By CARLOS GALLEGO
AAP staff writer
MINNEAPOLIS (April 28, 2012) — A great value for the dollar was to be with a record-setting 20 bouts with Minnesota’s best MMA amateur and professional fighters give Japan their best in Extreme 33, a cage fighting night at the Target Center.
With 3,417 in attendance there was plenty to watch as regular fighters on the local fight scene mixed it up with new faces in both the amateur and professional ranks. In the end Japan came out ahead in international matches 2 to 1.
The main event was held in the 170 lb. class. A game but outmatched Jeremy Hamilton would go down via a submission to Yoshiyuki Yoshida, a Judo master.
However, Jeremy Hamilton brought his A game and was the first to do damage, surprising Yoshida with some excellent effective combinations on this Japanese crafty veteran and UFC fighter.
Yoshida now knew he would be in a scrap.
After the first minute of Round 1, Yoshida began to dominate and would be in control the remainder of the bout. Mid-way through the round Yoshida took Hamilton up to the sky and back to earth again with a beautifully executed Harai Goshi (hip sweep) or a modified Osoto Gari.(large outer reap).
Round 2 would mark the end as Yoshiyuki Yoshida took Hamilton to the ground and punished him with a blistering barrage of punches and elbows to the head, exposing the game but outclassed Hamilton to a match-ending submission: Kazure Hadaka Jime (Mata Leon) or in lay person’s terms: rear naked choke.
The end came at 3:30 of Round 2.
The co-main event was fought in the 155 lb. class. Yoshihiro Koyama defeated Travis “Care Free” Perzynski by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28). This was a quality match.
Perzynzki dominated Round 1, nearly taking Koyama out with punches, jabs, running knees, you name it. Somehow, however, Koyama managed to survive and right the ship. Koyama seemed cool, calm and collected as he comfortably dominated the action in rounds two and three squeaking out the majority decision.
The first Japan vs. Minnesota match was held in the 155 lb. class pitting Mike Zimmer against Yuki Yamamoto. The Minnesotan would be the first to taste victory as the Japanese opponent’s record fell to 0-2.
Although Yamamoto did enough to carry the first round, it was evident that Zimmer had far better conditioning and he put Yomamoto in a world of hurt after an accidental knee to the groin. After being allowed to recover Zimmer continued his onslaught with a devastating body shot that caused the Japanese fighter to vomit in the ring.
Although there were some game attacks on behalf of the Japanese fighter Zimmer was easily in control as he coasted to a unanimous decision. (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Aside from a who’s who of local MMA celebs, there were also several well-known Judo folks including MMA judge Joe Fipp and Greg Olson, Owner of DOCS Gym (www.docsgym.org). DOCS had two athletes compete at the US Nationals in Texas earlier this month and one of his judokas won the Midwest Open in Chicago in the 66 kg. Division in March.
The Minnesota Open Judo Championships will be held at the Eagan Convention Center on May 12. For more information call 612-521-5836.
Aside from the Japan vs. Minnesota matches there some unique moments including observing a victorious Tony Martin requesting and being allowed to bring his girlfriend into the cage where he went down to his knee and proposed marriage to her. She gladly accepted in front the thousands of cheering onlookers.
The Friday afternoon weigh-in and press conference was held at the Aloft Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Some athletes arrived alone and others brought their girlfriends or families for support.
There was nervous energy abound as over 40 athletes paced, some checking their weight before the official weigh-in as they prepared for the Friday fight card. They checked-in, registered, and met with officials from Minnesota Combative Sports Commission. They had their pictures taken and were fitted for gloves before being run through the rules of competition.
Athletes participating in tonight’s card came from a variety of backgrounds. They all hoped to get the job done against their opponents with a blend of judo, boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jujitsu and others even self-taught.
Aside from the three Japanese fighters, the other combatants came from Minnesota’s premier Martial Arts club, The Academy as well as from a variety of other clubs from including; Gorilla Combat of Chanhassen, Warrior’s Cove, Crystal Fight Club, other Twin Cities clubs as well as clubs from St. Cloud, Wisconsin and South Dakota.