Battle Hazard 8 was headlined by a clash between two different generations of elite Japanese grappling talent as Masakazu Imanari took on Kenta Iwamoto, with plenty of action leading up to the main event.
First up on the Battle Hazard 8 card is the first bout of the woman’s under 52kg tournament.
Tachibana of Alliance gym wins by default because her opponent missed weight.
The next bout is Arisa Dragons Den vs Sakamoto Kazuko over one 7 minute round.
Kazuko starts by sitting down Arisa looks for grips is pulled into half guard for a moment.They stand. One minute has passed. Kazuko sits again. They stand. Two minutes gone. Kazuko pulls guard with a two on one, transitions from standard ashi to an outside heel hook but the control is not there and Arisa pulls out. They stand and Arisa foot sweeps a scramble ensues and Kazuko gets a motorcycle grip looking for the back. Arisa turtles fighting for grips. Kazuko looking for the crucifix but she loses it. They stand. Kazuko sits again. They stand after Arisa is hesitant to engage. Last minute, Kazuko sits once again. Arisa goes for a leg drag but gets nowhere. Last ten seconds Arisa circles and that is the bell. They go to overtime.
Kazuko is first to attack she picks the back. Arisa leans forward tries to drop her forward but fails RNC in 24 seconds for Sakamoto. Arisa picks the back Kazuko turns into the stranglehold immediately and escapes in 17 seconds.
Sakamoto Kazuko wins via RNC in overtime (24 sec)
In the third bout, Kiyoshi Megumi takes on Murakami Aya.
They slap hands and Murakami pulls guard. They fight for inside leg positioning reversing positions once and then Murakami ends on the bottom looking for a triangle but Kiyoshi pushes her chest out and gets an under hook. Murakami looking for a Kimura reverses and gets to side control. Murakami on top gets put back to half guard Kiyoshi has a lockdown, mitigating Murakami’s Kimura grip. Murakami uses the butterfly hook to strip the lockdown and goes to mount. She has a brief guillotine but gets reversed. Looking for a Kimura again from knee shield then transitioning into a Triangle. Looks tight, Kiyoshi taps.
Murakami Aya wins via Triangle.
The fourth fight is contested under GTF youth rules at under 60 kg and over 2×3 min. Triforce’s Noda Shio faces off with Carpe Diem’s Kawasumi Koji.
Noda pulls guard and looks for a leg entanglement but Kawasumi drives in briefly threatening to pass.
Noda gets back to full guard and transitions to and outside reap as Kawasumi stands. Kawasumi looks to be in trouble for a moment but turns out, just to end up in another leg entanglement they fight for grips in fifty/fifty Kawasumi briefly showing a straight toot lock then they return to fifty to fight for grips again as the bell rings.
Kawasumi pulls guard Noda engages with a knee cut pass to a slick back take.It’s under the chin with the body triangle on. Kawasumi taps.
Noda Shio wins via RNC in Round 2
The fifth bout is Kok rules (no ground strikes, but standing strikes are ok) and 2 x five minute rounds at Bantamweight. Nagano Shota will fight Hirata Masanori.
They circle Nagano opens with a strong left body kick from southpaw. Then after an exchange of punches, Nagano rocks Hirota with a straight left then goes for a slick rolling kneebar from the Clinch. They turn to fifty/fifty Nagano looking for that inside heel hook bite but does not get it. He ends up on the bottom briefly then uses the Kimura threat to stand, they clinch then Nagano drops for another rolling kneebar this time it’s on and Hirata has to tap.
Nagano Shota wins via Kneebar in Round 1
The women’s tournament continues with the sixth bout, Yuko Tachibana vs Sugiuchi Yuki.
Sugiuchi throws up an armbar right away it’s deep, the arm is stretched out and it looks nasty. After some resistance, she finally gets the tap.
Sugiuchi wins via Armbar
The seventh bout is between Murakami Aya and Sakamoto Kazuko.
They slap hands Sakamoto sits and nearly gets her guard passed they stand. Sakamoto looks strong in hand fighting and decides to bully Murakami to the ropes nearly getting her back taken she bails and sits again. Looks for a leg entanglement but gets reversed with Murakami looking for an outside heel hook to straight foot lock but Sakamoto escapes. They stand but Sakamoto sits and gets her guard passed. Murakami in side control with one of her arms captured between Sakamotos legs the other around Sakamoto’s neck a scramble happens and Sakamoto nearly gets a rolling back take they scramble to exchange leg lock attempts. Stand again. Sakamoto sits. Murakami looks for a triangle scramble up again. Lots of action in this one. Sakamoto ends on bottom and Murakami gets the mount off the same fold knee cut hybrid pass she has gone for from the start. She’s looking for a triangle transitioning to north-south then looking for an armbar, abandoning it for the favour of top position. She goes to mount again and looks for a guillotine but Sakamoto escapes. Sakamoto looks for a last-minute leg entanglement but does not get it.
As overtime starts, Sakamoto picks the back. Murakami fights for grips, turtles gets turned back face up and taps at 26 seconds. Murakami on the back now. Grips look shallow and Kazuko Sakamoto escapes in 12 seconds.
Sakamoto Kazuko in overtime via RNC.
The final set now as Sakamoto meets Sugiuchi.
The eighth bout is a jacketed MMA fight over 3 x 3 minute rounds at Bantamweight. Matsumoto Daisuke faces Shota Tami.
Both start southpaw Matsumoto tries to catch a kick. They clinch and Tami looks for an Osoto Gari.
