Brad’s Friday Fight Bodega – August 19th, 2011

This is a column that I’ve run previously over at, which serves a couple of purposes. First and foremost, it shows off some excellent fights that you may otherwise not have seen. I also use it to preview some of the upcoming fights of a particular weekend with previous performances of those fighters. Lastly, it can be a tool used to breakdown upcoming fights by looking at fighters tendencies and examining their skillsets. Mostly it’s just so I get to sort through a bunch of fights and come up with something fun to watch. I’m selfish like that.

Kosuke Suzuki vs. Haruo Ochi

Shooto – GIG Tokyo 6

Before you start, I didn’t just pick this fight because it involves Flyweights or took place in Shooto. While those two characteristics certainly don’t hurt (because Flyweights tend to produce more action, and because Shooto is, well, awesome) this fight is here because of its own merits. However, before we get into the actual fight, let’s take a look at the combatants:

  • Kosuke Suzuki is the 2010 123lb Shooto Rookie Champion, which means he’s a pretty damn good prospect, and his MMA career has shown as much thus far. He sported a record of 4-0-2 heading into this bout, with some impressive stoppages along the way, including a devastating KO in the Rookie finals over Yusuke Honma, and this flying knee KO over Hiroaki Ijima:

  • Haruo Ochi is less flashy than his counterpart – although he does have some impressive finishes, like a Bulldog Choke early in his career – and doesn’t possess the same kind of hype, but after having some issues while campaigning as an undersized Bantamweight (during which time he really just looked like a puffy Flyweight), he has dropped to 123, and is now plying his trade much more effectively.

As for the fight itself, there’s no point in me recapping it and then you watching it, so here it is:

In the first round, Suzuki was very impressive. In the opening minutes he gave Ochi some serious issues with his striking, mixing punches well with a variety of kicks, and even hurting Ochi just past the 2 minute mark of the bout. He then showed an excellent level change, and planted Ochi on his back, at which point he immediately began working some knees to the body from side control (a wholly underutilized tool). When it was Ochi’s turn to try to take things to the ground, Suzuki nearly wrapped up an inverted triangle, before moving into a head scissors position and working on his opponent’s right arm. Eventually, we see one of my favorite submission transitions in MMA, which is the switch from a Kimura to Straight Armbar, and while it was defended well by Ochi, it was still a nice piece of grappling by “Rambo”, and a nice way to end a round which showed his full complement of skills.

The second round started off as a continuation of the first, with Ochi immediately shooting for a takedown and Suzuki threatening with a guillotine just as quickly. After that point however, things began to turn against the Rookie Champ. Ochi began to find a home for his left hook – in a good bit of foreshadowing – and the beginning of the end came when he landed a flying knee that stunned Suzuki. To finish his opponent off, Ochi landed a beautiful left hook which he set up nicely using a right straight to the body. Suzuki was out before he hit the ground (who says Flyweights have no power), and Ochi had provided him his first professional loss, while at the same time throwing his name into the group of challengers in Japan’s 123lb theatre.

Be sure to check back here every Friday for some more obscure, vintage, or just plain fun MMA fights.


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About bradtaschuk

An MMA enthusiast who also fancies himself a writer, I've been following the sport in depth since moving off to University in the fall of 2004 allowed me more free time than I knew what to do with. Quickly, an obsession with watching as much MMA as possible developed, which has continued to this day in the form of writing and editing articles for various MMA sites, and now to my own blog about my views on the sport.

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