December 31, 2009
In the finals of the Dream Super Hulk tournament, Ikuhisa Minowa was the smallest fighter. Somehow, the 5-foot-9, 185-lb. fighter prevailed, winning the tournament with a third-round KO of Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou.
Sokoudjou and Minowa were active in the first round, working mostly on the ground. Sokoudjou showed growth in his fight game, working comfortably from Minowa's back and trying to choke him out. Though he wasn't able to finish the choke, Sokoudjou looked to be in charge of the fight. In the second round, Minowa came close to submitting Sokoudjou by knee bar. Soko came in with his knee heavily taped, and Minowa wanted to exploit that.
The third round was one of the more bizarre rounds I've seen in an MMA bout. The two fighters stood still, not attempting any offense, for much of the round. It became so bad that both fighters were given two yellow cards for a lack of action. In Japanese MMA, fighters are fined 10 percent of their purse for each yellow card, so both Sokoudjou and Minowa lost 20 percent of their purses.
The lack of action must have lulled Sokoudjou, as Minowa was able to land a perfect left hook on Sokoudjou's chin. That knocked down the much bigger Sokoudjou, and the fight was stopped.
By winning the Super Hulk tournament, Minowa showed that in MMA, size does not matter. He took out Sokoudjou, the 350-lb. Bob Sapp, and the 7-foot-2 Hong Man Choi.
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