The interim flyweight title was up for grabs in the main event of Deep 90 yesterday. Yuya Shibata took on teenager Makoto Takahashi and prevailed after spending virtually the entire fight in top position.
Takahashi landed a low kick at the start of the fight but neither fighter looked very interested in striking. After a brief clinch against the cage the 18 year old got the fight to the ground for the first time but found himself defending a series of submission attempts.
Shibata was willing to try anything and everything and had his opponent in defensive mode as he looked for openings to try an omoplata, gogoplata, triangle or armbar. It meant Takahashi was too busy defending submission attempts to do any damage but he still finished the round in top position.
Back and forth
In the second stanza Shibata looked to toss Takahashi to the ground but ended up on the bottom again. The 27 year old was hoping to win a Deep title at the third attempt and appeared to be in the ascendancy when he was able to use a leg lock attempt to take the teenager’s back.
Takahashi escaped almost instantly but Shibata was able to use another leg lock attempt to reverse. He briefly secured full mount but only for a split second before the 18 year old scrambled out to finish the round in top position.
At the start of the third Shibata shot for a double leg only to end up on the bottom yet again. After a brief scramble normal service was resumed with Takahashi in top position but his opponent pushing the pace by constantly looking for submissions.
The action appeared to have stalled but with 30 seconds remaining in the fight there was an almighty scramble which ended with Takahashi on top, trying to find space to land punches or elbows. Unable to produce any meaningful offence the teenager finished the fight with a half hearted guillotine attempt.
Having spent the vast majority of the fight on his back Shibata was never going to get any favours from the judges and all three of them saw it 30-27 in favour of his opponent. Takahashi improves to 9-1-1 and claims the interim title while ‘monkey’ drops to 18-7.
Earlier in the night UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa (18-14-1) finished Yuki Ohara (9-8) with an arm triangle choke in the second round of their featherweight contest. Tatsuya Mizuno (21-12-1) submitted Mitsuyoshi Nakai (1-4) using the same method to secure his sixth straight Deep win.