authored a commanding performance, submitting Yoshitomo Watanabe (16-17-3) with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their non-title clash.
Meanwhile, Kosuke Suzuki (14-11-3) only needed 26 seconds to force Chikara Shimabukuro (14-15-6) to wave the white flag courtesy of a guillotine choke in the first round.