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[1997-01-22-RINGS-Mega Battle Tournament] Tsuyoshi Kohsaka vs Mikhail Ilioukhine


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I know Han/Tamura steals the attention but this match rules. Ilioukhine does a good job of showing off his power, and comes out strong but TK's technique gives him the edge. There's a great kneebar counter that sends Mikhail to the ropes and he manages to escape a follow-up choke only to get caught in an armbar and sent back to the ropes. The crowd is loving the exchanges and Mikhail especially does a good job of selling the damage sustained, from his targeted leg to the rib kicks. They trade some big strikes -- knees, kicks, body shots, face palms -- and in an awesome moment, TK uses a triangle counter out of a leg whip. But Mikhail immediately muscles him over into a heel hook. TK's rolling front necklock is dope but countered with a side choke and when Mikhail tries to finish him off with the single leg, TK counters that with the kneebar for the submission finish. Great build to the final submission. 

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