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ALPHA-1 Tiers of Excellence

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In the beginning of 1999, the Naruto game company that owns ALPHA-1 decided that for their MMA child to prosper, they need a radically new idea and direction. They hired a mysterious management team that quickly came out with a plan that was seen as a step towards making MMA more competitive, more respectable and able to produce better storylines for the fans to get excited about: The Ranking and Tier system.


Ranking & Tier System

The new ALPHA-1 management hired a respectable panel of experts (including some of the most prolific Japanese (and some foreign) judges, coaches, MMA journalists and former fighters, called the ALPHA-1 Ranking Committee. Their job is to prepare rankings for each weight class that ALPHA-1 has, putting all the fighters that compete in that weight class in order from best to worst (at the moment; the rankings are expected to shift depending on the momentum and streak, but those things are not the ultimate criterion). This ranking is then used to divide each weight class into tiers:


Tier I

It consists of top 5 fighters in the weight class. They are the only ones capable of challenging for the title belt. A Tier I fighter can be challenged by any other Tier I fighter, by the first ranked fighter in Tier II or, in case of the lowest ranked person in Tier I, by the entire Tier II.


Tier II

It consists of the 5 fighters directly below Tier I. A Tier II fighter can fight any other Tier II fighter, the lowest-ranked fighter in Tier I or the highest-ranked fighter in Tier III. The best fighter in Tier II has the option to challenge anybody in Tier I (but cannot have a title shot), while the worst fighter in Tier II might fight anybody from Tier III.


Tier III

It consists of the 5 fighters directly below Tier II. A Tier III fighter can fight any other Tier III fighter, the lowest-ranked fighter in Tier II or one of the top 5 fighters in Tier IV. The best fighter in Tier III has the option to challenge anybody in Tier II, while the worst fighter in Tier III might fight anybody from Tier IV.


Tier IV

It consists of all the fighters below the top 15. They can all fight each other and the worst fighter of Tier III, and top 5 people in Tier IV can challenge anybody in Tier III.

So far, most of the divisions don’t have enough fighters to warrant a Tier IV, but ALPHA-1 is set to grow in due time.


Matchmaking and ranking updates

The matchmaking for an event (especially for a pay-per-view one) will usually be conducted with 8 weeks in advance, so as to give the fighters ample time to prepare. The rankings will be updated after each event, televised or pay-per-view. This means that matches shall be made according to the rankings as they were when the booking was taking place, which might change considerably before the fight actually happens.


New fighters

ALPHA-1 aims to be a home for all the best fighters from around the world. However, due to it being a unique challenge harder than anything else in the world, even the fighters that come in and are judged by the Committee as being Tier I or Tier II have to prove their worth in one of two ways:

  1. Newcomers’ Gauntlet – the newcomer has to fight 3 fights, first with a Tier IV fighter, then with a Tier III fighter and finally with a Tier II fighter before his ranking is considered “proven” and he can start taking matches in a way that his Tier would normally allow.
  2. Tournament – in case of a large influx of fighters and/or a need to shakeup a stale division, a tournament might be organized. Fighting at least 2 fights in a tournament is considered enough to end the newcomer status.




Hello, dear readers! I know that this forum was dead for so very long, but with the latest discounts by GreyDog we could have a new influx of WMMA3 players, and as I am still playing this game and not the sequel I thought I can start an irregular diary and see if anybody is going to follow along.


The basic idea, as described above, was already tested (albeit in a less restrictive version) in my private game, so I know it can work. Being more interested in MMA sims than actual MMA events, I am not 100% sure how realistic it is, but what the heck.


I'll try to update this when I have time, so there won't be a regular schedule. If anybody's going to follow this, I might even do predictions or other such stuff. ;) I plan on not using pictures and providing short writeups and commentary instead of just dumping the text from the game, as I have found it difficult to read the dumped text in other diaries - but if I happen to get any readers and if they prefer a different style, this is subject to change.


Oh, and the database used is CV Expanded 2.4B that can be found here.

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<p></p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 TIER RANKINGS - 1st January 1998</span></strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Lightweight Division</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier I</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Motoki Hojo 15-3<br /></li><li>Fumiaki Hayashi © 16-4<br /></li><li>Go Yamamoto 26-9<br /></li><li>Shizuya Nakae 23-11<br /></li><li>Naizen Hamacho 7-0<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier II</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ul><li>Eijiro Yanagita 25-11-2<br /></li><li>Mikio Inouye 7-2<br /></li><li>Eizan Ijichi 7-1-1<br /></li><li>Korekiyo Anzai 6-0<br /></li><li>Shiko Taka 6-2-1 NC<br /></li></ul><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier III</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ul><li>Fujimaro Hidaka 4-1<br /></li><li>Shinji Oiwa 7-4<br /> <br /></li></ul><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Welterweight Division</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier I</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ul><li>Ichisake Miyagi 21-3<br /></li><li>Carlos da Guia © 15-0<br /></li><li>Xie Ming 20-4<br /></li><li>Syed Tan 13-2<br /></li><li>Chew Chua 17-4<br /></li></ul><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier II</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ul><li>Fukusaburu Hirano 10-0<br /></li><li>Ikku Funaki 14-4<br /></li><li>Yeijiro Yamamoto 15-3<br /></li><li>Simon Vine 19-6<br /></li><li>Bakin Sakamoto 19-9<br /></li></ul><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier III</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ul><li>Jungo Futagawa 16-8<br /></li><li>Chojiro Goto 8-2<br /></li><li>Keita Oshima 18-6<br /></li><li>Kafu Bunya 9-0<br /></li><li>Kichisaburo Morri 10-3<br /></li></ul><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier IV</strong></p><p>

</p><ul><li>Chikafusa Abukara 16-5<br /></li><li>Kiyotaka Aihara 15-8<br /></li></ul><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Middleweight Division</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier I</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Bambang Sriyanto 22-6-2<br /></li><li>Heiji Endo © 12-1<br /></li><li>Haranobu Oshiro 15-5<br /></li><li>Mal Phe Roby 15-4<br /></li><li>Ieyoshi Yamashita 22-10<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier II</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Dokuohtei Kuroki 33-13<br /></li><li>Kojuro Kudo 10-2-1 NC<br /></li><li>Kyuwa Itou 22-11<br /></li><li>Gempachi Higa 17-9<br /></li><li>Atshushi Nakajima 29-13<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier III</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Tadao Miyazaki 7-0<br /></li><li>Shuncho Sakurai 9-3<br /></li><li>Genki Shinashi 6-1<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>


Oleg Dorosklov 0-0</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Light Heavyweight Division</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier I</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Tadamasa Yamada © 21-1<br /></li><li>Zvonimir Asanovic 27-2<br /></li><li>Jin Katou 17-0<br /></li><li>Sho Kitabatake 13-0<br /></li><li>Robun Yamazaki 37-12<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier II</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Ryosei Sakamoto 8-0<br /></li><li>Yoritomo Ina 21-8<br /></li><li>Inejiro Chiba 15-5<br /></li><li>Ebizo Fujishima 24-12<br /></li><li>Gekko Goto 5-0<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier III</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Naoki Itoh 22-15<br /></li><li>Eisaku Nozaki 6-2<br /></li><li>Osamu Dan 5-1<br /></li><li>Tsuramatsu Inoue 24-15-2-3 NC<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Heavyweight Division</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier I</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Hassan Fezzik © 25-0<br /></li><li>Kunimichi Kikuchi 25-3<br /></li><li>Armen Sarkisian 22-2<br /></li><li>Mason Archer 15-3<br /></li><li>Ari Peltonen 23-7<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier II</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Hiro Arai 14-4<br /></li><li>Palmer Lette 19-5-2-2 NC<br /></li><li>Ikuhisa Tamura 19-8<br /></li><li>Gerson Mauricio 8-0<br /></li><li>Gyokusho Fujimoto 6-0<br /></li></ol><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Tier III</strong></p><p> </p><p>

</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>Denbe Ekiguchi 6-3<br /></li><li>Felipe Luiz Rosa 11-5<br /></li><li>Yoshikazu Inamoto 7-3<br /></li><li>Eien Kawano 3-0<br /></li><li>Takafumi Ando 14-10<br /></li></ol><p></p>

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<p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 NEWS January 1st, 1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

The new ALPHA-1 management decided to ride the wave of momentum created by the announcement of a new way of organising the company and unveil some upcoming ALPHA-1 events!</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 Warriors of the Ring - February 8th, 1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

The first episode of the TV series held under new rules will see a prestigious main event, as <strong>Naizen Hamacho</strong>, a young kickboxer from Mok Kar Dojo whose impressive 7-0 record gave him a 5th place in Tier I of the Lightweight Division faces a fighter 1 place higher in the division ranking, Wudang Academy's <strong>Shizuya Nakae</strong>, the bowling ball-headed, no-nonsense ground-and-pounder with a 23-11 record, whose recent winning streak lifted him to rank #23 in Blurcat's Lightweight world ranking. Let not the less-than-stellar record of Nakae fool you, this is the greatest challenge young Hamacho has ever faced.</p><p> </p><p>

A very similar story, although this time from the Heavyweight division, will be seen in the semi-main event, as 5th ranked in Tier II <strong>Gyokusho Fujimoto</strong>, the elite kickboxer rightly nicknamed "Fujizilla" and considered one of the hardest strikers in the division, has challenged 3rd ranked <strong>Ikuhisa Tamura</strong>, a veteran wrestler. Again, a youngster's perfect record - 6-0 - is pitted against a much more ambivalent but way bigger one - 19-8. What makes this fight even more interesting is that both of the fighters train at the J-1 Circle camp, and with the hostility between ALPHA-1 and J-1 this fact can not be seen as a coincidence.</p><p> </p><p>

The new ALPHA-1 management seems very keen on giving young talent a chance, as at the top of the undercard we find a third youngster vs veteran fight. This time, however, it is the veteran that seeks to prove himself, as <strong>Naoki Itoh </strong> who is the best fighter in the Tier III of Light Heavyweight division with a 22-15 record and an unfortunate losing streak seeks to turn the tide by defeating the 5th ranked fighter of Tier II, the 5-0 <strong>Gekko Goto</strong>. Itoh is feared for his big left hand, but challenging "The Iron Wolverine" with his submission skills and Top Team Japan credentials might prove too much for him!</p><p> </p><p>

The last (though first chronologically) bout of this installment of Warriors of the Ring has much lesser difference in age, but still a big one in experience.<strong> Kafu Bunya</strong>, whose 9-0 record in local tournaments failed to give him anything more than a 4th place in Tier III of Welterweight Division, aims to correct this injustice by facing a veteran <strong>Jungo Futagawa</strong>, who with his 16-8 record and a recent winning streak tops the third Tier of the division. "The White Hope" is a T'ai Chi student trained at the Way Of The Crane's Beak, while the older "Spirit Of Ancients" is a Muay Thai specialist, so we can expect a very dynamic, strike-based fight!</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Warriors of the Ring 8.02.1998 Prediction Card:</span></strong></p><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">


ME Lightweight: Naizen Hamacho (7-0, I 5th) v Shizuya Nakae (23-11, I 4th)</p><p>

SME Heavyweight: Gyokusho Fujimoto (6-0, II 5th) v Ikuhisa Tamura (19-8, II 3rd)</p><p>

Light Heavyweight: Naoki Itoh (22-15, III 1st) v Gekko Goto (5-0, II 5th)</p><p>

Welterweight: Kafu Bunya (9-0, III 4th) v Jungo Futagawa (16-8, III 1st)</p><p> </p><p>

*****</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Miyagi vs. da Guia, March 1st, 1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

In three of ALPHA-1 weight divisions, the Ranking Committee has ranked the champion second in Tier I. One of such divisions was the Welterweight division, where <strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Ichisake Miyagi</span></strong> was awarded the highest spot in the ranking. "The Devil in Blue", master of clinch fighting, certainly has ample credentials, with his 21-3 record, a #15 Pound for Pound and #3 Welterweight ranks in Blurcat's World Rankings, and with him having held the ALPHA-1 Welterweight and defended it 3 times. The semi-official ALPHA-1 PfP rating has this Dragon's Lair alumnus as the 5th best fighter in the whole company. All of this doesn't sit well, however, with the current champion who dethroned Miyagi, <strong>Carlos da Guia</strong>. An extremely dangerous Muay Thai fighter from the famous Brazilian Estrela Academy, he has amassed an incredible 15-0 pro record as well as one defence of his title, and while he's still not as widely recognised in Japan as in his home Brazil, the MMA community feels that he's without doubt one of the best prospects in the whole sport. The fact that the Committee, perhaps valuing experience over momentum or having a Japanese bias, rated him lower than a man he defeated has spurred him to demand a rematch to prove his dominance in the division.</p><p> </p><p>

