Dae Hwan Kim takes unanimous nod over Masakazu Imanari

Dae Hwan Kim takes unanimous nod over Masakazu Imanari
PHOTO: Dae Hwan Kim takes unanimous nod over Masakazu Imanari

South Korea’s “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim was able to avoid the world-class submission prowess of Japan’s Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari, and captured a marquee victory in his mixed martial arts career.

On Friday, 20 April, in front of a capacity crowd at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, Kim defeated the Japanese leg lock legend in their bantamweight clash via unanimous decision at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR.

Imanari wasted little time looking for his patented finisher. He quickly rolled across the ring towards Kim, and tried to snatch his legs. The South Korean dodged the attempt, however, and then dropped his rival with a thunderous right hook.

“Ashikan Judan” threw a kick just to bait Kim into taking him down, and then pulled guard as Kim dropped hammers. Imanari rolled againg for a leg, but “Ottogi” managed to stand up and spin his way free.

Still, that did not stop Imanari from going for one more heel hook. Again, Kim was able to dodge the submission attempt, but this time, he landed on top of his rival. He proceeded to throw elbows, and then took the Japanese champion’s back before the opening stanza came to a close.

Both martial artists put on a show for the fans in Manila during the second frame, even though referee Olivier Coste was not as amused by their antics. Imanari shadowboxed and danced in front of Kim, and then tried to pull the South Korean on top of him for more submission attempts. “Ottogi” finally pulled free almost halfway through the round, and Imanari scooted towards him on his posterior.

Imanari continued his same strategy for the third round, only to be rewarded with a left hand that dropped him to the mat. He got up and pulled Kim in again, but this time the South Korean took side control. For the remainder of the contest, he worked on top from half guard or side control, and methodically dropped strikes when he saw an opening. “Ashikan Judan” tried to sweep out of a mount at the bell, but it was too late.

The decision of the judges was unanimous, as all three awarded the win to Kim. It is a huge victory, which moves his record to 13-3-1, and snaps his two-bout skid.