TOKYO, Japan – “Sengoku Raiden Championship 12” took place on March 7, at Ryogoku, Kokugikan. The main event featured a middleweight title bout between the champion Jorge Santiago (22-8) and Polish superstar Mamed Khalidov (20-4-1).
Khalidov, who had not lost a fight since 2005, was on a 17-fight win streak. And Santiago, who himself had been on a nine-fight win streak, was looking for revenge after Khalidov knocked him out in the first round of a non-title bout at Sengoku 11 back in November.
And revenge he got.
Khalidov came out strong in round one with aggressive striking combinations, but Santiago took the round with good defense and securing top position after getting a takedown. Rounds two and three was all Khalidov as he took Santiago to the mat and attacked from the top.
However, it was the first fight of Khalidov’s career that went into the championship rounds, and his lack of stamina seemed to be the deciding factor. By the end of the fourth round he appeared completely gassed. Santiago took it to Khalidov in the fifth, opened a cut on him, and in the end was awarded the unanimous decision to retain his title.
In the co-main event, UFC and Pride veteran Akihiro Gono took on Sweden’s Diego Gonzalez. Gono, not knowing much about his opponent, started the fight cautiously but by the third round had picked up the pace and cut his opponent. Gonzalez just couldn’t seem to put anything together and ended up losing a unanimous decision.
Here are the full results:
[table id=2 /]