Japanese lightweight Tatsuya Kawajiri has said he wants to travel to the U.S. and restore the pride of Japanese MMA.
Phase one complete.
While certainly known for his explosive striking ability, "Crusher" absolutely manhandled American kickboxing Academy product Josh Thomson on the floor for 15 minutes.
The pattern started in the opening round. After trading kicks on the feet, Kawajiri tossed Thomson to the mat and maintained top position for the rest of the round. Thomson scrambled and writhed underneath, but the crossed legs of Kawajiri kept him pinned to the floor.
Things only got worse in the second, as Kawajiri enjoyed moments in mount and nearly locked in an arm-triangle choke. Thomson resisted and scrambled up, eventually taking Kawajiri's back. But it was late in the round before "The Punk" could secure the position, and he had no time to capitalize.
Thomson saved some energy for the final round and landed a final knee, but Kawajiri was relentless. Earning yet another takedown, Kawajiri smothered Thomson on the floor and looked again for the arm-triangle choke. It wasn't there, but the unanimous decision obviously was, and it was correctly awarded by all three judges.
Kawajiri (27-6-2) improves to 5-1 in his past six fights and appears primed for a Strikeforce appearance in the new year. Meanwhile, Thomson (18-4) sees a two-fight win streak snapped.