Dream head referee Yuji Shimada is our third man in the ring for this tournament bout. Maeda explodes forward with a flurry of big punches, and Tokoro responds with a head kick. Maeda pushes through it and both men are throwing down like there's no second fight tonight. Maeda taunts Tokoro to come at him. Tokoro does and they both get hit. A lot. Then Maeda does something very strange -- he puts distance between the two of them and paces the perimeter of the ring, yowling like an injured animal. Then he says, "OUCH!" in Japanese very loud, followed by, "COME ON!"
They continue banging it out in the center then, with Tokoro landing some very big shots, forcing Maeda to go for the takedown. Tokoro reverses him, trying for a kimura from above. Maeda squirms out and they're back on their feet. Maeda now mimes Katsunori Kikuno's "zombie stance." Tokoro, unfazed, keeps position in the center and lands some brutal punches and knees. Maeda lunges forward with a right jab, left straight. Tokoro turns for a spinning-back fist and rattles Maeda. Maeda retreats and Tokoro collides into his chin head-first. They stop briefly to let Maeda recover.
When they resume, Maeda starts throwing a bit straighter and it works out for him as he drops Tokoro with a big left straight. Maeda closes to finish but gets stuck in Tokoro's guard, so he has to settle for short punches, body-body-head style.
Tokoro scrambles to his feet and just evades a head kick from Maeda. Maeda is throwing two-punch combinations, but Tokoro slips and sways out of the way. Maeda throws the Seiichi Ikemoto double-fist punch to no effect. Tokoro is starting to mix in low kicks with his punch combinations now, to great effect. Both men are smiling widely and give each other a high five as they trade stiff single shots to the face. Maeda eats a big knee to the gut as he dives in for a takedown, followed by a Tokoro flying triangle. It doesn't look that cinched, but the bell rings shortly before Tokoro can adjust.
The commentating crew this evening said that they just overheard Maeda's corner saying that he's injured, but they can't find out specifics.
Just after the bell for round two rings, Tokoro targets a punch for the guts that go, unfortunately, straight into Maeda's groin. Much writhing from Maeda and video replays from different angles follow.
Guest commentator Tatsuya Kawajiri says, "I can relate with Maeda. Whenever I've had important fights, I haven't been able to come through."
It's been perhaps five minutes and Maeda is still lying on the canvas with the doctors looking over him. Kawajiri apparently relates even more with Maeda now as he recalls on air how his 2006 fight with Joachim Hansen ended in just eight seconds due to a low blow from the Norwegian.
Maeda finally gets to his feet, but it's clear that he's limping around. He can't even walk straight, but he seems to want to continue. Tokoro shoots in for the takedown and Maeda lets out a cry and cringes from bottom. His corner then throws in the towel, ending the fight at the 43 second mark.