Bokang Masunyane vs. Yusuke Ogikubo
Rafael Silva vs. Yuto Hokamura
Satoshi Date vs. Katsuyuki Hironaka
JM: Usually we start out each week by talking about some ultraviolence that happened. But this week, I’d like to start out with something much happier. I fell in love over the weekend. Not the passing fancy kind of love, but the Real Deal Holyfield kind of love. This is who I fell in love with.
I know only three facts about Bokang Masunyane. His name is awesome, he is awesome, and I’m ready to fight anyone who disagrees. Consider this the official start of the Bokang Gang.
AL: “Little Giant” is billed at 5-foot-1 and that seems generous. He was definitely not generous with the way he treated Yusuke Ogikubo here. Despite giving up six inches in height to Ogikubo, Masunyane absolutely handles him for three rounds, just tossing him all over the cage.
Ogikubo went into this fight as the No. 5 ranked flyweight in Pancrase, so taking him out in such impressive fashion is nothing to sneeze at. Masunyane improved to 6-0 and now that Michel Pereira got that call to the big show, I think “Little Giant” is the guy I most want to see get a look from a major North American promotion.
Don’t take our word for it though, Pancrase 307 can be viewed in its entirety on UFC Fight Pass.
Also on this show, we had Bellator vet Rafael Silva showing what it takes to be almost 40 fights deep into a pro career and how to be a defending bantamweight champion in the lawless land of JMMA.
In the co-main event, Yuto Hokamura was absolutely drilling Silva with elbows to the dome, but that was just a setup for an awesome comeback.
Rafael “Morcego” Silva (@rafaelmorcegoRM) is still your Bantamweight King of Pancrase, surviving a gruesome series of elbows (several to the back of the head) to choke out Yuto Hokamura in round two! Now 31-6, the Bellator vet is 9-1 in his last 10. What a war! #Pancrase307 pic.twitter.com/KGrirnYUmB
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) July 21, 2019
JM: I know this is gonna sound hypocritical coming from me, the leading proponent of cheating in MMA, but even I think those elbows were excessive.
I have no idea what the referee was doing, allowing Hokamura to obliterate the back of the head like that or, frankly, allowing the fight to continue as Silva took something in the neighborhood of 32 unanswered strikes there but I guess it’s a good thing he did. Full credit to Silva for gutting it out and then getting the win. That’s an incredibly impressive display of heart.
Arguably the best performance from Pancrase last week though came from the opening fight. Satoshi Date was spamming elbows like a video game character and then suddenly, one of them landed and that was all she wrote.
Not bad for a (now) 6-11 MMA fighter.
AL: My first guess would be that Date broke his hand or something. My conclusion would be that he broke Katsuyuki Hironaka’s face.
Fuktarbek Davronov vs. Maksat Ergeshaliev
JM: Let’s shift gears a bit and head to St. Petersburg, Russia where something fun happens.
First off, I love that at event number 35, Fuktarbek Davronov scored a 35-second KO. That’s just neat. Second off, for only a 35-second scrap it’s a good one.
AL: It may not have lasted long, but this promoter and the fans definitely got their money’s worth. I’ll be the first one to champion technical battles like what we saw between Leon Edwards and Rafael dos Anjos, but it never hurts to enjoy a fight that is just big, dumb fun, does it?
JM: Ergeshaliev actually cracks Davronov and has him a little jolted but like all true fighters, a hurt Davronov is a dangerous Davronov and he wades in throwing heat that gets the job done.
Gabriel Victorino vs. Luigui Quezada
Kevin Borjas vs. Jorge Icomena
AL: It’s been too long since we’ve checked in with our Peruvian pals at Inka FC, so let’s see what was going down last Friday in Lima.
Poor Luigui Quezada. You can tell he gets hurt early in this clip and has no idea where he is, so his body just wanders forward into more and more punches until it shuts down completely.
JM: Talk about a face plant. That’s one of the hardest belly flops I’ve ever seen in the cage. What a great win for Gabriel Victorino, picking up a belt and an impressive KO. Considering he’s a bantamweight, he might be one to watch for. Could see him getting picked up soon.
One guy who won’t be getting picked up soon is Jorge Icomena, unless by “picked up” you mean “picked up off the canvas.” Jorge tried to channel the much more successful Jorge Masvidal and lead with a flying knee. It did not go as planned.
Now that right there is a prime example of when keeping it real goes wrong.
AL: Last week, we saw Jyunya Murata botch a Masvidal knee and nearly fly out of the ring, though he was fortunate enough to get it together and pick up a submission win later. No such luck for Icomena here.
Just the spill onto his butt would have been enough to make him go viral. Unlike Murata, Icomena never recovers and in the cruelest of ironies, ends up on the receiving end of a knee knockout himself.
The MMA Gods chortled.
Zhao Chongyang vs. Kento Ito
Over at K-1 Krush 103, we saw a much more accurate knee by Zhao Chongyang that Icomena may want to study in the future:
JM: That is a truly savage knee. Usually it feels like the big knee KOs snap the head upward. This one does that but it also tWISts Kento’s head around like a bottlecap. And Zhao knows what he did too. The moment it lands you can see him pull back like he is thinking “Welp, that’s done. No man alive is eating that and staying conscious.”
AL: If we’re doing the bottle cap challenge with people’s heads now, I want no part of it.
Cassius Chaney vs. Joel Caudle
AL: You know, we’ve collected plenty of knockouts for our “He Fell Funny” category, but this might be the first “He Outta Here” KO we’ve seen:
JM: I won’t lie, there is just something about watching a man get knocked through the ropes that tickles my fancy. But while that is a good angle, I prefer this one.
AL: If you’ve got a VR headset, strap that puppy on and watch as Joel Caudle tumbles right into your living room.
JM: Gotta respect the judge who saw a semi-conscious man hurtling towards him through the ropes and didn’t think to himself, “I should catch this man before he cracks open his skull on the floor” and instead thought, “I’ll shove him to the side so I don’t need to get out of my chair.” Keep looking out for number one, buddy.
AL: We’re going to end this week on a somber note by sending our condolences to the friends and family of Maxim Dadashev, who passed away earlier this week following a loss to Subriel Matias on the same card as the Chaney-Caudle fight. Dadashev’s corner waved the white flag for him in the 11th round after it became clear that their fighter was sustaining too much damage, but sadly he would succumb to brain injuries Tuesday morning at a hospital in Maryland.
As much as we glorify spectacular finishes in this feature, let’s not forget the human cost and the sacrifices these fighters make for our entertainment. Whether they win or lose, be grateful for the martial artists, warriors, and maniacs who choose this path.