The semi-main event seems to be another clash of titans. <strong>Hiro Arai</strong>, ranked 1st in Tier II of the Heavyweight Division, has a chance to break into Tier I with his fight against <strong>Kunimichi Kikuchi</strong>, the 2nd ranked fighter in Tier 1, who as a former champion was widely considered as a natural top contender for the ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Title (although with Tier I as stacked as this one, #1 contendership is hard to judge). Kikuchi, with his 25-3 record and 3rd rank in World Heavyweight Ranking (17th in World Pound 4 Pound), has to be considered as one of the top fighters in the company. However, perhaps due to his less entertaining style (grindy clinch and wrestling game) or to him having last fought in September, which is farther in the past than most other top Heavyweights, it was decided that the Dragon's Lair member would have to face this challenge before fighting for the championship. His opponent's 14-4 record and known cardio problems seem to not give him much chance against such an elite enemy, but the kickboxer trained at Dojo of Zi Quan has some fearsome striking and decent grappling at his disposal and should not be treated lightly, as evidenced by his 16th rating in World Heavyweight Ranking.</p><p> </p><p>

In the undercard of the event we find one of the most, so to say, preposterous bouts of recent months. <strong>Bakin Sakamoto</strong>, a veteran kickboxer with 19-9 record whose recent loss and general mediocrity put him at the last spot in Tier II of Welterweight division, decided to utilise the rules to his advantage and put forward a challenge to <strong>Chew Chua</strong>, the Singaporean Muay Thai fighter ranked 20 in the world, who holds the last spot in Tier I. This bold challenge is probably a desperate attempt by Sakamoto to stay relevant, so we can expect him to fight with great passion with so much on the line.</p><p> </p><p>

In the Middleweight division, the veteran <strong>Ieyoshi Yamashita</strong> holding the 5th place in Tier I looks like an easy gatekeeper to the top due to his less than stellar 22-10 record that has a fresh loss on it. <strong>Kojuro Kudo</strong>, the holder of 2nd rank in Tier II, looks to capitalise on this fact and his 10-2-1 NC record suggests he has what it takes. The younger striker shouldn’t underestimate his opponent, however – Yamashita, another Dragon’s Lair member, might be 32, but he is a former ALPHA-1 Champion and his takedowns and ground control are still top notch, as is his strategic ability.</p><p> </p><p>

Another bout in Middleweight division sees <strong>Tadao Miyazaki</strong>, 22-year-old Karate prodigy with an impressive 7-0 record (yet classified as the leader of Tier III, due to the low quality of the opponents he bested) facing “The Warrior” <strong>Dokuohtei Kuroki</strong>, a veteran with 41 years of age and a record of 33-13, whose experience, jujitsu and persistence earned him the top spot in Tier II. </p><p> </p><p>

The lowest match on the card is a Light Heavyweight Tier III fight, as <strong>Eisaku Nozaki</strong> (2nd rank) and <strong>Osamu Dan</strong> (3rd rank), both 23 years old and with a decent record (6-2 in case of Nozaki, 5-1 for Dan) yet with opposite styles (Eisaku is a pure brawler while Osamu is a wrestler nicknamed “Decision Dan”), try to break into higher Tiers.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Miyagi vs. da Guia 1.03.1998 Prediction Card:</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

ME Welterweight Title Match: Ichisake Miyagi (21-3, I 1st) v Carlos da Guia © (15-0, I 2nd)</p><p>

SME Heavyweight: Hiro Arai (14-4, II 1st) v Kunimichi Kikuchi (25-3, I 2nd)</p><p>

Welterweight: Bakin Sakamoto (19-9, II 5th) v Chew Chua (17-4, I 5th)</p><p>

Middleweight: Ieyoshi Yamashita (22-10, I 5th) v Kojuro Kudo (10-2-1 NC, II 2nd)</p><p>

Middleweight: Tadao Miyazaki (7-0, III 1st) v Dokuohtei Kuroki (33-13, II 1st) </p><p>

Light Heavyweight: Eisaku Nozaki (6-2, III 2nd) v Osamu Dan (5-1, III 3rd)</p><p> </p><p>

*****</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Hayashi vs. Hojo, April 5th, 1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

The main event for April is hyped quite intensely by the ALPHA-1 marketing, and for a good reason. <strong>Fumiaki Hayashi</strong> is one of the greatest MMA stars of the early nineties, a great kickboxer whose insane creativity in striking earned him a respectable 16-4 record, the second place in the Tier I in Lightweight division and the ALPHA-1 Lightweight Title which he defended twice since winning it in June 1996; however, he is considered by many to be a bit one-dimensional and has turned 30 this year. His opponent, ranked directly above him at the top of Tier I, is <strong>Motoki Hojo</strong>, “The Wing Chun Superstar” whom many consider to be a younger version of Hayashi, with innovative striking offense, natural charisma and flair, and a lack of wrestling/ground game. They both belong to the prestigious Dojo Of Zui Quan, both are highly ranked in World Lightweight charts (Hayashi at 10th, Hojo at 7th), and even Hojo’s record is similar, at 15-3. This will no doubt be a highly entertaining bout, regardless of who wins in the end.</p><p> </p><p>

The semi-main event is also a hotly contested match. <strong>Syed Tan</strong>, holding the 4th spot in Tier I of the Welterweight division, defends his Tier I spot against <strong>Fukusaburu Hirano</strong>, the best fighter of Tier II. Syed, a Malaysian kickboxer with a great 13-2-1 record and 16th place in the World Ranking, has arguably the hardest chin and elbows among all the world’s Welterweights. His opponent is no slouch, either – only 22 years old, he’s already got an almost flawless 10-0-1 record and his training in Top Team Japan and other places made him one of the most versatile fighters around, combining world class boxing with educated legs, a good ground game and some dangerous submissions. This is definitely a match to watch!</p><p> </p><p>

Another match sees the MMA debut of <strong>Oleg Dorosklov</strong>, Ukrainian Olympic gold medallist in Judo, a former trainer of Kunimichi Kikuchi and probably the most dangerous submission fighter among the Middleweights. Due to the Middleweight division not having a Tier IV, as a newcomer he will face the lowest (3rd) ranked fighter of Tier III. While this doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, <strong>Genki Shinashi</strong> should at least put up a show, with some decent wrestling, a 6-1 record and a “wild man” persona and theatrical entrance that should hype the crow up for the debut of Dorosklov.</p><p> </p><p>

Back to Tier I action, this time in the Heavyweight division, as <strong>Ari Peltonen</strong>, the 5th fighter of Tier I, is challenged by <strong>Gerson Mauricio</strong>, holder of the 4th place in Tier II. Peltonen, notorious Finnish practitioner of Sambo, is a veteran with a 23-7 record, considered 11th Heavyweight in the world according to BlurCat’s World Ranking and credited with pioneering the “Anti Ju Jistsu” style of ground defence. This particular fact should not trouble Mauricio too match, though, as he’s a Brazilian kickboxer known for great knockout potential, whose record sits at a respectable 8-0.</p><p> </p><p>

In Light Heavyweight division we have a fight that, on paper, is probably the closest one on the card – between <strong>Inejiro Chiba</strong>, ranked 3rd in Tier II, and <strong>Ebizo Fujishima</strong>, ranked one place below him. Chiba is a 15-5 striker of a fearsome reputation who however recently broke his winning streak, and Fujishima, a submission wrestler and veteran with a mixed 24-12 record, will want to capitalise on this gap in Chiba’s armour and find himself a second win in a row after he recently broke a losing streak.</p><p> </p><p>

In another Heavyweight bout, two Tier III fighters, <strong>Felipe Luiz Rosa</strong> (ranked second) and <strong>Eien Kawano</strong> (ranked fourth) are fighting for a break into Tier II. Rosa, a Brazilian boxer with a 11-5 record, will probably find the crowd is against him, as Kawano is a popular ex-sumo wrestler who only recently got into MMA, winning his 3 first fights.</p><p> </p><p>

Finally, in Welterweight division we have the wrestler <strong>Chikafusa Abukara </strong>, leader of the only Tier IV currently in the company, trying to improve his 16-5 record and his ranking position by challenging the 2nd placed fighter in Tier III, <strong>Chojiro Goto</strong>, a Muay Thai adept with a 8-2 record.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Hayashi vs. Hojo, 5.04.1998 Prediction Card: </span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

ME Lightweight Title Match: Fumiaki Hayashi © (16-4, I 2nd) v Motoki Hojo (15-3, I 1st)</p><p>

SME Welterweight: Syed Tan (13-2-1, I 4th) v Fukusaburu Hirano (10-0-1, II 1st)</p><p>

Middleweight: Oleg Dorosklov (0-0, Newcomer) v Genki Shinashi (6-1, III 3rd)</p><p>

Heavyweight: Ari Peltonen (23-7, I 5th) v Gerson Mauricio (8-0, II 4th)</p><p>

Light Heavyweight: Inejiro Chiba (15-5, II 3rd) v Ebizo Fujishima (24-12, II 4th)</p><p>

Heavyweight: Felipe Luiz Rosa (11-5, III 2nd) v Eien Kawano (3-0, III 4th)</p><p>

Welterweight: Chikafusa Abukara (16-5, IV 1st) v Chojiro Goto (8-2, III 2nd)</p>

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<p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 NEWS January</span></strong></p><p>

After J-1 signed Motoichi Arakida and Shingen Kumasaka, both extremely popular and skilled pro wrestlers with many decades in the industry and some relatively fresh MMA credentials, as well as Trace Bannon, a kickboxer/wrestler/MMA fighter who keeps going with his awesome 31-6-4 record despite being 48, there were rumours that ALPHA-1 could respond by hiring some of the other famous veterans, such as Judai “Dragon” Agakawa, a Judo gold medallist and Strong Style wrestler who at 53 still puts his 18-0-2 MMA record to test, or Tatsumaki Mibu, a 51-year-old BHOTWG wrestler and aikidoka who recently came into MMA and amassed a 5-0-1 record. However, the ALPHA-1 management issued a proclamation that while they respect those seasoned fighters, their aim is to hire fighters that will be able to give their best in the ring for the next 10-20 years, as they are fully aware that it will take a considerable amount of time for the Tier system to become fully operational and able to precisely measure the worth of ALPHA-1’s fighters. Therefore, no fighters over the age of 36 were considered as viable hiring targets during the current roster expansion.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 NEW HIRINGS January</span></strong></p><p>

