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UnderGround Forums >> What Happaned to Omigawa?


6/24/13 3:29 PM
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Wasa-B
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He went from being brought back to the UFC FW div as a possible challenger for Aldo (the bout with Mendes was the #1 contender bout iirc or close) and going 1-6 in his last 7 from the Mendes fight.

He just lost to a Korean named Bae Young Kwon, who could be a up and comer with potential but hardly world class at this point. He's lost to all sorts of all styles and even to fellow judo guys like Gamburyan and Kwon. He just lost to Kawajiri the fight before Kwon but we all know how good Kawajiri is esp at FW.

Omigawa should actually be 2-5 with most people thinking he got robbed vs Elkins but that still only left him 2-3 in the UFC losing to Mendes, Alcantara and Gamburyan. Manny is not an elite guy havig not really done much since getting the shot vs Aldo. Alcantara is still conidered a good prospect. Mendes could still be the real #2 FW in the world. Kawajiri as mentioned is Kawajiri who beat Josh Thomson in 2010.

But then Omigawa loses to this Korean guy. No dis here but its a long way from Mendes and Kawajiri.

What is the deal with this guy? Seems like he is the epitome of a Japanese bust in the UFC. Dont even mention Gomi and Kid, if you do, you're just telling me you dont follow stuff outside the UFC. Omigawa was going strong between his 2 UFC stints in Japan and even though the comp was lower, he still showed he has some legit strengths in the UFC - chin, toughness, durability, striking power, good grappling but cant seem to put it together for shit. He's had some KOs in Japan but that awkward plodding striking style could never seem to find its mark in the UFC. He has a pretty good judo background and more importantly actually had a good ground game coming from Judo but other than one inverted arm bar from guard he nearly got Mendes with (he tapped Cole Escovedo with this as well in Japan), he hasnt shown much on the ground.

I think Akiyama still had potential and should have been able to beat Shields and should have been fighting WW from the get-go but also observed over his UFC stretch that his speed and reflexes seems shot after the Belcher fight. There were reports that the Misaki fight took a lot out of him but he still looked good vs Belcher (and yes, I think he won that fight). But Omigawa looked good coming back and then was a horrible bust.

Any thoughts? Anyone see the Kwon fight?
6/24/13 3:33 PM
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Poopyface TomatoNose
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Jet lag, brah. Phone Post
6/24/13 3:34 PM
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Poopyface TomatoNose
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Rude, negative American crowd throwing their chi off balance, bro. Phone Post
6/24/13 3:38 PM
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Carson's Corner radio show
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I remember him saying something like "at 145, I'm the MAN!" (translated) after he had some success there. Then he seemed to revert to looking like a passive fighter using judo that mostly looked like defensive greco technique en route to getting outworked too many times.

At one point he seemed like an aggressive hard hitter, did injuries wear him down or something? Or maybe he looked better than he really was during his streak, and eventually cooled off?

6/24/13 3:42 PM
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Tomato Can
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He's 37 years old and spent his athletic prime as a competitive judoka. Honestly it's impressive that he accomplished as much as he did in MMA.
6/24/13 4:14 PM
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Wasa-B
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Carson's Corner radio show - 

I remember him saying something like "at 145, I'm the MAN!" (translated) after he had some success there. Then he seemed to revert to looking like a passive fighter using judo that mostly looked like defensive greco technique en route to getting outworked too many times.

At one point he seemed like an aggressive hard hitter, did injuries wear him down or something? Or maybe he looked better than he really was during his streak, and eventually cooled off?


Yes, lol, i remember that inteview, that was after the Takaya fight maybe. The only success he had was in between his UFC stints though he got a gift vs Hioki. IMO also he didnt use his judo enough. I think he could have emulated Randy's game to pretty good success. Not beating Aldo but beating Gamburyan at least.
6/24/13 4:15 PM
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Wasa-B
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Tomato Can - He's 37 years old and spent his athletic prime as a competitive judoka. Honestly it's impressive that he accomplished as much as he did in MMA.

