Friday, October 31, 2014
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Kitaoka & Santiago are GP winners at Sengoku 6

World Victory Road’s Sengoku 6 took place on November 1st at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan and featured the conclusion of its lightweight and middleweight grand prix.

Not part of the grand prix but serving as definite highlights of the card were “King Mo” Muhammad Lawal and brother of UFC interim HW Champ, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Main Card:
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (15-3) defeats Moise Rimbon via unanimous decision (13-8-3)
“King Mo” Muhammad Lawal (2-0) defeats Fabio Silva (11-5) via TKO (strikes 0:41:R3)
Sergey Golyaev (11-6) defeated Takanori Gomi (29-4) via split decision
Lightweight Grand Prix semifinals:
Kazunori Yokota (8-1-3) defeats Mizuto Hirota (10-3) via unanimous decision
Satoru Kitaoka (22-8-9) defeats Eiji Mitsuoka (14-6-2) via submission (heel hook 1:16:R1)
Lightweight Grand Prix reserve bout:
Jorge Masvidal (15-3) defeats Seung Hwan Bang (5-3) via unanimous decision
Lightweight Grand Prix finals:
Satoru Kitaoka (23-8-9) defeats Kazunori Yokota (8-2-3) via unanimous decision
Middleweight Grand Prix semifinals:
Kazuhiro Nakamura (13-8) defeats Yuki Sasaki (22-15-1) via unanimous decision
Jorge Santiago (19-7) defeats Siyar Bahadurzada (14-4-1) via submission (heel hook 1:10:R1)
Middleweight Grand Prix reserve bout:
Joe Doerksen (41-12) defeats Izuru Takeuchi (25-10-6) via TKO (strikes 0:41:R3)
Middleweight Grand Prix finals:
Jorge Santiago (20-7) defeats Kazuhiro Nakamura (13-9) via TKO (strikes 0:49:R3)

There were two main things I took away from this event as I dozed in and out of conciousness throughout the VERY early hours of Saturday morning: First, “King Mo” is not only highly entertaining but is one bad mofo. Second, the production quality and presentation of the Sengoku event is second to none.

As “King Mo”, Muhammad Lawal finished his beatdown and third round destruction of Fabio Silva, he thanked the tens of thousands in attendance and began to make his way toward the dressing room. Wearing his trademark crown and moving to the rhythm of hip hop beats, “King Mo” danced as he and his entourage of ladies and cornermen moved along the aisle, all the while signing autographs, smiling big, and slapping fives. At one point Mo stopped to sign his autograph for some very young Japanese boys who were visibly ecstatic that one of their heroes stopped to give them a moment.

“King Mo” removed his crown and placed it on one of the boy’s head. They could not believe they were wearing their hero’s crown as they took it off and looked at it with great admiration. The King still grooving to the heavy bass music continued with his victory walk leaving the young men with the treasure. The King just earned himself two lifelong fans and this episode reminded me why MMA in Japan and Sengoku is so special.

American MMA organizations could sure learn a thing or two about production from Sengoku’s graphical presentation. Before each fight as the fighters are introduced the viewer gets the feeling they are learning what the next mission is in a video game. With swords slicing across the TV screen and images of each fighter on the blade of the sword, spider webs, and using various lens filters for effect, the graphical expertise of the Japanese finds a perfect canvas at this Sengoku event. One may never realize just how much graphic presentation can add to an mma event until they view a Sengoku event (and the MMA is damn good too).

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