Koji Takeda walked away with a decisive victory over Juri Ohara at Deep 93. The champion scored his third straight win over the challenger and unlike the previous fight, which was marred by an accidental illegal move, there was not controversy about this outcome.
Their trilogy bout took place at the Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday. Takeda dominated and then submitted his long-standing adversary with a double wristlock in the third round to keep the strap around his waist.
The match started tentatively as Takeda probed with feints and punches. The lanky Ohara unloaded the first significant strikes with a pair of thudding high kicks, but this only served to spur his arch-nemesis into action.
Takeda scored a takedown and then chipped away with punches and elbows on his rival from inside half-guard. Ohara found a route back to his feet, but he did not have the time to launch any significant offense.
Ohara was determined to have stand-up exchanges at the start of the second stanza, but Takeda had other plans as he took his base away from him by charging in for a takedown.
When Ohara forcefully regained his footing, he landed an inadvertent knee to the groin of his opponent that suspended the action for a few minutes.
Back to work
Eager to avoid another anticlimactic ending, Takeda warded off the pain and went back to work, pummeling Ohara with an array of solid punches and knees to the head.
In the third round, Takeda quickly closed the distance to press Ohara against the fence and search for a takedown.
Ohara used his balance to fend off the first stream of attacks, but Takeda eventually got the reward for his tenacity when he dragged the fight to the mat with a high-impact slam.
Takeda passed to side control and smothered his challenger until Ohara tried to shrug him off. In doing so, he made a fatal mistake and offered his arm to Takeda.
The champion immediately took advantage and twisted Oharaâs arm to get the tap with 4:40 on the clock. He improved to 10-1 with the submission win while his opponent dropped to 25-18-3.
Best of the rest
In the co-main event, Roque Martinez (14-5-2) scored a second-round annihilation of hometown favorite Seigo Mizuguchi (14-18) to successfully defend his Deep heavyweight championship.
Meanwhile, Naoki Inoue (12-2) made quick work of Toshiaki Kitada (22-13-4), submitting his fellow Japanese with a rear-naked choke in the first round.