I can buy that most of his best years may have been in judo but he still stsrted MMA in 2005. I dont think that is the reason alone he fell apart in his UFC return. Physically, he was still pretty game imo.
6/24/13 4:24 PM
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Tomato Can
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Dude he was already 35 in his 2nd UFC run. That is old for a fighter, especially a featherweight. He went 1-4 but he only lost to very good fighters, plus he got robbed badly against Elkins. I think your expectations were unrealistic.
6/24/13 4:27 PM
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caseharts
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Tomato Can - He's 37 years old and spent his athletic prime as a competitive judoka. Honestly it's impressive that he accomplished as much as he did in MMA.
This. He's a fantastic fighter just showed up late Phone Post
6/24/13 4:41 PM
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caposa
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I read a few play-by-plays of the fight and it seems like it was close. It was only 2 rounds for some weird reason. There were 2 round tournament fights earlier on the card but Omigawa-Kwon was not part of it.

6/24/13 4:44 PM
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Carson's Corner radio show
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Wasa-B - 
Carson's Corner radio show - 

I remember him saying something like "at 145, I'm the MAN!" (translated) after he had some success there. Then he seemed to revert to looking like a passive fighter using judo that mostly looked like defensive greco technique en route to getting outworked too many times.

At one point he seemed like an aggressive hard hitter, did injuries wear him down or something? Or maybe he looked better than he really was during his streak, and eventually cooled off?


Yes, lol, i remember that inteview, that was after the Takaya fight maybe. The only success he had was in between his UFC stints though he got a gift vs Hioki. IMO also he didnt use his judo enough. I think he could have emulated Randy's game to pretty good success. Not beating Aldo but beating Gamburyan at least.

I really thought he should have beaten Manny, his lack of workrate in that fight was frustrating to watch.

6/24/13 5:32 PM
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Wasa-B
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Tomato Can - Dude he was already 35 in his 2nd UFC run. That is old for a fighter, especially a featherweight. He went 1-4 but he only lost to very good fighters, plus he got robbed badly against Elkins. I think your expectations were unrealistic.

And, dude, he was supposed to be at his best after he made his jump to FW and was supposedly peaking there, KOing guys leading to a # contender bout out the gate with Mendes on his return.

Ive already said he still looked game physically, which he was but more that tactically and generally, he couldn not put this tools together. Also not sure how age effects FWs more than say MWs. And already noted the Elkins dec.

I never expected him to beat Aldo, only to do better than 1-4 (2-3). Trust me, who's expectations arent realistic with any Japanese fighter now days? But you think he didnt do better than generally expected?
6/24/13 5:35 PM
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Wasa-B
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caseharts - 
Tomato Can - He's 37 years old and spent his athletic prime as a competitive judoka. Honestly it's impressive that he accomplished as much as he did in MMA.
This. He's a fantastic fighter just showed up late Phone Post

Fantastic?

Though i didnt see the Gamburyan fight, as Carson' Corner mentioned, he looked like he was game enough to win, thats what was frustrating about him, it seemed that he had enough tools to be better but was horrible at putting them together.
6/24/13 5:36 PM
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caseharts
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Wasa-B -
caseharts - 
Tomato Can - He's 37 years old and spent his athletic prime as a competitive judoka. Honestly it's impressive that he accomplished as much as he did in MMA.
This. He's a fantastic fighter just showed up late Phone Post

Fantastic?

Though i didnt see the Gamburyan fight, as Carson' Corner mentioned, he looked like he was game enough to win, thats what was frustrating about him, it seemed that he had enough tools to be better but was horrible at putting them together.
Dide he was 30 at a low weight class that's almost always a bad mix. He was successful Phone Post
6/24/13 5:48 PM
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Wasa-B
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But, Dide, what other older guys at lower weight classes have had trouble this way in MMA or boxing or kickboxing?

Again though, it didnt look to me that his physicality was his problem but his genearalship and tactical game. He did not look overpowered, even against Mendes.

Also, even Enson said he though Omigawa would do better or was suprised he didnt.
6/24/13 5:50 PM
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Tomato Can
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Age tends to affect smaller guys a bit more because their fights are faster paced. It's pretty rare to see smaller guys fight effectively into their mid-late 30s, whereas the average top 10 HW is probably like 34.