This announcement was followed by information on the signings that ALPHA-1 made in the month of January. The initial rumours about three dozen fighters being contacted seem to have been exaggerated, but not by much (or maybe just some initial offers were later withdrawn). [number], with the Middleweight division, generally considered the weakest in the company, getting the most signings as well as arguable the highest profile ones.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Heavyweight division</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The most stacked division in ALPHA-1 did not receive any very high profile signings compared to the other divisions. That does not mean, however, that there was no influx of great and exciting talent – on the contrary, some experts claim that this batch of fighters can prove to be the strongest addition that any ALPHA-1 division has received in quite some time! One of the earliest signings was <strong>Reynier Ramirez</strong>, a young judoka from Cuba that caught ALPHA-1 scouts’ eye during the 1996 Summer Olympics. A 2-0 pro MMA record is nothing to write home about, but he has won in such a dominant way against such respectable opposition that he already was classified as #18 Heavyweight in the world, and his current involvement with the legendary Feitosa BJJ Academy only makes us more excited about what this 24-year-old fighter can mature into. A fellow World Heavyweight Ranking ranker, at #16, is <strong>Robert Royal</strong>, another early signing. The Canadian boxer has so far won 3 out of 3 MMA bouts and if he can supplement his enormous strength and fearsome uppercuts with more grappling skill this record will only improve. The other fighter signed to the Heavyweight division are <strong>Sadatake Hiro</strong>, an extremely promising Japanese prospect with submission wrestling, jujitsu and striking credentials as well as a 5-0 record; <strong>Kanezane Fujii</strong> who despite being 20 and having only fought (and won) 1 MMA bout was already nicknamed “The Great Japanese Hope” due to his judo and wrestling skill; and <strong>Claudio Burdisso</strong>, an extremely dangerous Chilean street fighter who moved to Japan to compete in MMA and so far has managed to achieve a 3-0 record despite being only 18.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Light Heavyweight division</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Only four Light Heavyweights have signed up with ALPHA-1 in January, but two of them are very high profile individuals. <strong>Dae Yung Moon</strong> from Seoul, South Korea is one of the best Taekwondo fighters of recent years, having won the World Games, World Cup and Asian Games. Retiring from Taekwondo, he took up MMA and so far is 7-0 in the sport, enough for Blurcat to classify him as #14 Light Heavyweight in the world. He is a very dangerous striker, but has to be a bit nervous joining a division containing some submission artists of the highest calibre, such as Tadamasa Yamada, Sho Kitabatake, and now the other new fighter whose signing caused much excitement in the MMA world, <strong>Ewerton Feitosa</strong>. The oldest son of Hall of Famer Ricardo Feitosa Jr., trainee of the legendary Feitosa BJJ Academy and already a successful BJJ and submission wrestling fighter, Ewerton has managed to get an 8-0 record in two years that he has been an MMA fighter and he shows no signs of stopping. The other two new Light Heavyweights are young & bright Japanese prospects, wrestler/jujitsuka <strong>Jiroemon Hasegawa</strong> (3-0) and wrestler with overall MMA training <strong>Ryuji Ganaha</strong> (1-0).</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Middleweight division</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The weakest of ALPHA-1 divisions just got a whole lot more interesting. The most important signing is without doubt <strong>Jonathan “The Locust” Huang</strong>, a Thai superstar widely regarded as one of the best jiu jitsu competitors of all time, whose 4-0 record and incredible skill have not warranted a World Ranking spot only due to the sporadicalness of his matches and the very low quality of his opponents. He was signed to a contract which is rumoured to amount more than 300.000$ for a single fight, which is an astonishing amount, considering that even the ultrapopular Palmer Lette is only rumoured to be paid around 250.000$ for a bout. As if Huang wasn’t enough news, ALPHA-1 has also signed <strong>Sebastian Shiller</strong>, a Dutch Muay Thai legend and the owner of the Farang Ba Muay Thai camp, who even despite being 34 and having a mixed record of 3-2 in professional MMA is still considered one of the world’s best Middleweight strikers. And as if to complete a set, after a submission fighter and a striker the third big name for the MW division is a highly respected wrestler, Indonesia’s <strong>Tora Mizwar</strong>, who with his enormous strength managed to amass a 19-6 record while still being only 25, which earned him #21 on the World Middleweight list by Blurcat as well as admiration of fans across Asia. The other four (sic!) new Middleweights seem uninteresting by comparison, but don’t let that fool you. <strong>Jakuchu Abe</strong> (Jiu Jitsu black belt who trained to make himself a complete mixed martial artist and, at 20, won his first MMA bout), <strong>Tetsuji Myojin</strong> (a well-rounded student of Sambo with a 4-0 record), <strong>Fumiki Ikeda</strong> (a former pro wrestler with a 5-0 record, loads of charisma and submission skills) and <strong>Kadonomaro Deguchi</strong> (one of the most promising wrestlers in Japan with a 2-0 record that’s likely to increase) are all ones for the future and might end up toppling the higher-profile fighters.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Welterweight division</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The Welterweight division only gets one truly great name, but what a name it is! <strong>Heikichi Shimizu</strong> may have debuted only a year ago (after turning 30!) and won only 2 fights (out of 2), but he is a living legend in judo respected by the fans and competitors around the world, and can easily compete with Jonatan Huang, Tadamasa Yamada or Hassan Fezzik for the title of the best submission wrestler in ALPHA-1. Speaking of submission wrestling, another contender in this field was also signed for this division <strong>Kaito Akimoto</strong>, whose innovative and flashy submissions are a delight for the connoisseurs of this fighting style, and whose 9-1 record should be enough for all the other MMA fans to consider him a worthy addition to the roster. <strong>Eiji Masuko</strong>, another highly ranked judoka with a 1-0 record in MMA, and <strong>Konosuke Shirahata</strong>, a decent ground-and-pounder who is currently 3-0, are less exciting, but nonetheless promising additions to the Welterweight division.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Lightweight division</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Despite its small size, the Lightweight division has only gained four new fighters, two of whom used to compete in the Featherweight class. However, each one of them is a name that martial arts fans are – or should be – acquainted with. The most important among them is without doubt <strong>Pralong Sangsomwong</strong>, a Muay Thai legend who achieved great success in J-1 kickboxing promotion (which means that him coming to ALPHA-1 instead of J-1’s Full Contact Combat promotion is an even bigger deal) and who took MMA by storm, winning 3 out of 3 bouts in such a dominant manner, that – along with his past achievements – have earned him a #4 on Blurcat’s World Lightweight list and #25 on World Pound 4 Pound. Another World ranker, at #19, is the American <strong>Bernie Cohen</strong>, who despite his ungainly look is a BJJ brown belt and a talented Muay Thai fighter with a respectable 12-4 record and even more respectable in this division 6’1 in height. The two Featherweight converts, <strong>Kei Maki</strong> (an elite kickboxer with a 3-0 MMA record) and <strong>Yagi Jokichi</strong> (a world class Seidokaikan Karate fighter with impressive ground skill and a 4-0 record in MMA) are both youngsters loaded with potential and we look forward to seeing them in action.</p>

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<div style="text-align:center;"><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>ALPHA-1 Warriors of the Ring, February 8th 1998</strong></span></p></div><p></p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>ALPHA-1 Welterweight Division</strong></p><p><strong>

“White Hope” Kafu Bunya (9-0, III 4th) vs. “The Spirit of Ancients” Jungo Futagawa (16-8, III 1st)</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

Despite Bunya’s more stellar record, the betting odds were actually slightly against him, perhaps due to him being an unknown quality or to the doubts that have been expressed about his lack of striking power. Futagawa’s a Muay Thai veteran, so his knees and elbows always carry some fight-ending potential, while Bunya’s T’ai Chi can at times seem too “sophisticated” for MMA. </p><p> </p><p>

His sophistication certainly payed off in the first minutes of the match, with him avoiding all the blows and scoring some scorching punches and a hard counter leg kick. The fighters spent most of the inaugural 10 minute round on relatively ineffectual striking from constantly changing distances. However, it clearly became clear that the White Hope had a plan – his leg kicks started mounting and by the last quarter of the first round Futagawa was clearly favouring one leg. Round 2 and 3 went mostly the same, with Futagawa unable to find a clinch and Bunya finding light counters and leg kicks. It wasn’t an entertaining spectacle by any means, and the final unanimous decision giving the match to Bunya wasn’t met with much enthusiasm from the audience. The dominating performance by Bunya found appreciation form the ALPHA-1 Ranking Committee, however, awarding him a place in Tier II (pushing Bakin Sakamoto into Tier III and making his challenge of Chew Chua even more a matter of life and death in the Welterweight Division).</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>Kafu Bunya (10-0, II 5th) def. Jungo Futagawa (16-9, IV 1st) by unanimous decision in an Awful rated match.</strong></p><p><strong>

</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>ALPHA-1 Light Heavyweight Division</strong></p><p><strong>

Naoki Itoh (22-15, III 1st) vs. “The Iron Wolverine” Gekko Goto (5-0, II 5th)</strong></p><p><strong>

</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

This time, the veteran was not the betting favourite. No wonder – with Itoh’s total lack of ground game or submission defence, his only chance in this match against a submission fighter such as Goto was to hit a big hand (probably while stuffing a takedown attempt) and knock Goto out or follow up with ground & pound. </p><p> </p><p>

And this is what almost happened 15 seconds into the match, with Itoh countering a misguided jab with a barrage of lefts and putting Goto down. The youngster was alert moments after that, however, and Itoh let him stand up rather than risk getting into his embrace. A minute later Itoh managed to score some more big lefts, which set Goto up for a powerful left kick to the head. The Wolverine hit the ground again, and again Itoh did not pursue into his opponent’s favourite territory. Itoh kept winning the striking game for the rest of the round, avoiding two takedown attempts and keeping Goto at a distance. However, he was starting to look gassed by the end of it. The second round finally saw Goto get Itoh to the ground, as he managed to pull the veteran into a grappling contest and, seeing that his takedown attempts did not work, he simply slammed Naoki. From there on the match was basically decided, as the Iron Wolverine got into side control, beautifully trapped an arm and submitted Itoh with a tight armbar. This time the crowd was extremely enthusiastic, they apparently enjoyed how action-packed the match was and how quickly the tide turned. That hard-fought victory got Goto only one step higher in the Ranking, but it certainly won him recognition among the MMA fans.</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>“The Iron Wolverine” Gekko Goto (6-0, II 4th) def. Naoki Itoh (22-16, III 3rd) with a submission (armbar) in 3:39 of round 2, in a Fantastic rated match</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Division CO-MAIN EVENT</strong></p><p><strong>

Gyokusho “Fujizilla” Fujimoto (6-0, II 5th) vs. Ikuhisa Tamura (19-8, II 3rd)</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

The fight between two J-1 campmates, both known for their powerful punching, was always expected to be a slugfest. Tamura didn’t seem to get the memo, however, keeping his guard way too low and eating a few jabs as a result. 4” of reach advantage really played to Fujizilla’s advantage here, with him scoring way more strikes and halting the enemy’s advance with jabs, until near the end of round 1 a barrage of punches hit home and knocked Tamura down. Fujimoto welcomed the chance to rest up for the last minute while throwing hard knees in side control. The next round went much the same, with Fujimoto dominating in the striking game – which is perhaps not too surprising, considering Tamura was a wrestler first and transitioned to more boxing-focused style during his MMA career, while Fujimoto came into MMA as an elite-level kickboxing prospect. An especially beautiful right cross by Gyokusho saw his opponent throw a desperate glance to his corner, perhaps looking for a better gameplan. None came, however. Instead, Fujimoto’s powerful leg kicks finally paid off and Tamura ended up falling down as they failed to support his weight. This was apparently what Fujimoto was waiting for, as he immediately jumped in with a bomb that knocked Tamura out cold without any need for further ground & pound. </p><p> </p><p>

After the match Tamura claimed his camp didn’t go as well as it should have, which could be just him being sour after losing his spot to a youngster barely 22 years old, or could indicate that J-1 have decided on who’s the better prospect between those two. The judges of ALPHA-1 Ranking Committee certainly decided on that, too, as the two man switched in rankings.</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>Gyokusho Fujimoto (7-0, II 3rd) def. Ikuhisa Tamura (19-9, II 5th) by knock out (punch) in 2:28 of round 3, in a Decent rated match</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

ALPHA-1 Lightweight Division MAIN EVENT</strong></p><p><strong>

Naizen Hamacho (7-0, I 5th) vs. Shizuya Nakae (23-11, I 4th)</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

The main event of the night could be seen as controversial. For some in the MMA world, it was a big statement by ALPHA-1 as they showed they were not afraid to pit two of the top fighters of Lightweight Division against each other on free TV. For others, it was a clear case of feeding a veteran with a doubt-filling record to a relatively talented youngster in order to build him up as a competitor. Indeed, it could be argued that Hamacho is a much less impressive kickboxer than Gyokusho Fujimoto we saw earlier that night (if such a comparison across so many weight classes makes any sense) and that he was facing an enemy way less skilled in fistfighting. </p><p> </p><p>

Nakae was seemingly trying to naysay the detractors by fighting toe to toe with Hamacho and, despite losing most of the exchanges, managed a few crisp hits and some nice cover-ups. A takedown attempt was stuffed with a big punch, however, and Nakae couldn’t manage to come back to striking afterwards, instead failing repeated attempts at takedowns, from jumping at Hamacho, to attempted slams, to grappling into ropes and trying a takedown from there.</p><p> </p><p>

