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[1994-10-08-UWFi-The King's Road: Budokan] Hiromitsu Kanehara vs Yoshihiro Takayama

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Takayama is all trimmed down. Still a weird looking dude. Flurry of kicks to start the match between the two. Kanehara though shorter seems to have been reach with his kicks. Takayama counters with wild hand strikes. His best chance seems to be him hitting a knee strike. They go to the mat and Takayama is overmatched but uses his reach to make the ropes whenver he is in danger. Time limit ends up running out but I can’t tell if it’s a draw or not as the referee raises both of their hands but the points remaining were different. Don't know if that is a deciding factor.

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These two go after each other pretty aggressively. I love Takayama trying to angle Kanehara for a punt and not really being able to hold him still long enough. And that really explains the dynamic of a big part of the match -- Takayama is trying to just keep Kanehara stationary while Kanehara won't stop moving. Takayama locks in a hold and Kanehara comes back defensively with a strike. Eventually, Kanehara gets the better of the mat sequences too, with Takayama forced to start wrestling defensively. We get some desperation slaps just to get out of a leg grapevine!

 

Kanehara is pretty dominant most of this. Takayama's mouth is bloodied and he can't seem to win any exchanges. He's bigger than Kanehara, but Kanehara is faster and seems to have his number no matter what he tries. Takayama tries mounting him and doing body shots in the ribs and can't even win that battle.

 

This is really well-worked and both guys gave an inspired performance, but the layout was too lopsided. Takayama couldn't get the better of anything, and that continued for nearly 20 minutes.

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This was very good. It was pretty lopsided like Loss said. I really enjoyed the intensity of the strikes and the mat struggles. They also seemed to actually be beating the shit out of each other at times. Takayama should have been given a chance to take control and this match would have been really good.

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Ten minutes chopped off would have been better served. Going to a draw can serve its purpose but in shoot style matches and this one especially it felt like we got everything they had in the arsenal within the first 8 minutes, this was followed by a middling 10 minutes with restarts leading to a hot finish for the draw. Good match and stiff action just lacking cohesive structure to sustain interest for 20 minutes.

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Ugh. This had a 20-minute time limit that felt like 60. The stand-up portions were great, full of fire and guys busting out enzuigiris and Takayama even does a dropkick. But the matwork dragged bad, and moreover nothing ever seemed to HAPPEN. I get that you're not going to get focused body-part-psychology in a shootstyle match, but no one seemed to be in a different position or state by the end of this than they were at the beginning. And at some point you could call the "guy grabs a hold, but oh, he's too close to the ropes" spots before they even began. If ever there was a time to book a double-KO in UWFI after a balls-to-the-wall sprint, this was it.

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An instructional video on how not to pace a 20m bout. As soon as the bell rang they were literally racing into combat, full steam ahead. The opening quarter was pretty awesome as they layed into each other with brutality. Takayama got a bloody mouth. It was so action packed that they'd blown their load and were completely shot. Seeing out the remainder of the time limit was a real trial for all concerned. They were both young, and situations like this are a valuable learning experience.

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Considering the amount of punishment both guys dulled out for 15 of the 20 minutes, I thought they kept up the intensity for the duration. Sure, Takayama slowed down and was obviously struggling to do anything on the mat but the matwork was secondary. The stand-up portions were the obvious highlights -- some very brutal strikes thrown by both guys but Kanehara's high kicks looked really terrific here, especially given Takayama's height. And some of his reflex shots - yowzers. Takayama gets busted open but dishes it back out with the big knees and catcher's mitt slaps. Kanehara struggling for the armbar added a little drama on the ground but it never had the space to develop into anything substantial. This was literally an extended "who can hit harder?" contest, and yeah, it ruled. Tons of fire.  

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