DEEP 66 Impact took place on April 29, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Three champions – Satoru Kitaoka, Kazunori Yokota, and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi – retained their status as respective division Champions. Takafumi Otsuka claimed the Bantamweight belt, and Yuta Watanabe the Welterweight.
In DEEP’s most ambitious card in quite some time, the action of the matches thoroughly lived up to the billing. DEEP 66 Impact showcased legends and champions, none of whom neglected excitement in favor of point fighting for a win.
The iconic Korakuen Hall was sold out to an audience of rabid fans, and DEEP likely could have sold more if it had been able to host the event in a larger venue as it had wanted. The production was notably absent except for entrance videos and choreographed ring girl performances. Fighters came out from backstage with nothing but entrance music, a spotlight, and screaming fanfare.
The only two fighters awarded the respect of a grandstand entrance were Mizuno Hirota and Daisuke Nakamura, and they came out quickly as the second fight of the night after Ken Saotome out-muscled Michito Abe in front of a satisfied wrestling-savvy crowd in the opener.
Veteran entertainers Hirota and Nakamura went for broke in the entertainment department. Hirota’s constant back takes seemed to hint at a suplex that never came, and they frustrated Nakamura to no end. Nakamura never let the poor position deter him from hunting for a kimura while standing and for leglocks when he was getting soccer kicked on the ground. Hirota was obviously hungry for a win and deservedly earned it.
In a much shorter match, debutante Kwon Won-Il didn’t let Hirotaka Miyakawa catch his breath. The Korean went on the assault from the opening bell and knocked out a dazed Miyakawa not even a minute in. Ken Hamamura gave a similar beatdown to Hidetaka Monma that prompted his corner to intervene in the second. Monma’s physique was about the only thing that trumped Hamamura, who battered him with punches and ground and pound, slipping out of all sub attempts in the process.
Kota Ishibashi proved that a lopsided record on paper can still make for a fun match when he brought his grappling prowess out against Sota Kojima in what was a very fun and fast 2-rounder. Ishibashi got a much needed mark in the win column.
Masanori Kanehara saw himself surprisingly manhandled into the corner by Toshiaki Kitada. Kitada double legged the superstar and dropped him to the canvas. Kanehara was able to scramble and reverse but Kitada cranked on a tight guillotine. In trying to escape, Kanehara rolled the already rope-entangled duo out of the ring and onto the cement floor. The referee called it a foul which cost Kanehara his very impressive win streak.
In the first of the title challenges, Taisuke Okuno came out of the corner with fast flurries against Yuta Watanabe. Watanabe obliged and kept it standing, where he slowly out punched Okuno until his face was hamburger. Okuna’s corner decided to throw in the towel to ostensibly clean up the bloody mess early into the third round.
The second title Takafumi Otsuka outboxed and outwrestled Kenji Osawa with a fervor attesting to his new ascension. Conversely, Osawa declared his retirement following the trumping. It was a rousing three-rounder and Otsuka can finally claim a DEEP belt for his own.
Shunsuke Inoue tried to stand and bang with Light Heavyweight Champion Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, but it didn’t work. Nakanishi’s reach dominated, and his takedowns could not be stopped. The Champ looked for several kimuras on the canvas, but what ended up destroying challenger were fierce elbows that put Inoue to sleep.
Featherweight Champ Kazunori Yokota had a scary first round against Katsunori Tsuda, who had him on the run backwards with a brutal blitzkrieg of punches. But in the second, Yokota regained his footing and slowly mounted his own striking campaign punctuated with takedowns that saw him retain his title by decision.
In the main event, Lightweight Champ Satoru Kitaoka needed to throw literally everything he had against Katsunori Tsuda. Tsuda’s takedown defence was good, but Kitaoka was just that much better, and even while he was surprisingly put on his back more than once, Tsuda couldn’t make much happen there. Kitaoka ground out a decision win and collapsed in a heap of emotions afterwards, a fitting end to a high-octane card.
DEEP 66 Impact
April 29, 2014
Satoru Kitaoka (32-13-9) 北岡悟 (ロータス世田谷/IMPACT GYM/ DEEP第３代ライト級王者)
Naoto Miyazaki (10-2-3) 宮崎直人(総合格闘技津田沼道場)
Satoru Kitaoka defeats Naoto Miyazaki by Unanimous Decision.
Kazunori Yokota (19-5-3) 横田一則（フリー横田一則（フリー）
Katsunori Tsuda (8-2) 津田勝憲（総合格闘技津田沼道場）
Kazunori Yokota defeats Katsunori Tsuda by Unanimous Decision
Light Heavyweight Championship
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi (13-3-1) 中西良行（TRIBE TOKYO MMA/初代DEEPライトヘビー級王者） Shunsuke Inoue (14-7-2) 井上俊介（シュクラン）
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi defeats Shunsuke Inoue by KO, rd 2, 0:58
Vacant Bantamweight Championship
Takafumi Otsuka (16-12-1) 大塚隆史（ＡＡＣＣ）
Kenji Osawa (20-10-2) 大沢ケンジ（和術慧舟會HEARTS）
Takafumi Otsuka defeats Kenji Osawa by Unanimous Decision
Vacant Welterweight Championship
Taisuke Okuno (12-7-2) 奥野”轟天”泰舗(CAVE)
Yuta Watanabe (17-5-4) 悠太（ALLIANCE）
Yuta Watanbe defeats Taisuke Okuno by TKO, corner stoppage, rd 3, 0:26
Masanori Kanehara (23-10-5) 金原正徳 (パラエストラ八王子/戦極初代フェザー級王者)
Toshiaki Kitada (15-7-4) 北田俊亮（パラエストラ千葉
Toshiaki Kitada defeats Masanori Kanehara by Disqualification
Sota Kojima (13-4-4) 小島壮太(吉田道場)
Kota Ishibashi (4-7) 石橋幸太(総合格闘技DOBUITA)
Kota Ishibashi defeats Sota Kojima by Unanimous Decision
Hidetaka Monma (18-10-4) 門馬 秀貴 (ブライトネス門馬道場)
Ken Hamamura (20-10-5)
Ken Hamamura defeats Hidetaka Monma by TKO rd 2, 2:02
Hirotaka Miyakawa (6-11-2) 宮川博孝(ALLIANCE/TEAMゆでたまご)
Won-Il Kwon (0-0) グォン・ウォンイル(CMA KOREA/EXTREME COMBAT)
Kwon Won-Il defeats Hirotaka Miyakawa by TKO, rd 1, 0:36
Mizuto Hirota (14-7-1) 廣田 瑞人 (Gutsman Shooto Dojo)
Daisuke Nakamura (27-14) 中村大介(U-FILE CAMP)
Mizuno Hirota defeats Daisuke Nakamura by Unanimous Decision
Ken Saotome (6-4-3) 五月女健(R-BLOOD)
Michito Abe (9-3) 阿部路人(漢塾)
Ken Saotome defeats Michito Abe by Decision