Round two saw Nakae coming back to striking with some nice defence and good counters. His takedown attempts still didn’t work, however, and Hamacho decided to go at him, stalk him into a corner and attack quickly at the slightest chance. An opening after a bad punch 30 seconds before the end of the round allowed Naizen to strike some hard lefts, but Nakae’s instinctive takedown attempt let him make it to the end of the round alive. The third round went very uneventful in comparison, with Nakae dead set on getting Hamacho on the ground, and Hamacho content with just keeping the veteran at bay and peppering him with occasional strikes, which unsurprisingly resulted in the 23-year-old youngster getting a decision win to end a match that wasn’t bad, but was much less than ALPHA-1 would have hoped from their first main event under a new management. The Rank change, perhaps due to the even and uneventful nature of the bout, was also not too spectacular, with the fighters trading places.</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>Naizen Hamacho (8-0, I 4th) def. Shizuya Nakae (23-12, I 5th) by unanimous decision in an Average rated match.</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

Overall, the quality of the matches was all over the place, but all things considered it was decent in terms of quality and brought a respectable audience that came out entertained. The changes to the Ranking were not spectacular, and it remains to be seen how much it really matters in the long term.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Attendance: </strong>2,161 for a gate of $172,880</p><p>

<strong>TV Audience:</strong> 145,000</p><p>

<strong>Critical Rating:</strong> Decent</p><p>

<strong>Commercial Rating: </strong>Great</p><p>

<strong>Fight & Submission OTN:</strong> Gekko Goto (vs. Naoki Itoh)</p><p>

<strong>KO OTN: </strong>Gyokusho Fujimoto (vs. Ikuhisa Tamura)</p><p> </p><p>


<em>After a delay, the dynasty comes back! I know that despite no predicitons some people at least clicked the thread, so to those readers: welcome and feel free to tell me what you think! I am reposting prediction cards for the next two PPVs below in case anybody decided they wanted to predict after all. Cheers!</em></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Miyagi vs. da Guia 1.03.1998 Prediction Card: </span></strong></p><p>

ME Welterweight Title Match: Ichisake Miyagi (21-3, I 1st) v Carlos da Guia © (15-0, I 2nd)</p><p>

SME Heavyweight: Hiro Arai (14-4, II 1st) v Kunimichi Kikuchi (25-3, I 2nd)</p><p>

Welterweight: Bakin Sakamoto (19-9, II 5th) v Chew Chua (17-4, I 5th)</p><p>

Middleweight: Ieyoshi Yamashita (22-10, I 5th) v Kojuro Kudo (10-2-1 NC, II 2nd)</p><p>

Middleweight: Tadao Miyazaki (7-0, III 1st) v Dokuohtei Kuroki (33-13, II 1st) </p><p>

Light Heavyweight: Eisaku Nozaki (6-2, III 2nd) v Osamu Dan (5-1, III 3rd)</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Hayashi vs. Hojo, 5.04.1998 Prediction Card: </span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

ME Lightweight Title Match: Fumiaki Hayashi © (16-4, I 2nd) v Motoki Hojo (15-3, I 1st)</p><p>

SME Welterweight: Syed Tan (13-2-1, I 4th) v Fukusaburu Hirano (10-0-1, II 1st)</p><p>

Middleweight: Oleg Dorosklov (0-0, Newcomer) v Genki Shinashi (6-1, III 3rd)</p><p>

Heavyweight: Ari Peltonen (23-7, I 5th) v Gerson Mauricio (8-0, II 4th)</p><p>

Light Heavyweight: Inejiro Chiba (15-5, II 3rd) v Ebizo Fujishima (24-12, II 4th)</p><p>

Heavyweight: Felipe Luiz Rosa (11-5, III 2nd) v Eien Kawano (3-0, III 4th)</p><p>

Welterweight: Chikafusa Abukara (16-5, IV 1st) v Chojiro Goto (8-2, III 2nd)</p>

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<p></p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">NEW CARD ANNOUNCEMENT</span></strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 Warriors of the Ring - March 29th, 1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

The March edition of Warriors of the Ring has been dubbed “The Debut Show” and for a good reason, as three out of four matches held there will be Newcomers’ Tournament in the Middlewieght Division. There are eight new fighters in that division, but ALPHA-1 Management decided that only four of them will be competing in a mini-tournament – perhaps due to the fact that there’s not enough space on the show for 7 matches, or maybe because Oleg Dorosklov is already preparing for another fight and Jonathan Huang’s way too expensive to have him potentially fight three times on free TV. Therefore, according to ALPHA-1 rules, both finalists of the tournament will count as having passed the Newcomers’ Gauntlet and will be seeded into the ALPHA-1 Tier Ranking.</p><p> </p><p>

In the first match of the night <strong>Fumiki Ikeda</strong> (5-0) will be facing <strong>Kadonomaro Deguchi</strong> (2-0). Ikeda is an ex-pro wrestler, which in Japan means his body has gone through hell, but he did learn how to be tough. With his legitimately threatening submissions and ground game, as well as good all-round skills, he comes into this tournament with a not unreasonable hope of extending his winning streak. Deguchi, a hot prospect from Team Top Japan, is – despite being only 22 – one of the most decorated amateur wrestlers that Japan has ever seen. He is a phenomenal wrestler specialising in takedowns and top control, but doesn’t have much in the submissions department, so it remains to be seen whether he will be able to smother Ikeda into a win.</p><p> </p><p>

The other tournament semi-final features the second highest profile signing for the division. <strong>Sebastian Schiller</strong> (3-2), taking on <strong>Tetsuji Myojin</strong> (4-0). Schiller is a Muay Thai legend and with a good reason, but he is 34 and his record is less than stellar due to his non-existent ground skill. Perhaps this is why he was put against “Rampage” Myojin, a young Sambo student whose diverse skills should make him a good test for Schiller – and perhaps allow him to score an upset.</p><p> </p><p>

The main event of the night is a real treat, as the winner will be named the next ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Title contender! <strong>Mason Archer</strong> (15-3, I 4th) will be fighting <strong>Armen Sarkisian</strong> (22-2, I 3rd). Sarkisian, an Armenian powerhouse from Euro Team Thunder, is considered by Blurcat to be the fourth best Heavyweight in the world (the fact he’s only third in Tier I is a testament to the division’s talent depth) and 21st best fighter pound for pound. He has earned his fearsome reputation and impressive record through some of the best Greco-Roman wrestling ever seen in MMA, combined with incredibly powerful fists and a great strategic mind honed by the years of experience collected first in Europe and more recently in Japan. His opponent, standing at the impressive 6’8, is no slouch either. Mason, a Slaughterhouse member hailing from Canada, combines his long reach with his Kyukushin karate training, especially with his great long jabs and some of the best kicks you will ever see. Vulnerable on the ground, he will have to try and knock Sarkisian out or keep him at distance and pepper with shots if he wishes to fulfil his dream of holding the ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Title. </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Warriors of the Ring 29.03.1998 Prediction Card: </span></strong></p><p>

ME Heavyweight Contendership Match: Mason Archer (15-3, I 4th) vs. Armen Sarkisian (22-2, I 3rd)</p><p>

SME Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Final: Winner of SF1 vs. Winner of SF2</p><p>

Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Semi-Final 2: Sebastian Schiller (3-2) vs. Tetsuji Myojin (4-0)</p><p>

Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Semi-Final 1: Fumiki Ikeda (5-0) vs. Kadonomaro Deguchi (2-0)</p>

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<p><em>So, this thread has sat silent for quite a long time. I made a big mistake - I decided to write up all the other companies' matches. I was planning to make the detail level variable on whether or not ALPHA-1 scouts would be interested in the event and the match, but still it took way too much time, writing drive and interest. So I am presenting those reports now (some of them unfortunately quite rushed), but I think I will give them up unless some really interesting stuff happens, and will instead concentrate on ALPHA-1.</em></p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><span style="font-size:14px;">

</span><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">February and MMArch according to ALPHA-1 Scouts</span></strong></span></p></div><p></p><p> </p><p>

<span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>WEFF 4 6.02.1998</strong></span></p><p>

- Womens' MMA is not represented in ALPHA-1, so only a short recap</p><p> </p><p>

Tammy Westnera (5-2) scored a minor upset by bringing the #11 Women’s Bantamweight Gina Dixon (4-1) to her first defeat.</p><p> </p><p>

Jujitsu specialist Grace Hughes (2-0) beat Kelly Andrews (1-1) by decision without scoring any punch.</p><p> </p><p>

In an entertaining clash of the (relative) giants, the 5’11 Chelsea Lawson (2-0) dominated the 6’1 Temperance McCoy (1-1) with her striking.</p><p> </p><p>

Another minor upset, Alyson Arroway (3-0) defeated the #24 Women’s Featherweight, submission specialist Sandy Oliver (3-1), in a split decision match.</p><p> </p><p>

Less of an upset and more of a disappointment, Vicki Summers (6-0), who entered the contest as #16 P4P and #6 Bantaweight, failed to land a single strike and only managed a takedown against Lisa Labone (3-1) – and still won by a split decision.</p><p> </p><p>

The main event was a WEFF Lightweight title match between “The Black Widow” Michelle Addams (7-1), considered by Blurcat to be #6 female fighter in the world and the best Women’s Bantamweight, and Karen “The Demon” Curtis (6-0), ranked at #12 P4P and #5 among the Bantamweights. The match was quick but exciting, as after a minute and a half of Addams dominating Curtis scored a takedown, followed by a skilful mount and a barrage of punches that ended up giving Curtis a TKO, match & KO of the night, and of course the WEFF Lightweight title.</p><p> </p><p>

Overall a decent show with 206 people in attendance.</p><p> </p><p>

****</p><p> </p><p>

Saturday February 7th, 1998 was a busy day for world’s MMA, as it featured both PANKRATION 34: Red Alert and FLB 7: King of Kings.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">FLB 7: King of Kings</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

Sergio do Vale opened the night with a decision win over fellow boxer Marcelo Boccoli.</p><p> </p><p>

Charles Stiles put his black belt in BJJ to good use and got Procopio Golias into a rear naked choke. </p><p> </p><p>

Arthur Franco dominated the brawler Denilson da Cunha, not letting him score a single hit while showering him with punches and finishing with an Americana.</p><p> </p><p>

To nobody’s surprise, Paulo Roberto Bezerra managed to destroy Chico Feijo, after a feint set up a barrage of punches that ended up with a TKO.</p><p> </p><p>

In co-main event two great Heavyweights clashed – Gladstone Lopes, a great kickboxer rated #20 in the world, and Murilo Satinho, a man whose well-rounded wrestling and striking along with great cardio and agility mark him as a future star. Both of those men were of interest to ALPHA-1 scouting team. Satinho took the fight to the ground early and managed some powerful elbows from half guard, even cutting Lopes’ face, and using the pain and confusion to advance to side control. From there, however, the kickboxer managed to defend himself intelligently from elbow strikes until the end of the round. In the second round, a clinch into ropes into takedown again put Lopes on the ground, and an attempt to escape the mount ended up with him giving up his back. A rear naked choke was defended, however, and the round ended. The third round was quite an upset, however, as Lopes, no doubt trying to save his chances in this match, put Satinho down with some big right hands and managed to get side control, from which his strikes proved too much for “Grande Urso” – a TKO was awarded to Lopes after a fantastic, action-filled bout.</p><p> </p><p>

The main event couldn’t really be expected to top the previous fight… but it ended up equalling it. It was a Muay Thai duel for the FLB Light Heavyweight title between Affonso Villar and Elgar. “The Legend Killer” Elgar has 11 years and 10’’ of reach more than “The Cyborg”, yet Villar was the clear favourite (and another target for the ALPHA-1 scouts) due to his unbelievable stand-up and well-rounded skill. It seemed that Villar decided to show that he’s no less impressive than the two previous fighters, putting Elgar on the ground with right hands, mounting him and elbowing to his heart’s content. Despite getting cut, Elgar after the first shock managed a solid defence due to his superior experience. An escape attempt ended up with Villar at Elgar’s back, however, and the Cyborg got both hooks in and went for submission. Despite not getting it, Villar won that round easily. Elgar went for clinches in round 2, only to get countered out of this option. The third round, however, started with a huge head kick by Elgar 5 seconds in, followed by stomps and soccer kicks that proved insufficient to put out The Cyborg. Elgar went for side control, but Villar’s proficient defence ended up with the referee standing them back up after 2 minutes and the rest of the round was uneventful. Round 4, after 3 minutes of circling and probing, got Elgar a knock down punch, but he lost in the scramble while coming to secure a ground position and Villar ended up on top, getting a chance to rest up and throw punches. The final round saw Villar open up with huge rights and a body kick, but from then on the striking was much more even (and very exciting), until Villar’s right again put Elgar on the ground. Elgar’s experience didn’t help this time, as after the cut reopened he was unable to defend himself and Villar finally won by TKO, finishing a tremendously good match that put both competitors on ALPHA-1’s shortlist and gave Villar another defence of the title.</p><p> </p><p>

