Rei Tsuruya enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting young talents in Japan when he submitted Satoru Enomoto to be crowned Flyweight King of Pancrase. The fight headlined the card at the Yokohama Budokan on December 25th.
The 20-year-old came into the fight with an unblemished 5-0 record and five straight stoppages. His last win came against Masatatsu Ueda at Pancrase 329 where he got the job done with ground and pound in the first to earn a shot at the title.
Enomoto won the belt with a unanimous decision win over Toru Ogawa at Pancrase 326. He came into the contest riding a seven fight winning steak.
The youngster sought to use his grappling from the get-go and shot in for a single leg in the Pancrase 330 headliner. Enomoto was able to find his feet but soon found himself shoved against the cage before being wrestled to the ground.
Tsuruya was able to take the back and go for the Suloev stretch. Unable to lock in the submission, the Deep veteran moved for the left arm but Enomoto escaped to his feet and pushed his opponent against the cage wall.
Tsuruya threw a left high kick early in the second stanza before securing a double leg and laying down some ground and pound, catching the 32-year-old with a clean left hand. The southpaw then moved in for the kill as he took Enomoto’s back and sunk in the rear naked choke.
With the win he improves to 6-0 while his opponent drops to 8-4. Afterwards Tsuruya apologized for being unable to finish the fight in the first round and declared he wanted to sin with the UFC.
Best of the rest
Earlier in the afternoon Ryo Tajima was crowned interim bantamweight champion. Toshinori Tsunemura’s corner threw in the towel midway through the fourth round.
Tajima improves to 7-1 and makes it five wins on the bounce, he will be hoping to fight regular champion Rafael Silva who was last seen in action in 2019. Tsunemura slips to 18-11-4