"I am relieved I won but the opponent was much stronger than I expected. I am surprised a fighter with only three or four fights can do that much......"
After the fight, this is what Kazuyuki Miyata told the reporters in back stage, with a bitter smile.
He was the headliner of the event, and also, Japan's leader in the "Team Japan vs Team Kazakhstan" portion. However, by the time he stepped into the ring, Miyata already knew Team Japan had no chance of winning team competition because his two fellow fighters of the team, Keisuke Fujiwara and Shungo Oyama, have lost their fights. Which means, he must've been under the huge pressure. Being swept by "Team Kazakhstan", formed with fighters with less than 5 pro fights under their belts, would've been quite devastating for the Japanese MMA.
Miyata was aggressive from the start. Landed powerful kicks to both legs, and when Erzan Estanov came back with punches DREAM vet went for a single leg. Miyata controlled the ground, got on Estanov's back, dropped punches, and went for a rear naked choke.
The first round was all Miyata but the second and last round of the fight was quite different.
Estanov came forward with punches, clinched, and landed hard knee shots to the body. Miyata shot in but Estanov sprawled and from there, it was all Estanov. Right, left hooks, then kicks to the head. Miyata backed off to the corner but this was the turning point of the fight. Estanov came in with punches but Miyata shot in with a perfect timing and scored a take down. From there Miyata kept a top position, dropped punches till the end. All three judges gave to Miyata but this was a close fight. If this was a three-rounder this fight could've gone either way.
Miyata said, "Its been a while since I fought a fighter that has got a wrestler-type balance. In the past I felt I can score a takedown but this time I didn't feel that."
Prior to these fights, three Japanese fighters in this team competition had combined total of 66 pro fights on their resume while three Kazakhastan fighters had total of 9 pro fights. Yet the result was a 2-1 win for Team Kazakhastan.
Many fans in the lans of rising sun must be wondering now, what does this loss mean for the Japanese MMA?
RINGS vol. 2
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
At Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Japan vs Kazakhstan 65.8 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Kazuyuki Miyata (Japan / Brave) vs Erzan Estanov (Kazakhstan)
Winner: 2R Kazuyuki Miyata by Decision (3-0)
Japan vs Kazakhstan 85 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Shungo Oyama (Japan / Freelance) vs Asif Tagiev (Kazakhstan)
Winner: 1R 4'44" Asif Tagiev by TKO (referee stoppage - right knee followed by g n p)
Japan vs Kazakhstan 61.2 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Keisuke Fujiwara (Japan / Spinning Garage) vs Asian Toktarbaev (Kazakhstan)
Winner: 2R Asian Taktarbaev by Decision (0-3)
4th Match - 57Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Tatsuya Watanabe (Japan / RINGS) vs Daiki Miyamoto (Japan / move)
Winner: 2R Tatsuya Watanabe by Decision (3-0)
3rd Match - 71 Kg & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
RYO (Japan / RINGS) vs Vitali Krat (Russia)
Winner: 2R 1'10" Vitali Krat by KO (punches)
2nd Match - 73 & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Sotaro Yamada (Japan / BRAVE) vs Yoshinori Takahashi (Japan / Mach Dojo)
Winner: 2R 3'57" Sotaro Yamada by TKO (referee stoppage - punches from back-mount)
1st Match - 73 & Under Bout 5 min / 2R
Teppei Hori (Japan / Sports Gym Martial Arts - RINGS) vs Kleber Koike Erbst (Brazil / Bonsai Jiujitsu)
Winner: 1R 2'40" Kleber Koike Erbst by Submission (triangle choke)
Report by Shu Hirata
Photo courtesy of Bout Review (www.boutreview.com)