The show was a fantastic critical success and one of the best co-main – main duos in MMA history (if not THE best one). The fact that the event was not televised and only 243 people saw it live is a transgression against the very soul of our sport.</p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">PANKRATION 34: Red Alert </span></strong></p><p>

– an Openweight event, which explains some bizzare things you could see there.</p><p> </p><p>

After a very dull match between two Super Heavyweights, the 4 time World Toughguy Heavyweight Champion “Bomber” Beau Butte (4-0) put out Jim Titzgibbons (41-14), which is a poor start of the veteran’s 11th year in the world of MMA.</p><p> </p><p>

440lbs giant Pehlwani wrestler Kamal Singh (7-0) unsurprisingly crushed the 2 times lighter veteran Tony Ayoub (33-20-4), by taking him down and applying a rear naked choke.</p><p> </p><p>

Another match of similar weight disadvantage had a different finish, as the veteran hybrid fighter Ron Jackson (43-7-1) put the ex-pro wrestler Kyle Peto (3-1) into a guillotine from the bottom and got the submission.</p><p> </p><p>

In a squash with only half the weight difference of the previous bouts, Saladin (49-4-2-3 NC) took Dino Maldini (24-5-1) to the ground relatively early and got a rear naked choke to win a fast and exciting, for PANKRATION standards, match.</p><p> </p><p>

Hannibal (14-0-1), a monster of nearly 600 pounds, defeated the twice lighter Zeus (3-1) in a match that was much more exciting than you’d expect, with Hannibal’s takedown and armbar attempt being reversed with the help of several good punches by Zeus, only for him to be put back on his back after an identical series of events. The resulting arm triangle was enough to get Hannibal the win. </p><p> </p><p>

In another quick and exciting match, Jonah Carson (8-0), a monstrous pit fighter classified as #4 Super Heavyweight in the world, bested Biff Ingham (7-1) who held #11 in the same ranking by getting a quick takedown, mount & armbar.</p><p> </p><p>

Finally, #3 SHW Sander Schiller (10-0-1) retained the PANKRATION Openweight title against #9 SHW Jesse James Johnson (43-5-3) with yet another submission, after Johnson’s twelfth (!) attempt at submission backfired with Schiller reversing due to not getting hooked properly and getting a rear naked choke. </p><p> </p><p>

The event was a great commercial success, with only 633 people in attendance but over 7000 people buying the Pay-Per-View!</p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">BCF: Spyrou vs. Rush 9.02.98 </span></strong></p><p>

– ALPHA-1 scouts didn’t make it there so we only have very short write-ups</p><p> </p><p>

Tucker Plumm (14-7) def. Ram Phookan (8-4) in round 2, after turning a knock down into a sweep and great ground&pound for the TKO.</p><p> </p><p>

Garry McSweegan (21-7) def. Michael Bannon (8-4) at the start of round 2, by knocking him down and pummelling until TKO.</p><p> </p><p>

George Astaire (10-4) got Jeremy Sproule (3-2) into an arm triangle and made him tap mere 17 seconds before round 2 ended.</p><p> </p><p>

In a result that surprised absolutely no one, Harry Milne (42-7) quickly took Howard Pursglove (10-6) to ground and snared him in an Americana for the win.</p><p> </p><p>

In a match that saw the betting line on Seth O’Breen (13-0) exceed -1000, he went for 3 relatively uneventful rounds before applying the winning armbar on Dominick Oppenheimer (3-1). His winning streak means that ALPHA-1 scouts will have to make it to Great Britain next time.</p><p> </p><p>

Mills Mullally (15-4) def. David Webb (14-4) by unanimous decision in quite a poor match.</p><p> </p><p>

Davis Spyrou (19-4) def. Andrew Rush (13-7) for the BCF Middleweight title in a reportedly exciting kickboxing match that ended with a powerful left cross to the KO.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

In a local Southeast Asian event, the scouts have singled out Moon Shin-Wook (3-0-1), a Heavyweight black belt in a Korean martial art called GongKwon Yusul, as one to watch.</p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">KDM FC 4: Sukarno vs. Atep 11.02.1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

In a great match full of action and with an energetic finish, Bantamweight ground-and-pounder Tatsuaki Arato (10-1-1) crushed Minh Dang (5-2) by sprawling out of his takedown attempt, putting him into a turtle position and destroying him with punches. At least one ALPHA-1 scout started lobbying for the company to consider a Bantamweight division.</p><p> </p><p>

In another exciting (though very much one-sided) bout Sayoko Ebisawa (4-0) dominated Ayame Kondo (4-2) (who didn’t manage to score a single clean punch) and won the judges’ unanimous decision. The fact that such a talented fighter has to go to continental Asia to compete due to lack of Japanese Women’s MMA was not lost on ALPHA-1 management.</p><p> </p><p>

In a less exciting but still hard-won match, Chan Wan Wah (7-0) defended his streak against Takahiro Nakamura (22-6) in yet another match that ALPHA-1 has minimal interest in due to the weight of the competitors.</p><p> </p><p>

Taufik Wijaya (45-16-1), a veteran student of Kyokushin karate, put Hokusai Araki (2-1) away in an unorthodox manner, when after scoring a second knockdown of the match in the second round he decided to go for an armbar instead of the ground striking he tried in the previous round. Whether the “Snake Man” has more depth and breadth to his skill than anyone thought, or Araki is just real bad at this/hit very hard, the fact remains that Wijaya has won with a submission. At 35, he is a borderline case for the ALPHA-1 scouting team.</p><p> </p><p>

Teeratep Nutnum (7-5))’s recent illness might have been a factor, as in under a minute Yuji Latu (7-3) managed to strike him, take him down, pass through his guard, get his back and submit him via a rear naked choke. Latu’s record nor performance are yet impressive enough, but with smooth fights like this, who knows? He’s only 26, he’s got time to impress.</p><p> </p><p>

The final match was probably the reason why everybody in attendance bought their ticket. “Fury Awoken” Sukarno (23-1), the 23-year-old phenom whose Tarung Derajat skill and sheer ferociousness made him the most exciting fighter in the world (as well as Blurcat’s #2 Lightweight and #9 PfP) facing his fellow Indonesian, Atep (9-0), an elusive Kung Fu student who’s already at #18 in the World Lightweight ranking and who many feel will rise much, much higher. The KDMFC Lightweight title was a cherry on top of this MMA goodness. Atep handily won the first minute or two with great counterattacks that culminated in him putting Sukarno down with a lightning quick left. His stomping and kicking wasn’t enough, however, and an attempt to get a dominant ground position resulted in a scramble that ended up with the nimble Sukarno on top in side control. Some huge knees from that position made Atep vulnerable and the Fury Awoken got behind his back, trying to choke him. The first attempt was defended against, however, and any future ones cut short by the bell. No wonder why Atep took most of the second round circling around, avoiding close range fighting and looking for counters. Sukarno pressed for a fight in the pocket and managed a great flurry of strikes – but then Atep found another left counter, and this time he knocked the Beast out cold! This great finish to a truly fantastic match won him not only the KDMFC Lightweight title, but also the admiration of 255 people watching, including the ALPHA-1 scouts.</p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">GAMMA 22: Regueiro vs. Humphreys 14.02.1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

Preliminaries:</p><p> </p><p>

In a battle of veterans Jim Carpenter def. Peter Bracewell by submission</p><p> </p><p>

In a great match that shouldn’t have been in the prelims, Marlon John destroyed Bryan van den Hauwe by putting him down and pummelling on him two rounds in a row until a TKO happened</p><p> </p><p>

Tank Manu’a def. Frank Sheddy by unanimous decision</p><p> </p><p>

Main Card:</p><p> </p><p>

“Hollywood” Ricky Heath and Derek “Smash Mouth” South clashed in some high octane Light Heavyweight action. The first round was all exciting stand & bang, with Heath unable to find space for his trademark head kick and South unable to capitalise on his two big rights that got Hollywood staggered for a moment. The second round saw South get another great combination, but also saw him lose in a slugout that ended up with a great body punch and followup rights putting him down. Heath’s ground and pound was stopped, however, by South pulling him into side control – and apparently deciding that the momentum is over, Hollywood stood up and invited his opponent to join him. This decision backfired as South avoided another big barrage and answered in kind, putting Heath down with big rights and mounting him. A flurry of elbows and punches managed to cut Heath, but not finish him. In the third round, more big shots were traded and a powerful body hook by Heath knocked South down. Heath got caught in guard, however, and the following ground struggle was quite uneventful, resulting in a quiet finish to an otherwise great match and giving South a split decision win.</p><p> </p><p>

In a less interesting match with only nine standing strikes hitting in 3 rounds, taekwondo maestro Bobby Brubaker managed to keep submission specialist David Allen from getting him into a hold, despite some of the fight taking place on the ground. </p><p> </p><p>

Next match saw Petey Mack, a #9 Middleweight in the world and one of the new batch of well-rounded mix martial artists, take up Dexter Darling, a ground-and-pounder of unprecedented calibre and #3 Middleweight according to Blurcat, in a match bound to have implications on GAMMA Middleweight contendership. After some mindgames and feints Darling managed to get Mack on the ground two minutes into the match, defended a submission attempt and got to side control in one fluid motion, from where it took him less than a minute of pounding to get the referee to declare a TKO. A fast and spectacular match that got Darling on ALPHA-1 shortlist.</p><p> </p><p>

The co-main was a match between men less recognized, but perhaps with even more potential than the previous one – wrestler and sambo student Lawrence Herringbone fought former US Army hand-to-hand specialist Junior Patinkin. Herringbone’s sambo training clearly paid off, as he managed to outwrestle Patinkin, get him against the cage wall, take him down, mount him and destroy him with his punches for the TKO all in one round. </p><p> </p><p>

Finally, in a GAMMA Welterweight title match, the best Welterweight in the world and the second best fighter in MMA according to Blurcat, “Spanish Silk” Julio Regueiro, faced “The Show Stopper” Jack Humphreys, a big-mouthed wrestler. The trash talker showed he could fight too, putting Regueiro down from a sprawl, but backing off and not risking facing the enemy’s BJJ ground game. The next minutes of the match were back-and-forth wrestling competition on ground and at the cage wall, until Regueiro managed to leverage a kimura attempt into side control and proceeded to win with an armbar mere seconds seconds before round 2 ended (4:59 on the official timer!).</p><p> </p><p>

Overall the card was a success, with 4.300 people watching at the venue and almost 164k PPV buys. The depth of GAMMA talent is both frightening and alluring.</p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">XCC: Vaughan vs. Fox 16.02.1998</span></strong></p><p>

– not much weight division overlap so not much to write about</p><p> </p><p>

Duane Weatherly destroyed Braxton Pryce, hitting him against the cage until he got a TKO.</p><p> </p><p>

Dominic Ash defeated James Busfield on points in a decently interesting slugfest.</p><p> </p><p>

In a moderately surprising turn of events, Melvin Custard turned Jackson Gray’s takedown-heavy gameplan against him, as he chocked Gray with a triangle with armbar from the bottom of the guard.</p><p> </p><p>

In a not-in-the-slightiest-surprising turn of events (nearly -1000 betting line) Azor Portela Nunes destroyed Jimmy Schott, getting a Muay Thai clinch and kneeing his opponent into oblivion in the last seconds of the first round. </p><p> </p><p>

In the co-main event finesse lost against power, as the English pit fighter Bobby Graham caught Isaac Sanford, a kickboxer considered his superior, with a series of rights that put him down for some pounding and a TKO.</p><p> </p><p>

A Women’s Main Event is of not much interest to ALPHA-1, but it has to be said that Sarah Vaughan is a truly terrifying champion, getting Helen Fox down, mounted and Americana’d into submission without the poor girl scoring even a single hit.</p><p> </p><p>

