On 12 March, Pancrase 285 went down in Tokyo at the Differ Ariake Arena and two titles exchanged hands.
Nazareno Malegarie and Mamoru Yamaguchi came into the night as the challengers for the crown and walked out with the belt wrapped around their waists feeling the highest of highs.
The main event was over faster than people expected but the end result was something a lot of fans of the sport predicted.
In the first frame, Malegarie caught a kick and dragged Tamura to the mat. He smoothly took the back and controlled the champion with relative ease.
He methodically locked in the body triangle and worked for the choke. After some damaging punches from back mount, Tamura gave the challenger an opening and he took it.
At the 2:50 mark, Tamura had to tap since he was stuck in a rear-naked choke that he could not get out of.
As a result, Nazareno Malegarie becomes the new featherweight King of Pancrase with one of the most decisive title bouts in the history of the longest running Japanese promotion.
In the co-main event, flyweight champion Ryuichi Miki took on his old training partner Mamoru Yamaguchi and lost a very close decision after five rounds on the feet.
Throughout the first four rounds, Yamaguchi used effective striking and defensive wrestling to keep the fight from hitting the canvas. Even though Miki had his moments, the challenger landed the harder shots and had the champion on unstable legs at times.
Going into the last round, Miki had to finish the fight or he would likely lose his title since he was down three rounds to one in many people’s eyes. Even though the champion needed some urgency, he fought the same way he did the previous rounds except for a few overhand rights that whiffed.
When it was all said and done, Mamoru Yamaguchi pulls off a huge upset and becomes the new flyweight King of Pancrase via split decision.
The 39 year-old showed everyone that age ain’t nothing but a number.
The ninth fight of the night saw Masakatsu Ueda take on Victor Henry in a revenge fight for Ueda who lost to Henry two years ago at GRANDSLAM 2.
It was also announced that current bantamweight King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari will face Rafael Silva at Pancrase 287 in May.
11th Fight (Feather Weight Title Match:5min x 5R)
Issei Tamura (KRAZY BEE) VS Nazareno Malegarie (TEAM TAVARES)
Nazareno won by Rear-Choke at 1R 2’50”.
10th Fight (Fly Weight Title Match:5min x 5R)
Ryuichi Miki (CAVE) VS Mamoru (Shooting Gym Yokohama)
Mamoru won by 2-1/Decision.
Minowa-man will return to PANCRASE this summer.
9th Fight (Bantam Weight:5min x 3R)
Masakatsu Ueda (PARAESTRA Tokyo) VS Victor Henry (CSW/Hybrid FIghter)
Ueda won by 3-0/Decision.
*Ueda got ¥200,000- as WIN-BONUS with International-Fight!
Shintaro Ishiwatari will have a title fight against Rafael Silva… the strongest challenger… 2 months later… this May.
8th Fight (Fly Weight:5min x 3R)
Senzo (FREEDOM@OZ) VS Tateki Matsuda (Team Sityodtong Boston)
Senzo won by 3-0/Decision.
7th Fight (Straw Weight:5min x 3R)
Ayaka Miura (TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A) VS Magdalena Sormova (PENTA GYM PRAGUE)
Miura won by 3-0/Decision.
*Miura got ¥100,000- as WIN-BONUS with International-Fight!
6th Fight (Welter Weight:3min x 3R)
Yuki Kondo (PANCRASEism Yokohama) VS Takaaki Nara (Hakkei Gym)
Nara won by 3-0/Decision.
5th Fight (Fly Weight:3min x 3R)
Yuya Wakamatsu (TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A) VS Yuki Uejima (Brave)
Wakamatsu won by TKO at 1R 2’49”.
4th Fight (Bantam Weight:5min x 3R)
TSUNE (Reversal Gym Shinjyuku Me,We) VS Daiki Gojima (GUTSMAN)
TSUNE won by 3-0/Decision.
3rd Fight (Straw Weight:3min x 3R)
Suguru Hayasaka (CORE QUEST KUSIRO) VS Hiroaki Ijima (GUTSMAN)
Ijima won by 3-0/Decision.
2nd Fight (Bantam Weight:3min x 3R)
Hulk Oshiro (VOS GYM) VS J Taro Takita (Wajyutsu Keishu-Kai Tokyo Dojo)
Oshiro won by 3-0/Decision.
1st Fight (Feather Weight:3min x 3R)
Satoshi Inaba (Akimoto Dojo jungle junction) VS Katsushi Sugiyama (TURNING POINT MMA/HF)
Sugiyama won by 3-0/Decision.