Japan’s Satoshi Ishii has lost four of his last five fights, but the Judoka, who is now a Croatian citizen, is not ready to accept his most recent loss.
Ishii met with the U.K.’s Stuart Austin in the main event of EMC 5 on Saturday, with the promotion’s heavyweight title on the line. Although the result was a unanimous decision win for Austin, the outcome was anything but clear.
Ishii immediately pursued a takedown off the opening bell, staying on the attempt until he finally took Austin down. The British fighter would make it make up, but be taken down again, with Ishii spending most of the round on top. In the second, Ishii kept Austin pinned against the cage, eating a number of elbows but controlling the grappling while working for a takedown again. Nearly the entire round played out in this fashion. The third saw Austin work from distance initially, finding a little more room than in the opening two frames. But when he closed the distance, Ishii again tied him up. The Judoka trapped Austin against the cage until the pair were separated late in the third.
Heading into the championship rounds there was an argument that Ishii was winning the fight based on his control and dominant positions. Later in the fight he’d employ a trip to secure a takedown; Ishii appeared to be in the driver’s seat again. The story of the fight, essentially, was that Austin had the advantage at range, but he spent the bulk of the fight either taken down, or being pressed into the cage, answering with elbows and and punches, but mostly being controlled.
Yet when the scores were read, all three judges awarded the fight to Austin, 48-47.
Ishii (23-12-1) is appealing the decision. Per EMC officials in a press release Monday, “an independent panel will review the decision.”
Full results from the event are below.
Inaugural EMC Heavyweight Title
Stuart Austin def. Satoshi Ishii by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)*
*Decision being reviewed by an independent panel
Welterweight Grand Prix Semi Final 2
Ismail Naurdiev def. Tymoteusz Lopaczyk by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Damian Olszewski def. Erko Jun by KO (punch), Round 1, 0:36
Welterweight Grand Prix Semi Final 1
Amiran Gogoladze def. Pavel Kusch by TKO (knee and punches), Round 1, 0:54
Kasim Aras def. Sasa Milinkovic by via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Konrad Dyrschka def. Walter Pugliesi by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Sara Luzar Smajic def. Kaylee Vos by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Pascal Hintzen def. Said Eidi by submission (guillotine), Round 1, 0:56
Tobias Eylitz def. Ibrahim Cholo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)