Overall a great event with a meagre attendance – only 219 people showed up.</p><p> </p><p>

***</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">SIGMA: Bohlin vs. Khan 19.02.1998</span></strong></p><p>

– another event that ALPHA-1 Scouts missed due to Europe flights being too costly, apparently.</p><p> </p><p>

“The Butcher” Shane Gilchrist def. Gavriil Sviridov by TKO.</p><p> </p><p>

Snorri Gunnarsson def. Alvaro Negredo by Rear Naked Choke.</p><p> </p><p>

In a very poor decision-ending match not worthy of Mantas Andreyev’s legendary legacy, he still managed to defeat Daniil Skala.</p><p> </p><p>

Mugur Boc, “The Crusher”, defeated Stanislaw Lipnicki in another poor decision finish, although the Moldovian wrestler did look skilled.</p><p> </p><p>

Templeton Crumb absolutely dominated Bjarne Bjerre, but, if Internet recaps are to be believed, he did it only with his amateur boxing skill and power, so nobody knows whether he actually gained any kind of ground game since his debut.</p><p> </p><p>

In another one-sided match Lefter Oktay aka The Beast destroyed Murray Darby to a TKO in 12 punches and 73 seconds. ALPHA-1 scouting team insists on getting an opportunity to watch him the next time he’s fighting, he may be a hot prospect, only 24 years old and already 13-0.</p><p> </p><p>

In a Featherweight title match young Manish Khan defeated Lars Bohlin by TKO, winning the title in a small upset.</p><p> </p><p>

Overall the event was apparently more popular with the fans than with the press, but what matters is the 500 people in the audience and 8360 PPV buys.</p>

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ALPHA-1: Miyagi vs. da Guia, March 1st, 1998


ALPHA-1 Light Heavyweight Division

Eisaku Nozaki (6-2, III 2nd) v Osamu Dan (5-1, III 3rd)


The match opened up in quite a surprising way. Nozaki was supposed to be the better brawler, but his wild and wide swings got countered by a hard punch in the first minute. Punch-drunk and fighting to stand on his feet, Nozaki got quickly put against the ropes and taken down. Dan seemed to have gotten overconfident, however, as an armbar attempt ended up in reversal, with Nozaki having side control. Dan being an accomplished wrestler, he defended with no problem whatsoever, but the strike exchanges following the inevitable stand-up were much more even and didn’t produce anything worth noting until the end of the round.


Round two began as a mirror opposite of the first one, as it was Nozaki scoring some good hits against his opponent. However, “The Decision” was skilled enough to avoid the followup. Most of the round, however, was spent on Nozaki avoiding Dan and his grapple attempts, with little to no strikes exchanged.


Perhaps frustrated by the last round, Osamu Dan exploded with some powerful hits at the start of round 3, catching Eisaku Nozaki totally by surprise, rocking him hard and knocking him down with his powerful rights. Despite his ragged breathing and visible fatigue, Dan quickly mounted his opponent and launched a barrage of elbows and punches that were close to finishing the fight. Nozaki, however, is a tough customer and managed to find enough clarity of mind – or just pure instinct – to mount some defence and until the last minute of the round it seemed that the match would end on decision, with Dan sitting, pounding on Nozaki’s hands and dealing with his attempts at getting free. In the last minute, Eisaku’s attempt to wiggle free ended up with Dan getting his back and applying a rear naked choke hold – only the bell saved Nozaki from a submission loss! It didn’t save him from a decision loss, obviously, but it did contribute to making the match a decent showing.



Osamu Dan (6-1, III 1st) defeated Eisaku Nozaki (6-3, III 3rd) by unanimous decision.



ALPHA-1 Middleweight Division

Tadao Miyazaki (7-0, III 1st) v Dokuohtei Kuroki (33-13, II 1st)


Despite being almost twice the age of his opponent (42 y.o. to Miyazaki’s 22), “The Warrior” Dokuohtei Kuroki was considered the safer bet in this match, being a grizzled veteran with good submission skills, respectable stand-up and a great mind for strategy. Tadao Miyazaki showed that he’s no pushover, however, by expertly defending against his opponent’s attempts at slams, takedowns, grappling and dirty boxing. His karate striking didn’t have a big impact until 4 minutes in, when a great left hand counter to a takedown attempt rocked “The Warrior”, and only the veteran’s instincts allowed him to avoid a potentially match-ending high kick. However, the karate prodigy’s striking proved surprisingly inaccurate, and the end of the round saw him on the ground after a good takedown from a clinch.


The highlight of the second round was Miyazaki’s sprawl that put “The Warrior” in a turtle position after a failed takedown attempt. Miyazaki rolled him into side control and tried to take the back, but was unsuccessful and narrowly avoided a guillotine attempt. Seeing the dangers of fighting on the ground, he decided to stand up, but Kuroki got him with another takedown lunge and another round ended with a stalemate with the karateka on his back.


Some nice striking opened up the third round, followed by grappling against the ropes, with both fighters struggling for dominance. A flurry of strikes was exchanged, checked and countered, with no clear victor emerging before the bell. The judges unanimously awarded the match to the youngster, with him having scored more (and more impactful) strikes, but the overall match was quite average. With Miyazaki jumping to the top of Tier II, his future looks bright and speculation has already began on who in Tier I he could challenge, with many pointing at the Sumatran veteran striker, Mal Phe Roby.


Tadao Miyazaki (8-0, II 1st) defeated Dokuohtei Kuroki (33-14, II 5th) by unanimous decision.



ALPHA-1 Middleweight Division

Ieyoshi Yamashita (22-10, I 5th) v Kojuro Kudo (10-2-1 NC, II 2nd)


This match had some neat stories coming with it. The gatekeeper of prestigious Tier 1 versus a semi-elite challenger. The veteran with a mixed record and a recent loss versus an impetuous fighter on a roll. An accomplished wrestler and judoka versus an acclaimed hybrid striker. More money got bet on the veteran, but it really was quite a coin toss and an exciting fight to look forward to.


The first quarter of round 1 did give us some neat striking, but the first really impactful moment was when Yamashita caught Kudo’s kick and tripped him judo-style. The striker was surprisingly active on the ground, trying for an unsuccessful triangle choke and defending so well that the referee was forced to stand the fighters back up. A nice combination by Kudo did not defend him from a clinch and getting put against the ropes, tripped and put down on the ground. Yamashita, however, did not really do much with this advantage, smothering his opponent almost till the end of the round.


It seemed that Yamashita found Kudo’s weak spot, as a third judo trip this night put Kudo on the ground for the third time, after a stuffed takedown attempt turned into a push into the ropes. The rest of round two was spent with Yamashita in half guard and the fighters struggling for a better position.


The frustration that built up in Kudo led to him spending the first two minutes of round 3 just swinging away – and with him not managing to achieve anything meaningful except for gassing himself. Yamashita shot in with another takedown, barely avoiding the counter punch, and this time managed to get Kudo’s back and apply a rear naked choke, a second time this night that this hold was broken by the bell but contributed to an unanimous decision victory. It seems that the supposedly vulnerable gatekeeper still has some steam in him, which is worthy of respect, despite the match itself being rather poor. Nevertheless, some in the industry see putting Yamashita in the second place in the division and having Kudo fall into Tier III might be a bit too much of a swing.


Ieyoshi Yamashita (23-10, I 2nd) defeated Kojuro Kudo (10-3-1 NC, III 1st) by unanimous decision



ALPHA-1 Welterweight Division

Bakin Sakamoto (19-9, II 5th) v Chew Chua (17-4, I 5th)


For Bakin Sakamoto, this match was a gamble: either he proves his detractors wrong and cements his position in Tier II, or he falls down the ranks hard. For Chew Chua, this was an opportunity to show that his Tier I placement and status as one of the 20 best welterweights in the world are not flukes. Therefore, some people were quite excited to see how it unfolded.


It unfolded quickly. The kickboxer and the Muay Thai boxer started off with an explosive exchange of punches… and a powerful right from Chua knocked Sakamoto out in just over 30 seconds from the start of the round. “The Pain Train” defended his Tier I spot handily, winning an uncontested KO Of The Night, and the short, exciting burst of violence was well-received after three decisions. The sharp changes in rankings seem pretty justified here.


Chew Chua (18-4, I 2nd) defeated Bakin Sakamoto (19-10, III 5th) by Knock Out in 0:46 of round 1


ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Division CO-MAIN EVENT

Hiro Arai (14-4, II 1st) v Kunimichi Kikuchi (25-3, I 2nd)


Many people wonder why Kikuchi was not given a Heavyweight title shot that he, as the third best Heavyweight in the world and a former champion, clearly deserved. Some guessed that the new regime wanted a fresh face as a new challenger, others pointed to how ridiculously stacked Heavyweight Division is and how this match was a way to prove that (seeing as Arai, despite being in Tier II, was still considered 16th best Heavyweight in the world by Blurcat). Nevertheless, the fight between one of the best wrestlers in Japanese MMA in Kikuchi and a kickboxer of enormous punching power in Arai promised to be exciting.


Despite Arai showing some powerful striking in the first minute, he made a crucial mistake by throwing a kick that Kikuchi was able to grab. A takedown soon followed and after failed arm triangle and Americana attempts Kikuchi got into a mount and started simply beating his opponent into a bloody pulp with his elbows, until the ref had to step in and call a TKO, to a good reaction of the crowd. A dominant showing by Kikuchi earned him Fight of the Night and cemented his position as a contender.


Kunimichi Kikuchi (26-3, I 2nd) defeated Hiro Arai (14-5, II 3rd) by TKO in 4:57 of round 1



ALPHA-1 Welterweight Division TITLE MATCH & MAIN EVENT

Ichisake Miyagi (21-3, I 1st) v Carlos da Guia © (15-0, I 2nd)


This is what the Japanese crowds love – a match that is a matter of honour. Da Guia, a master of Brazilian Muay Thai from Estrela Academy with a stellar record and a Heavyweight title belt, was classified as the second best fighter in the division. The fact that Miyagi, who he won his title from, was classified higher, was enough of an insult for the Brazilian to demand rematch. However, many consider that challenging “The Devil in Blue” might not have been the best of ideas. One of the best wrestlers in MMA, Miyagi defended his title three times before falling to da Guia, which is quite a respectable feat, and is still considered top 3 among world’s welterweights.


The fight started in the opposite way of what one would expect, with da Guia baiting and keeping distance, and Miyagi advancing. Miyagi’s famous and dangerous elbows drew some blood from a clinch two minutes in, so much that a stoppage and a doctor’s check-up was needed. After the match restarted, Miyagi kept pushing for a clinch or grapple, but this time got a powerful right hook for his efforts. Changing his strategy, he went for a takedown, only to be stuffed and wrestled to the ground, with da Guia taking his back. Interestingly, and perhaps to add insult to injury, the Brazilian didn’t proceed with ground and pound, instead opting for a rear naked choke, but Miyagi managed to defend it and get free of the hooks. An armbar attempt by da Guia was all the opportunity “The Devil in Blue” needed, quickly pulling free and securing side control, making it look disturbingly easy. The next three minutes were anything but, however, as the two fighters struggled to improve their positions, with the referee finally standing them up. The round ended with da Guia keeping his opponent away with strikes.


Round two opened up with da Guia exploiting a gap in Miyagi’s defence and scoring some big hits, but the follow-up wasn’t there. After a quick and skillful exchange of strikes, Miyagi managed to catch da Guia by surprise with a single leg takedown, from which he got the opportunity to land a nasty knee into the ribs, as well as a mount, which however did not amount to what he might have wanted, as the round ended half a minute later with no decisive strike landing, not for the lack of trying. The back-and-forth exchange made the crowd quite hectic and ready for round three…


…which didn’t really seem to deliver, as the first half of the round was movement, distance control and some missed or blocked strikes. Miyagi finally managed to get a grapple and put a lot of nice dirty boxing in, but that was all he got, as – perhaps due to fatigue – he was unable to take the champion down, and the round ended with them still in clinch. Miyagi used the same strategy in the next round, but also pushing da Guia into the ropes. Both fighters, despite being pretty much spent, fought valiantly for the control of the grapple, but Miyagi got the upper hand and managed a nasty knee to the thigh and some nice punches before right at the start of the second half da Guia managed to turn the situation around. A minute and one accurate hit later (it has to be said, that knee to stomach was crisp) the referee brought them back to the centre of the ring. Miyagi’s last ditch attempt of a takedown ended up badly, with the champion sprawling well and putting the challenger into a turtle position, from where “The Devil in Blue” got a head knee nasty enough for him to let himself get rolled into side control. Fortunately, he was conscious enough to prevent da Guia from mounting him for the last 45 seconds of the round.


