In a unique mixed rules match, DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki made a mockery of K-1 kickboxing regulations for the three-minute opening round.
Then K-1 World Max tournament winner Yuichiro Nagashima made a mockery of Aoki under MMA rules.
In the opening kickboxing-only round, Aoki grabbed several illegal clinches, fired off several pro-wrestling style drop kicks – including one aided by the ropes – and launched into a rolling heel kick. All of it, as well as a few illegal two-handed Thai clinches, was designed to waste time, and while it earned a few warnings from the referee, it did exactly that. A frustrated Nagashima was forced to settle for a second round that would be contested under Aoki's preferred rules.
Aoki telegraphed an early takedown from distance, and Nagashima launched into a perfectly timed flying knee that send Aoki sprawling to the canvas. A few hammerfists followed before the stoppage could be made, but the knee was the crushing blow.
The mixed-rules bout doesn't register on Aoki's official record, but the devastating knockout is surely another setback for "Tobikan Judan," who had mixed results in 2010. Meanwhile, Nagashima can take pride in defending the reputation of K-1 fighters across the globe.
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