Shinya Aoki and Tomoshige Sera battle to a draw at Road to ONE 2
The event was held at an undisclosed venue in Tokyo with no crowd on Friday night. The two BJJ black belts put on a back and forth display of grappling mastery with Sera looking the more likely to score a submission.
The fight started with Sera on his back and Aoki established top position and shuffled him to the side of the cage. But his opponent was able to comfortably defend using a tight butterfly guard.
The two submission specialists continued to battle back and forth in a positional tussle with neither able to gain the upper hand. Aoki was active from top position but Sera looked to counter with a leg lock.
The two stood up and Sera locked in a guillotine choke as Aoki pressed him up against the cage but Aoki was able to escape and eventually complete the takedown. The Carpe Diem representative was in the ascendancy at this stage but his opponent defended the submission attempts until the final bell.
After the announcer officially declared the outcome of the bout, Aoki grabbed the microphone and had a few words for the online audience,
“If you still want to live, stay at home. Thank you to the people behind this event. I really had fun,” he stated in Japanese.
Best of the rest
In the other grappling exhibition of the evening, Legacy Fighting Alliance-bound UFC veteran Michinori Tanaka battled former Dream featherweight challenger n Kazuyuki Miyata to another draw.
Tanaka, who was dipping his toes into submission grappling format for the very first time, surprisingly posed problems against Miyata over the course of 10 minutes with neither man able to secure the submission.
The MMA fights produced much more action. Pancrase bantamweight contender Joji Goto (10-3-1) needed just 3:58 of the opening round to finish the experienced Kazuma Sone (23-20-1).
Representing Shooto was featherweight prospect Ryoji Kudo (8-1-1). He was coming off back to back ONE Warrior Series wins and demonstrated that he deserves a spot on the main roster by stopping Asuka Tsubaki (2-2) with strikes at 2:59 of round one.