Tokoro by 3rd round submission in this one:
If nothing else, Kazuhisa Watanabe sure was entertaining.
The professional striker had but one way to win in his MMA debut, and that was to deliver a homerun blow to the chin of opponent Hideo Tokoro. It never happened, but give Watanabe credit for lasting until the third round against a massive favorite.
Watanabe came out with a mad rush to open the first round, but Tokoro quickly took the fight to the floor and nearly ended the fight early with a leg choke/armbar combination from the crucifix position. It didn't work, despite obvious discomfort on Watanabe's face, and Tokoro began to look for other options.
Those options came hard and heavy for the remainder of the first and entirety of the second rounds. Yet armbars went unfinished, and rear-naked chokes lacked the connecting arm needed to finish.
Watanabe kept the entertainment factor high with a second-round flying axe kick that failed, as well as a handful of rear-headbutt attempts that went strangely unpunished. Watanabe even added a wrinkle to the standard slamming armbar escape in the fight's final round by trying to throw Tokoro through the ropes. All the while, Watanabe kept a beaming smile on his face, though his luck finally ran out.
Two minutes into the final round, Tokoro finally isolated Watanabe's left arm and stretched it out, forcing the tap at the 2:02 mark.
Tokoro (27-23-1) snaps a two-fight losing streak, while Watanabe (0-1) loses in his MMA debut.