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[1992-10-23-UWFi-Combat Sport] Kiyoshi Tamura vs Kazuo Yamazaki

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Awesome match! Young Tamura is great. Amazing struggle with the matwork, and I love how resourceful Tamura is every time you expect the vet, Yamazaki, to have his number. I'm assuming this was a big upset. Immediately one of my favorite UWFI matches.

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I thought this was tremendous. The mat work was quick and exciting. The dynamic here was real good. Their was some awesome kick exchanges. What an awesome bout.

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Tamura was like a young Takada. Talented, cocky, bit of a prick. He was the underdog here yet looked the better fighter and I'm glad he won. He did an effective job of countering strikes and neutralising Yamazakis big advantage in this area. It turned into a submission based contest. At times Kazuo looked short of ideas. After a strong start and with a hot crowd I thought this might explode. That didn't quite happen as it ended up at good level. I'd like to see a rematch.

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Feels like it's been forever since we've seen Yamazaki. The opening to this is one of the greatest shootstyle openings in history, and if they'd kept that pace and intensity up we'd be talking about a MOTD contender let alone MOTY. As it is, they can't, so we're left with "just" the shootstyle Match of the Year instead. Great, pro-wrestling-style finish, too.

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This was something to see, just super fast and fluid matwork with rapid fire counters and sequences from spot to spot. Tamura finds a ton of submissions that all flow from the work on the mat. One awesome sequence early saw Tamura turn a Yamazaki kick into an awesome single leg throw, then follow with a submission attempt and an enzuigiri. You can't do justice to how smooth and seamless everything was. Felt like a big win for Tamura. Really great shoot style.

 

****

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I haven't watched all of the shoot-style matches up to this point. From what I have watched, this is easily my shoot-style MOTY. I was on the edge of my seat from the get-go. I kept wanting Tamura to smack Yamazaki when they were tangled up and he finally did it near the end, prompting the stand-up. Fantastic match, really hot crowd.

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This wasn't the highest-scoring match in the world, but I liked it anyway. Everything was a battle, and there was constant action because of the many reversals and counter-reversals. They lagged a little bit toward the end, but most shootstyle matches have a ton more downtime than this one did. I loved Tamura's escape from the sleeper, and he floated right into the armbar for the win. This was a treat to watch.

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#398

 

This was a great match, possibly Tamura's career best to this point. Yamazaki had a few barn burners like this in UWF-i. There's a lot of beautiful counter wrestling in this and very little wasted motion. I recommend watching the English commentary version if you want to pick up on more of the details. I really liked the finish as it played off Tamura's opening gambit and toyed with the question of whether Tamura was arrogant or not. As it turned out, his unbridled joy at pulling off the win melted away his punk kid attitude and showed how badly he wanted to succeed. Quite a moment in the young man's career and a huge step up in his performances from 1990 and 1991. That's one of the fun things about Tamura. You get to watch him evolve from a rookie to one of the best fighters in the world much like watching players develop in real sports. Love Tamura.

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Great match and definitely the most reminiscent of UWF 2.0 out of any of the UWFi stuff so far. That opening was fantastic and I loved all the crowd reactions to the constant counters and reversals on the mat through the first couple of minutes.  Tamura plays the brash young underdog, Yamazaki the stubborn veteran, and together, the competitive nature, the frustrations, the teases -- everything worked, for the most part. There were a couple of times when it felt a little long in the tooth but then they're turn it up again, and Yamazaki would fly at him with a spinning heel kick. There's a great moment toward the end when Tamura is smacking the hell out of Yamazaki when he's stuck in a leglock but Yamazaki ain't letting go. Then Yamazaki's like fuck it, let's finish this, and he's able to hit the German suplex but Tamura finally taps him with the armbar. Really good stuff here.

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