Yutaro Muramoto recovered from a first round knockdown at Deep Tokyo Impact in the capital’s New Pier Hall to score a unanimous decision win over Fuga Izawa in the first round of the flyweight grand prix.
Muramoto was coming off of a TKO victory over Shinichi Kojima at Rizin 36. His opponent has fought under the Deep banner for his entire pro career and had seen an upturn in form coming into this bout, having racked up a three straight wins.
The 23-year-old appeared as if he might continue his good form when he dropped Muramoto with a left hand late in the first round. With the eventual winner of the Grand Prix set to claim 3 million yen ($22,000 USD) in prize money the stakes were high.
Muramoto was spurred to raise his game in the second and cracked his opponent with a left hand of his own before finding his range with his punches and loading up on combinations as both fighter landed with clean shots. He took this momentum into the third and showcased his grappling.
The 27-year-old did enough to convince all five judges and progress to the next round. Muramoto’s record climbs to 10-6-2 while Izawa slips to 4-4.
Best of the rest
In the co-main event Ryuya Fukuda also progressed to the next round after outpointing Kohei Sugiyama. All five judges scored the fight for the former Deep flyweight champion who improves to 17-7-1 while his opponent drops to 12-7.
Yuto Uda (6-1) will also join them in the next phase after securing the first round knockout over Chikara Shimabukuro (15-18). He finished the fight with an elbow after just three minutes.