The fifth round opened up with some strikes, but it quickly turned into Miyagi pinning da Guia against the ropes, stomping and hitting and smothering. After they were broken apart, the challenger wanted to push his advantage with another wrestling attempt, but a hard right punch discouraged him a bit. Round six (and last) followed the same script, with some da Guia’s striking turning into grappling by Miyagi, with the Japanese even trying for a Muay Thai clinch before the Brazilian turned it into an collar-and-elbow. Enraged by Miyagi’s attempt at besting him at his own game, Carlos won out in the following struggle, pinning his opponent to the ropes and showing him some true Muay Thai mastery with nasty elbows, punches (including a particularly powerful one to the ear) and knees. Unfortunately for him, there was not enough time left in the round to unleash all he could.


The judges’ decision was always going to be controversial, after such a close and personal bout. In the end, Miyagi’s better overall control on the ground was found more important than da Guia’s better striking, and in a split decision the match and the belt was awarded to Miyagi, with a good reaction from the Japanese crowd. The controversial decision, coupled with a sharp decline in da Guia’s rank, prompted some journalists and fans to question the impartiality of ALPHA-1 judges.


Ichisake Miyagi (22-3, I 1st) defeated Carlos da Guia (15-1, II 1st) by split decision to win the ALPHA-1 Welterweight Title





With over 11 thousand people in attendance and 137 thousand PPV buys, as well as decent critical ratings and good reactions from the spectators, the first PPV under the new management was a success, although the title match was bound to produce outrage and accusations. The ranking system was also put to question by some, as some of the rank changes were deemed quite severe, but ALPHA-1 Management stated that it was intended, as a volatile ranking is more motivating for the fighters and more exciting for the audience than a more static one. We shall see how that turns out.


Attendance: 11,384 for a gate of $1,138,400

Pay-Per-View: 137,089 buys for revenue of $822,534

Critical Rating: Decent

Commercial Rating: Good

Fight OTN: Kunimichi Kikuchi(vs. Hiro Arai)

KO OTN: Chew Chua (vs. Bakin Sakamoto)




The diary comes back after a hiatus! It will still be updated quite irregularly, due to having not enough time and consistency.


Just to remind all of you kind readers, there are still some predictions to be had:


ALPHA-1: Warriors of the Ring 29.03.1998 Prediction Card:

ME Heavyweight Contendership Match: Mason Archer (15-3, I 4th) vs. Armen Sarkisian (22-2, I 3rd)

SME Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Final: Winner of SF1 vs. Winner of SF2

Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Semi-Final 2: Sebastian Schiller (3-2) vs. Tetsuji Myojin (4-0)

Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Semi-Final 1: Fumiki Ikeda (5-0) vs. Kadonomaro Deguchi (2-0)



ALPHA-1: Hayashi vs. Hojo, 5.04.1998 Prediction Card:

ME Lightweight Title Match: Fumiaki Hayashi © (16-4, I 2nd) v Motoki Hojo (15-3, I 1st)

SME Welterweight: Syed Tan (13-2-1, I 4th) v Fukusaburu Hirano (10-0-1, II 1st)

Middleweight: Oleg Dorosklov (0-0, Newcomer) v Genki Shinashi (6-1, III 3rd)

Heavyweight: Ari Peltonen (23-7, I 5th) v Gerson Mauricio (8-0, II 4th)

Light Heavyweight: Inejiro Chiba (15-5, II 3rd) v Ebizo Fujishima (24-12, II 4th)

Heavyweight: Felipe Luiz Rosa (11-5, III 2nd) v Eien Kawano (3-0, III 4th)

Welterweight: Chikafusa Abukara (16-5, IV 1st) v Chojiro Goto (8-2, III 2nd)

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<div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">NEW CARD ANNOUNCMENT </span></strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span></strong></p><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">

ALPHA-1: Endo vs. Sriyanto – May 3rd,1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

With Ieoshi Yamashita’s win catapulting him – somewhat unexpectedly – to the second spot of Tier I in the Middleweight Division, its current champion <strong>Heiji Endo</strong> has fallen to the third spot, under the man he won his title from. This is as good a time as it gets for Endo to make his first defence. This will be quite a test, as he is scheduled to face <strong>Bambang Sriyanto</strong>, probably the best and most ferocious striker in the division (and that’s saying much when you have the legendary Sebastian Schiller on board). Sriyanto, with his 22-6-2 record and fearsome Tarung Derajat skills, is considered seventh among world’s middleweights, and has some of the most dangerous elbows martial arts have ever seen. However, Heiji Endo did not win his title nor his “The Immortal” nickname by a fluke. He’s 12-1 in professional MMA bouts, he is a wrestler of the highest caliber, his conditioning and chin are phenomenal – nobody has ever managed to put him out before the bell! – and his warrior spirit is legendary among the Japanese audience. Will this be enough to withstand the Indonesian’s fierce assault and prove his worth under the new regime?</p><p> </p><p>

The semi-main event is a battle of veterans in Tier I of Light Heavyweight Division. <strong>Robun Yamazaki</strong> (37-12) is a seasoned veteran of both wrestling and MMA, with great warrior spirit and charisma. At 33, he’s starting to slow down however and many have questioned his 5th position in the Tier I, treating him as nothing more than a gatekeeper. He decided to have none of that and issued a challenge to the person one step higher in Tier I. Unfortunately for him that person is <strong>Sho Kitabatake</strong>, Olympic judoka turned MMA fighter with an unbroken streak of 13 victories and, despite turning 30, one of the undoubtedly best Light Heavyweights in the division. Kitabatake’s relative weakness in striking might be the only hope for Yamazaki.</p><p> </p><p>

Aside from those two fights, the rest of the event will be comprised of a huge, 8-person Lightweight tournament. ALPHA-1 Management decided to rectify the unsatisfactory size of the division by putting all four Newcomers and four fighters with the lowest rank (from Tier II 4th to Tier III 2nd) in the tournament, with the winner potentially gaining enough renown and respect to break Tier I (as ALPHA-1 judges are known to favour tournaments as a superior way of demonstrating one’s warrior spirit and resilience). It is worth remembering that fighting two matches in a tournament is considered equivalent to fighting three separate matches when it comes to newcomers qualifying to be assigned a rank in the ALPHA-1 Ranking System.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Shinji Oiwa</strong>, the lowest ranked fighter in Lightweight Division and a Kyukushin Karate adept with a 7-4 record, must be cursing his luck as he is facing <strong>Pralong Sangsomwong</strong>, a living and kicking Muay Thai legend. <strong>Fujimaro Hidaka</strong>, a promising kickboxer from the Wutang Academy, will be fighting <strong>Bernie Cohen</strong>, an American import who combines Muay Thai, BJJ and a huge reach advantage into quite a well-rounded package. <strong>Shiko Taka</strong>, a competent jujitsuka with a semi-respectable record, will be putting his weight advantage against a featherweight convert, <strong>Yagi Jokichi</strong>, one of the most praised young fighters in modern karate. Finally, <strong>Korekiyo “Razor” Anzai</strong>, young and sharp submission fighter who is yet to be defeated, faces <strong>Kei “Demon Eyes” Maki</strong>, an elite kickboxer who was one of the best strikers among featherweights. </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1: Endo vs. Sriyanto 3.05.1998 Prediction Card: </span></strong></p><p>

ME Middleweight Title Match: Heiji Endo © (12-1, I 3rd) vs. Bambang Sriyanto (22-6-2, I 1st)</p><p>

SME Light Heavyweight: Robun Yamazaki (37-12, I 5th) vs. Sho Kitabatake (13-0, I 4th)</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Final</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Semi-Final: Winner of Match C vs. Winner of Match D</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Semi-Final: Winner of Match A vs. Winner of Match B</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Match D: Korekiyo Anzai (6-0, II 4th) vs. Kei Maki (3-0, N)</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Match C: Shiko Taka (6-2-1 NC, II 5th) vs. Yagi Jokichi (4-0, N)</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Match B: Fujimaro Hidaka (4-1, III 1st) vs. Bernie Cohen (12-4, N)</p><p>

Lighweight Tournament Match A: Shinji Oiwa (7-4, III 2nd) vs. Pralong Sangsomwong (3-0, N)</p><p> </p><p>

<em>You can find the prediction cards for previous two events at the end of the previous post.</em></p>

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ALPHA-1 Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Semi-Final

Sebastian Schiller (3-2) vs. Tetsuji Myojin (4-0)


This was certainly a match of mild surprises. Those who predicted the legendary Farang Ba school Muay Thai fighter to knock Myojin’s teeth out in the first round were certainly surprised, as the sambo fighter managed to survive those ten minutes with only one knockdown that he quickly recovered from. It seemed to be a combination of Shiller’s strikes not being as powerful as we are used to them being and of “Rampage” being able to close the distance and constantly threaten with takedowns. On the other hand, those who predicted Schiller to once again lose due to his inexperience in the MMA environment were a bit humbled when he exhibited some good knowledge of takedown defence, stopping every attempt by Myojin in the first round. Still, those mild surprises did not cover the fact that the first round was not as exciting as it could have been hoped.


In round two, Myojin took more powerful counters to the head, but finally managed a judo trip that ended up with Schiller pulling half guard. A failed scramble attempt resulted in Myojin getting the Dutchman in a turtle position and getting some crisp hits before again rolling him onto the ground. “Rampage” did not manage to get a win with some submission attempts, but that round certainly helped him in both the fans’ and the judges’ eyes.


The third round was kind of a snoozer again, with Schiller exhausted and content to let Myojin circle. All takedown or grappling attempts were met with stiff counters that made the round somewhat in Schiller’s favour – which probably contributed to an unanimous decision granting him the win.


Sebastian Schiller (4-2) defeated Tetsuji Myojin (4-1) by unanimous decision and moves on to the Newcomer’s Tournament Final





ALPHA-1 Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Semi-Final

Fumiki Ikeda (5-0) vs. Kadonomaro Deguchi (2-0)


This match had more to it than what is immediately visible. It was not only a fight for a chance to become a Ranked fighter (as both finalists of the tournament fulfil the requirement of 2 tournament fights and lose their Newcomer status). It was also a contest between an ultracharismatic pro wrestler with a nice career behind him (Ikeda) and a highly decorated young amateur wrestler (Deguchi) – which is to say, a contest between two philosophies of wrestling.


The match begun with some excitement, as a wonderful takedown by Ikeda was countered by Deguchi spinning out and getting back to his feet, in a feat more resembling junior heavyweight pro wrestlers’ antics than something an amateur fighter would employ. Some inconclusive back-and-forth grappling led to Ikeda slamming his opponent to the mat. Again Deguchi managed some defence by forcing Fumiki to separate and stand up, but he failed to defend the following entry and Ikeda managed to slip into side control. Again Deguchi showed some wonderful defence as he managed to slip out of a tight-looking armbar, work in an underhook, scramble and force Ikeda into a turtle position. From there a short and nasty comeback began, as Deguchi got Ike into a crucifix position and proceeded to destroy him with hammer fists until TKO was called amidst loud cheers from the crowd.


Kadonomaro Deguchi (3-0) defeated Fumiki Ikeda (5-1) by TKO (strikes) in 6:49 of round 1 and moves on to the Newcomer’s Tournament Final





ALPHA-1 Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament Final

Kadonomaro Deguchi (3-0) vs. Sebastian Schiller (4-2)


Many speculated that Schiller would not be able to fight a second match after gassing so much in the previous one. Indeed, while he managed to open up with some fast, crisp and dangerous looking striking, most of his shots failed to find their target, and finally Deguchi managed to catch a kick and get a takedown. A scramble attempt turned out to be too slow, and Deguchi managed to find an armbar from side control that finished the match.


Deguchi’s performance was dominating enough that he was ranked in Tier II; meanwhile, Schiller was judged as a huge disappointment (with his win being a dragged-out decision, and his loss a one-sided match) and was for now placed at the bottom of Tier III, a shame for such a legendary fighter.


