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Jetlag

[1996-04-13-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Carl Greco

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Welp, here's two matches I didn't even know existed on tape until last week. They didn't make the Best of BattlARTS comp – which is some serious bollocks if you ask me, because both these were excellent and immediately skyrocketed towards the top of my list of favourite Greco matches. The first match was a full shootstyle main event and as cool as you imagine it to be. They had the BattlARTS roster (and even Dieseul Berto) watching from ringside. (...) Even after watching so much Greco footage, I was surprised with all the cool shit Greco came up with in these two matches. I've said it before that Greco brings the best out of his opponents, but it was striking that Usuda and Ishikawa never looked better on the mat in 1996 than opposite Greco here. Another thing was how brutal Carl could get: the Ishikawa singles obviously had a lot of pride involved, and maybe Ishikawa's cockiness is what lead Carl to angrily waffle him with shotais and eventually rattle his brain with a series of kicks to the skull, but he did it the next night aswell when the beef was between Ishikawa and Ikeda... maybe it's cause he was fighting Ishikawa, maybe he toned down the striking later on to focus on his submission work, maybe April of 1996 just wasn't Ishikawa's month... one thing wasn't out of the ordinary: both matches had Carl ensnaring people like a python. Regardless, 4/13 was an intense contest with a crazy finish, and 4/14 another top notch BattlARTS tag that told an excellent story, and both matches delivered both brutality and crazy mat stuff in spades as you want. Highly recommended stuff

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I wonder where this match-up ranks in the pantheon of prominent Battlarts match-ups. Ishikawa/Ikeda is probably always going to be #1, but when was these two lacing into each other never not a treat? This had Greco at his squirmy best, just all over Ishikawa, constantly moving and transitioning. He controlled most of this when it was on the ground and Ishikawa was largely on the defensive. The problem for Greco was that Ishikawa never seemed to be in TOO much trouble. On the other hand, even if Ishikawa wasn't controlling the fight he was the one responsible for the most dangerous moments. There would be spells where he'd need to bide his time, but then he'd catch an opening and Greco would need to scramble for the ropes. I don't think Ishikawa needed to force a single rope break in the first two thirds while Greco needed several. Greco opting to drill Ishikawa in the face instead was quite the awesome wrinkle. He caught him with one upkick that dropped Ishikawa for an eight or nine and then you had the dynamic where maybe Greco didn't need to be winning the ground exchanges in order to win the fight. Finish is insane as he unloads with three kicks to the jaw that put Ishikawa out cold, then just to be sure he applies a brutal choke as Ishikawa's tongue turns purple. Either Ishikawa's bell got run legit or it was some of the best selling I've ever seen. Hell, it's Battlarts, maybe it was both.

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