Honestly he did about as well as I expected. Mendes was a brutal matchup for him. Then he basically won 2 straight. Then he lost to Alcantara who's a badass and Manny who's not elite but is 5-6 years younger and a very solid B-level guy.

So really I think all of his fights went pretty much as expected.
6/24/13 5:59 PM
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Wasa-B
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Kawajiri is 35 to Omigawa's 37 (though turning 38 this year) and like Omigawa made the drop from LW to FW. Kawajiri has also been competing as a pro since 2000. Kawajiri has also been beat up more times than Omigawa. Omigawa has only been stopped to strikes in the first 2 fights of his career. Kawajiri was KOed by Gil, had his ankle snapped by Aoki recently, as well as stopped by Alvarez and that war with Gomi. Kawajiri has not fought in the UFC however and is 3 years younger than Omigawa but dominated him recently in Dream.

Also interesting to note Omigawa stopped Nam Phan in Japan and while Nam has been spotty in the UFC, none of the guys stopped him there, not Brown, not Siver.

I really cant see anyone not being disappointed or thinking Omi would have done at least better than he did in his UFC return after how he was looking up to then.
6/24/13 6:00 PM
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caposa
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getting the full event now

6/24/13 6:05 PM
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Wasa-B
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Tomato Can - Age tends to affect smaller guys a bit more because their fights are faster paced. It's pretty rare to see smaller guys fight effectively into their mid-late 30s, whereas the average top 10 HW is probably like 34.

Honestly he did about as well as I expected. Mendes was a brutal matchup for him. Then he basically won 2 straight. Then he lost to Alcantara who's a badass and Manny who's not elite but is 5-6 years younger and a very solid B-level guy.

So really I think all of his fights went pretty much as expected.

Thats the thing though, he actually did pretty well vs Mendes...though Mendes has since also improved. I thought he could have beaten or done better against Mendes with better tactics. Omi,. as mentioned did come close to that inverted armbar and stuffed some of Mendes' tds too both of which Mendes said he was surprised. But the way Omi's standup game is with that awkward posture and how he chased Mendes left him open for the td. But even at the end of the 3rd round, he looked like he had gas and the fight left in him and was out-willing Mendes to a degree but was just going about it wrong.

Yeah, i didnt really consider the age as much intially but with the results in Japan and seeing him in the UFC, again, his physicality wasnt the first thing that looked out of wack. He still looked strong. Also acknowledged that Mendes is perhaps the true #2 FW in the world and that Alcantara is a solid up and comer but not being able to beat a "solid B level guy" is still disappointing imo. And now lost to this Korean guy. I expected Kawajiri to beat him.
6/24/13 6:10 PM
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Tomato Can
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I think Kawajiri would do similarly if the UFC brought him in. He'd get dominated by someone like Mendes, but he could beat C-listers soundly, and have close fights with B-listers.

I don't think Nam Phan is a great benchmark since he's never been that good. Siver may not have stopped him but he did beat him half to death.
6/24/13 6:15 PM
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Wasa-B
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Its really too bad Kawajiri didnt make the jump to UFC btw. Out of all the Japanese fighters, other than Gomi and Kid who were already fading by the time they got over, he had the most UFC friendly game out of all the Japanese fighters - the wrestling, the power esp at FW. I dont think he would beat Aldo, like no one is right now but he could have a lot better than Omigawa and the other Japanese fighters. Perhaps around Okami level? I think its too late now though.

Did he have any talks with the UFC at all?

Hioki is now 2-2 in the UFC. He had a super close one with Roop and lost in very close bout to Lamas (who is the real #1 contender right now over Zombie imo) and then most thought he was robbed against Guida. He looked good vs Bart in Japan but still is submission less over 4 fights where he was thought of to be one of the if not thee best submissions guy in the FW div. He's shown signs of it but hasnt been able to bring it home where as the Korean Zombie with a wildly different style has managed 2 dramatic subs over Garcia and Poirier. So I think Hioki is on "hold" status, not great, not terrible but still has not lived up to his billing coming in as the #2 FW in the world and making the transition at a good time.
6/24/13 6:18 PM
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Wasa-B
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Tomato Can - I think Kawajiri would do similarly if the UFC brought him in. He'd get dominated by someone like Mendes, but he could beat C-listers soundly, and have close fights with B-listers.