Kadonomaro Deguchi (4-0, II 3rd) defeated Sebastian Schiller (4-3, III 5th) by submission (armbar) in 4:35 of round 1 to win the Middleweight Newcomers’ Tournament





ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Contendership Match

Mason Archer (15-3, I 4th) vs. Armen Sarkisian (22-2, I 3rd)


The most eagerly awaited match of the night, with Archer, one of the most powerful kickers in the world, facing Sarkisian, one of the strongest and most dominant wrestlers in the world, opened up quite fast, with Sarkisian taking Archer to the ground 90 seconds in and forcing his way into side control. Archer defended bravely, first against an armbar then after giving up his back against a choke, but Sarkisian finally managed to get through his defences and apply a RNC that led to a submission and a decent finish to the match.


While Sarkisian’s rank did not change, Archer was judged lacking and put in Tier II, and after such a one-sided match it is no surprise at all.


Armen Sarkisian (23-2, I 3rd) defeated Mason Archer (15-4, II 2nd) by submission (rear naked choke) in 5:51 of round 1 to become ALPHA-1 Heavyweight Contender





While the commercial appeal of the show was apparently merely decent (the tournament contained only one really popular name, and the main event was quite one-sided), MMA experts considered it a good show, and it seems to be a day a new star of Middleweight division was born.


Attendance: 4,250 for a gate of $425,000

Viewers: 299,958

Critical Rating: Good

Commercial Rating: Decent

Fight Of The Night: Kadonomaro Deguchi vs. Fumiki Ikeda

KO Of The Night: Kadonomaro Deguchi (vs. Fumiki Ikeda)

Submission Of The Night: Armen Sarkisian (vs. Mason Archer)

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<div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:24px;">News and announcements</span></span></strong></p></div><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">An excerpt from an ALPHA-1 press conference:</span></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

Journalist: Do you have any comments on Tadao Miyazaki, the current leader of Tier II in ALPHA-1 Middleweight division, joining Empire Combat Academy?</p><p> </p><p>

ALPHA-1 Spokesperson: Certainly. We are happy to see one of our prospects join the most prestigious of Japan’s training camps. It shall be interesting to see how much will he manage to round up his primarily karate-influenced skillset, and seeing as he is a first non-Super Heavyweight MMA fighter in ECA we are understandably eager to see the results of his training.</p><p> </p><p>

J: ECA is known mainly for being a dojo for shooto and strong style wrestlers. Are you not concerned that having a fighter train in an organisation even loosely connected with faked fighting will damage your reputation? You might have heard how Lance Decker, CEO of GAMMA, decribed ALPHA-1 as “faked, just like wrestling”…</p><p> </p><p>

AS: As far as we know, Mr Decker never attended any ALPHA-1 event. One should not care about opinions of people who talk about what they have never seen.</p><p> </p><p>

J: Speaking of things never seen, Seth O’Breen has just won BCF Lightweight Championship in a FOTY candidate. Are the rumours that ALPHA-1 started negotiations with him then backed off true?</p><p> </p><p>

AS: Yes. Our local representatives have contacted Mr O’Breen, as he is no doubt the kind of talent we appreciate in ALPHA-1. However, the Management has decided that hiring another federation’s champion just after he won his title is not what we consider proper conduct. Also, we want to observe Mr O’Breen, who is still young and developing, to see how he handles the pressure of being a champion.</p><p> </p><p>

J: Mr Decker commented on that too, saying you “chickened out” of the deal and that ALPHA-1 are, well, “pussies”.</p><p> </p><p>

AS: As I said, one should not care about opinions of people who talk about what they have never seen.</p><p> </p><p>

*laugher*</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>***</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Other companies' events</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">GAMMA 23: Dean vs. Thomas 8.03.1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

(Prelim) Ken Peters (9-0) beat Bill Cumming (27-13)</p><p>

Tony McCall (33-10) beat Gary Sampson (16-6)</p><p>

Mike Watson (10-0) beat Kendall Tracey (8-2)</p><p>

John Rivero (13-2) beat Anthony LeToussier (12-1)</p><p>

Matthew Dean (32-5) beat Patrick Thomas (16-4)</p><p> </p><p>

Highlights:</p><p> </p><p>

</p><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;">- Ken Peters, a Canadian wrestler known mostly for grinding out decisions, earned a great ovation from the crowd and a Fight of the Night award by differing a bit from his usual modus operandi – he did take his opponent down fast, but then proceeded to have a hardcore fist-and-elbow fight from the guard, which ended up as a way to lure Bill Cumming out of position to take his back and choke him into submission mere seconds before the end of the round</div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;"> </div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;">

- The man with the fastest hands in MMA, or so it is claimed, “The Calgary Assassin” Mike Watson, has claimed another victim. All it took was reversing the clinch with Tracey near the cage wall (a kickboxer outwrestling a wrestler/boxer, not a bad thing), a step back and a barrage of punches that took Tracey off his feet without a chance in hell. Watson just made the ALPHA-1 shortlist. </div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;"> </div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;">

- In a main event title clash between “The Anarchist” Matthew Dean, one of two or three best middleweights in the world and perhaps the best wrestler in the sport, defeated “The Titan” Patrick Thomas, the hardest punch in that weight division after a match that had its ups and downs, with Thomas throwing some good punches and even almost putting Dean down, but a well applied arm triangle sealed things off.</div><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">WEFF 5 26.03.1998 </span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

Piper Evergood (3-0) beat Kirsten Page (1-1)</p><p>

Rachel McGuiness (4-0) beat Beckie Dexter (1-1)</p><p>

Samanta Sachs (6-0) beat Luka Baker (7-4)</p><p>

Phoebe Bergman (6-2) beat Maggie Martin (4-2)</p><p>

Haley Croft (6-0) beat Emma Birch (3-1) to retain the WEFF Heavyweight title</p><p> </p><p>

- No highlights as the show was very average</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">BCF: Keane vs. O’Breen March 29.03.1998</span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

Doug Hansen (16-4) beat Steven Griffin (12-6) </p><p>

George Laurent (37-12) beat Adrian Majoram (5-1)</p><p>

Eddie Whelan (11-3) beat Dave Lennon (13-5)</p><p>

Nathan O’Reilly (27-14) eat Tucker Plumm (14-8)</p><p>

Martin Cupples (7-0) beat Vikram Sithalayan (16-3)</p><p>

Edgar van der Hoogenband (4-0) beat Michael Moodie (3-1)</p><p>

Seth O’Breen (14-0) beat Jake Keane (22-5) to win the BCF Lightweight Title</p><p> </p><p>

Highlights:</p><p> </p><p>

</p><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;">- Tucker Plumm, a decent karateka, and Nathan O’Reilly, an uninspiring brawler, had an unexpectedly fantastic match in the Middleweight division, with knockdowns, reversals, mounting and finally a barrage of right hands from O’Reilly proving superior to Plumm’s educated feet and getting a TKO. What made the match so exciting was probably the fact that neither of the fighters took any time to hang back and plan things, instead throwing strikes all the time (almost 100 strikes, half of them accurate, were thrown in an eight minute match).</div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;"> </div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;">

- Martin “The Crippler” Cupples, a young and promising boxer, scored a huge upset when he defeated Vikram Sithalayan, a Pakistani wrestler and one of the best Middleweights in the world, by decision. With Sithalayan controlling his opponent on the ground for a huge part of all three rounds and Cupples only having eight accurate punches to his name (albeit two of them were near-knockdowns), the judges were accused of racism and favouring an English fighter.</div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;"> </div><p></p><div style="margin-left:25px;">

- In a gruelling and absolutely incredible five round match, “Submission King” Seth O’Breen won the BCF Lightweight Title against “The Natural Talent” Jake Keane. O’Breen, a young student of Sil Beatha, is known for his perfect record, great submission skills, toughness and all-round skill and Keane is one of the most underrated and consistent all-rounders in the game. Both of them shined in the match, from trading submission attempts in the first two rounds (with each fighter getting to the other’s back just as the round finished), to O’Breen knocking Keane down with a huge punch in round 3 only for Keane to defend brilliantly while being mounted and slipping out of an armbar attempt into side control, Keane’s scorching leg kicks being traded for O’Breen’s huge hands, the final round opening with O’Breen putting Keane down with his fists and an exciting scramble that led to both men being back on their feet, and finally a great sprawl by O’Breen putting Keane in a turtle position and vulnerable to a great armbar that sealed O’Breen’s victory and cemented this great show’s place as one of the best MMA shows ever aired, despite only 2,290 people buying the PPV.</div><p></p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>***</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<span style="font-size:12px;"><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">NEW CARD ANNOUNCMENT</span></strong></span></p><p>

<span style="font-size:12px;"><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1’s Warriors Of The Ring 31.05.1998</span></strong></span></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

Riding the way of momentum following the announcement of him joining the elite Empire Combat Academy, the 23-year-old <strong>Tadao Miyazaki</strong> (8-0, II 1st) is going to try and break into Tier I in the main event of the upcoming episode of WotR. The youngster’s karate skills are among the best in the division, and ECA is sure to improve on his already decent ground game. That additional edge will sure be useful against <strong>Haranobu Oshiro</strong> (15-5, I 4th), who can easily go toe to toe with Miyazaki in the striking department, being a great kickboxer with impressive MMA experience for his age, although he is said to have some mental problems that Wudang Academy coaches will have to help him overcome.</p><p> </p><p>

All three other announced matches are Newcomers’ Gauntlet matches, all of them featuring debutantes that are already well known to fighting sports’ fans (although some of those sports are more obscure than the others).</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Dae Yung Moon</strong> (7-0, N) was one of the most dominating Taekwondo fighters of his time, winning the World Games, World Cup and Asian Games. Now, having moved into MMA, he’s already considered among top 15 Light Heavyweights by Blurcat. As his first Newcomers’ Gauntlet fight he faces<strong> Tsuramatsu “The Berzerker” Inoue</strong> (24-15-2-3, III 4th), a veteran whose pro record is quite impressive for a 100% brawler.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Ewerton Feitosa</strong> (8-0, N) is a son of the legendary Ricardo Feitosa Jr. and the heir of Feitosa BJJ Academy, the best BJJ school in Brazil. A highly respected submission fighter, after two years in MMA he’s amassed an impressive 8-0 record. His opponent, <strong>Naoki Itoh</strong> (22-16, III 2nd), is his complete opposite – a veteran with many storied matches under his belt, but recently on a losing streak, Itoh’s career has all been about his left hand, which has knocked out more people than Feitosa has fought. Itoh is nearing the end of his prime as a fighter and no doubt is looking for some achievement to crown his career, and what greater achievement in MMA is there than knocking out a Feitosa?</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>“911” Sadatake Hiro</strong> (5-0, N) is not as well known a name as the other two newcomers, but submission wrestling aficionados surely recognize him as a nationally ranked fighter. He’s been out of public sight for some time, honing his MMA skills, and emerged as a relatively unknown, yet powerful fighter, who at 30 years of age is ready to find his success at the grandest stage of all, in ALPHA-1. <strong>Takafumi Ando</strong> (14-10, III 5th), a huge wrestler sometimes called “the Dump Truck” who lacks much technical skill, does not seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but the big man can use his veteran guile to score an upset.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"> ALPHA-1’s Warriors Of The Ring 31.05.1998 Prediction Card: </span></strong></p><p>

ME Middleweight: Haranobu Oshiro (15-5, I 4th) vs. Tadao Miyazaki (8-0, II 1st)</p><p>

SME Light Heavyweight Newcomers’ Gauntlet: Dae Yung Moon (7-0, N) vs. Tsuramatsu Inoue (24-15-2-3, III 4th)</p><p>

Light Heavyweight Newcomers’ Gauntlet: Ewerton Feitosa (8-0, N) vs. Naoki Itoh (22-16, III 2nd)</p><p>

Heavyweight Newcomers’ Gauntlet: Sadatake Hiro (5-0, N) vs. Takafumi Ando (14-10, III 5th)</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>***</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">ALPHA-1 Rankings for 1.04.1998 attached to the post</span></strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p><a href="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=3296" data-fileid="3296" data-fileext="zip" rel="">Rankings — 1.04.1998.zip</a></p>

Rankings — 1.04.1998.zip

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