Matsumoto loses his footing and ends on his back looking to attack from guard but one of his arms gets caught on the ropes. They stand Tami looks strong with strikes Matsumoto with a snap down looking for front headlock then giving up half guard to look for the straight armlock there’s the bell.
Matsumoto feints a kick Tami kicks back and gets taken down off the kick Matsumoto on top but can’t pass chooses to sit for a moment fighting for grips with Tami throwing the odd punch Matsumoto gets reversed into half guard and has the lockdown on. Lockdown without under hooks but he puts torque on the knee. Tami struggles, thirty seconds left. Matsumoto looking to torque the knee without under hooks. Now abandoning the lockdown goes into Classic half guard moments later the bell rings.
Matsumoto tries to catch a kick. Then circles to the back in the Clinch. Nearly gets the hooks in but is reversed into full guard. He lets go looking for the half guard again with Tami engaging. Matsumoto with the lockdown again. No under hooks. The ref stands them up with a minute left. Matsumoto kicks then throws a one-two to a double leg, gets it then goes into a leg entanglement to finish in a straight foot lock attempt.
Tani Shota gets the Decision victory
The ninth bout is Yonekura Daiki vs Takahashi submission Yuki who will fight for 1 x ten minute round at 52 kg.
Yonekura pulls guard just as expected. Yonekura pulls guard but Takahashi attacks with outside Asahi digging for the grip but Yonekura has a butterfly hook in they go to fifty/fifty and get broken up because they are on the ropes. They are reset in the middle and Yonekura attacks the inside heel hook right away. They roll to the ropes again and it looks bad Takahashi’s knee must be injured.
Yonekura wins via Inside Heelhook.
After the match, he says that since at the moment there are no options to compete against someone from abroad, he is ready to compete against anyone at any weight. He asks for an open weight tournament.
Now the women’s tournament final
Sakamoto Kazuko of Imanari jj vs Sugiuchi Yuki of bogota club gym.
Sugiuchi pulls guard. Sakamoto drops back into a straight foot lock it leads to nothing. Sugiuchi ends on top Sakamoto looking for a triangle possibly an armbar but her attempts are dwarfed. She rolls for a leg entanglement from the knee shield and nearly gets an outside heel hook but Sugiuchi reverses her and attempts to attack the legs herself. Sakamoto escapes and ends up in half guard bottom. Sakamoto fights to get to half butterfly Sugiuchi crushes the hook and works a pass. Nearly gets it but the ropes are in the way they reset just to go into a leg entanglement. They swap positions and then Sugiuchi transitions into an armbar with feet under Sakamotos shoulders Sakamoto assesses the situation and calmly taps.
Sugiuchi wins via Armbar and wins the Battle Hazard 8 tournament.
In the post-fight interview, she thanks everyone and says she’s going to drink hard tonight.
Battle Hazard 8 Main Event
Kenta Iwamoto vs Imanari Masakazu at 67 kg over one 15 minute round.
The legend Imanari takes the strongest no-gi grappler in Japan at the moment – Iwamoto. Shinya Aoki at his corner, Iwamoto walks out to a slow tune as Imanari, half-asleep, strolls across to a different more song-like dreamy tune.
Imanari looks much smaller, they shake hands. Iwamoto looks for a snap-down Imanari jumps guard. Iwamoto is wise to it Imanari with an arm lock attempt from z, but gets passed. Mount into arm triangle for Iwamoto. Imanari looks cool possible bluffing. Shinya Aoki instructs from the corner to only use strength if you know you will get it. Now says not to use too much energy. Iwamoto transitions to the back. With the body triangle on looking for the neck, three minutes have passed. The ref calls for action. Only Shinya Aokis coarse voice echoing from Iwamotos corner trough the tense arena saying ‘There’s nothing but action’. Iwamoto is over the chin. Imanari stays cool. He pushes the elbow off and they’re hand fighting again. After using the body lock to stretch Imanari out, Imanari slips low.
Iwamoto still looking for the neck. Imanari is too low for it to be effective. They grip fight past the six-minute mark. Imanari’s rope a dope is a play with fire as Iwamoto is now looking to capture the arm. Looking for twister control for a moment then back to both hooks in for Iwamoto. Imanari shows a leg attack but Iwamoto just ignores it. Iwamoto keeps digging for the neck. Shinya Aoki’s rough voiced instructions are the only soundtrack. Iwamoto looking for twister control. Fighting to get the arm. Imanari reverses. Inside heel hook to kneebar, to outside Asahi and back to fifty/fifty. Iwamoto does a good job defending and attempts an outside heel hook on his own. Imanari escapes and they reset. Iwamoto with another outside heel hook attempt. Imanari looks for a back fifty/fifty/calf slice entry as Iwamoto stands. Not getting it. Iwamoto passes to mount again another arm-triangle attempt. One minute left. Aoki is silent. Iwamoto gives it his all. Imanari taps at 14 min 22 sec, less than a minute before the end of the round.
Kenta Iwamoto wins via Arm Triangle
“After 4 years of training, I’m here and I have made mistakes in life and whatnot, but one thing I can say is I am confident in my jujitsu. I won against Imanari but I’m not satisfied.” – Iwamoto said on the mic.
Katsumura, the promoter asks “what do we do now, no one left to compete against?” Iwamoto does not answer the question directly and says he wants to take part in an open weight tournament instead. Katsumura asks him if he means fighting teammates and he confirms that he does not want to do so.