I don't think Nam Phan is a great benchmark since he's never been that good. Siver may not have stopped him but he did beat him half to death.

No way, he would have done better than Omigawa imo. Kawajiri beat JoshThomson and JZ when JZ was still good (both at LW). Omigawa beat Jason Young. Kawa's game was far more suited for the UFC and can actually make his strength functional unlike Omigawa who i believe is quite strong but never really made it work. Could Omigawa have outmuscled Josh Thomson in the clinch?
6/24/13 6:40 PM
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caposa
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Just finished Omigawa-Kwon. Omigawa out-struck and out-grappled Kwon for the entire first round with the exception of a single takedown by Kwon with 5 seconds left in the round. I guess that was somehow enough for the judges for award him the round.

The second round was much closer with Kwon landing a few decent shots, but Omigawa was also landing his own. All of the effective striking has to go to Omigawa as Kwon's strikes appear to have no effect. I have to say though, Omigawa's peek-a-boo style does not mix well with a lankier fighter like Kwon. At one point Kwon catches him off balance with a believe a right hand and Omigawa drops to his knee.

While working for a double leg against the fence, Kwon managed to reverse position and score his own takedown with 1:30 left. Omigawa immediately gets up and continues pressing him up against the cage throwing strikes. The fighters basically battle in the clinch until separating and exchanging a few punches. Even though Omigawa is the shorter fighter with a substantial reach disadvantage, he got the better of almost every exchange and landed virtually all of the power punches.

I can't call this a robbery because it was only 2 rounds, but this was some hometown bullshit. At the minimum is should have been a draw.

6/24/13 6:47 PM
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Wasa-B
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caposa - 

Just finished Omigawa-Kwon. Omigawa out-struck and out-grappled Kwon for the entire first round with the exception of a single takedown by Kwon with 5 seconds left in the round. I guess that was somehow enough for the judges for award him the round.

The second round was much closer with Kwon landing a few decent shots, but Omigawa was also landing his own. All of the effective striking has to go to Omigawa as Kwon's strikes appear to have no effect. I have to say though, Omigawa's peek-a-boo style does not mix well with a lankier fighter like Kwon. At one point Kwon catches him off balance with a believe a right hand and Omigawa drops to his knee.

While working for a double leg against the fence, Kwon managed to reverse position and score his own takedown with 1:30 left. Omigawa immediately gets up and continues pressing him up against the cage throwing strikes. The fighters basically battle in the clinch until separating and exchanging a few punches. Even though Omigawa is the shorter fighter with a substantial reach disadvantage, he got the better of almost every exchange and landed virtually all of the power punches.

I can't call this a robbery because it was only 2 rounds, but this was some hometown bullshit. At the minimum is should have been a draw.


Yeah, i noticed it was 2 rounds, weird and it was in Korea and seemed like a Korea vs Japan type card so....thanks for the PBP, Caposa, this place can still deliver the good sometimes. ;)

And yeah, his peek a boo style didnt work at all in the UFC either even when he had guys his height.

Thanks again dide.
6/24/13 7:51 PM
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Tomato Can
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Wasa-B - 
Tomato Can - I think Kawajiri would do similarly if the UFC brought him in. He'd get dominated by someone like Mendes, but he could beat C-listers soundly, and have close fights with B-listers.

I don't think Nam Phan is a great benchmark since he's never been that good. Siver may not have stopped him but he did beat him half to death.

No way, he would have done better than Omigawa imo. Kawajiri beat JoshThomson and JZ when JZ was still good (both at LW). Omigawa beat Jason Young. Kawa's game was far more suited for the UFC and can actually make his strength functional unlike Omigawa who i believe is quite strong but never really made it work. Could Omigawa have outmuscled Josh Thomson in the clinch?

I'm talking about Kawajiri today, not theoretical "prime" Kawajiri from 5 or 6 years ago.

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