Many must be wondering why this fight ended up in a split decision.
Because, I thought, this clearly was a solid win by Victory Henry.
Sure, in the opening round, Taichi Nakajima scored a take down and kept a top position for quite a while. However, Henry defended well off his back. He never really allowed a youngster from team Paraestra Tokyo to pass his guard. Also, Henry dictated the pace early in the round and landed couple of solid kicks to the leg.
In the second round, Henry threw right kick to the body. Nakajima grabbed this kicking leg and pushed Henry down for a take down. But Henry got up very quickly. And, after a long clinch by the cage, Henry scored a takedown. From there, Henry went to half-mount, then, to the full mount.
Nakajima eventually bridged out and stood back up, and shot in for a takedown. But again, Henry got back up very quickly. And, at the end of the round, Henry countered with another takedown.
The final round was basically the same.
Both Henry and Nakajima scored takedowns but Nakajima couldn't keep Henry on the ground. In contrary, Henry was able to pass guard to get to the full mount again.
At about last minute left in the fight, Henry even picked up Nakajima above shoulder, and slammed to the mat for another take down.
This was a sea-saw battle, especially in terms of takedown battles.
However, when you look at this fight in a terms of number of successful takedowns and ground control, I think, Henry clearly had the edge. When it comes to striking department, Henry obviously scored more.
But two judges scored 29-28 for Henry, while one judge scored 30-27 for Nakajima.
At the end, Henry got the W so everything is ok but I believe this was odd scoring.
Sunday, May 31st, 2015
At Differ Ariake, Tokyo, Japan
Doors Open – 13:30
Fight Starts – 14:00
The Main Event – Lightweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Kazuki Tokudome (Japan / Paraestra Hachiouji) vs JJ Ambrose (USA / Knox MMA)
Winner: 3R Kazuki Tokudome by Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Co-Main – Bantamweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Victory Henry (USA / CWA – Hybrid Fighter) vs Taichi Nakajima (Japan / Paraestra Tokyo)
Winner: 3R Victory Henry by Decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
13th Match – Featherweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Kotetsu Boku (Japan / KRAZY BEE) vs Juntaro Ushiku (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishukai TLIVE)
Winner: 2R 4'49" Kotetsu Boku by TKO (referee stoppage – g n p)
12th Match – Welterweight Non-Title Bout 5 miin / 3R
Let's Gota (Japan / MMA Dojo Cobra-kai) vs Shingo Suzuki (Japan / ALLIANCE)
Winner: 2R 2'22" Shingo Suzuki by TKO (referee stoppage – right straight punch)
11th Match – Featherweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Akitoshi Tamura (Japan / Tsudanuma Dojo) vs Satoshi Inaba (Japan / Akimoto Dojo jungle junction)
Winner: 3R Akitoshi Tamura by Decision (29-28, 282-9, 29-28)
9th Match – Welterweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Kenta Takagi (Japan / Reversal Gym Kawaguchi REDIPS) vs Kousei Kubota (Japan / Sakaguchi Dojo)
Winner: 2R 1'55" Kenta Takagi by TKO (referee stoppage – right straight followed by g n p)
10th Match – Super-flyweight Bout 5 min / 3R
Yasutaka Koga (Japan / Lotsu Setaga-ya) vs Masatsu Ueda (Japan / Ogata Dojo)
Winner: 3R Yasutaka Koga by Decision (28-29, 292-8, 29-28)
8th Match – Flyweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Yukitaka Musahi (Japan / Freelance) vs Tatsuya So (Japan / Toushin)
Winner: 3R Yukitaka Musashi by Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
7th Match – Super-flyweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Shunichi Shimizu (Japan / Uruno Dojo) vs Hiroaki Iijima (Japan / GUTSMAN)
Winner: 3R Shunichi Shimizu by Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
6th Match – Super-flyweight Bout 3 min / 3R
SENZO (Japan / FREEDOM@OZ) vs Naoyuki Kato (Japan / SPLASH)
Winner: 3R SENZO by Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
5th Match – Featherweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Junpei Chikano (Japan / Rodeo Style) vs MIKE (Japan / AACC)
Winner: 3R MIKE by Decision (28-29, 29-28, 28-29)
4th Match – Light-Flyweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Takuya Eizumi (Japan / Bumon-kai) vs LITTLE (Japan / GUTSMAN)
Winner: 3R Takuya Eizumi by Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
3rd Match – Bantamweight Bout 3 min / 3R
CORO (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishu-kai TLIVE) vs Ryo Iseki (Japan / GRABAKA)
Winner: 3R CORO by Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2nd Match – Bantamweight Bout 3 min / 3R
J-taro Takita (Japan / Wajiutsu Keishu-kai Tokyo Dojo) vs Daiki Gojima (Japan / GUTSMAN)
Winner: Daiki Gojima by Decision (27-30, 26-30, 27-30)
1st Match – Lightweight Bout 3 min / 3R
Genpei Hayashi (Japan / HEAT) vs Shohei Yamamoto (USA / CWA – Hybrid Fighter)
Winner: 3R Shohei Yamamoto by Decision (27-30, 27-30, 29-28)