Masakazu Imanari

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Masakazu Imanari
Masakuze Imanari.jpg
Born (1976-02-10) February 10, 1976 (age 38)
Other names Ashikan Judan
Nationality Japanese
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight 134 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)
Division Bantamweight
Featherweight
Lightweight
Fighting out of Tokyo, Japan
Team Team Roken
Rank black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Years active 2000–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 42
Wins 27
By knockout 1
By submission 17
By decision 9
Losses 13
By knockout 3
By decision 10
Draws 2
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Masakazu Imanari (今成正和 Imanari Masakazu?, born 10 February 1976) is a Japanese mixed martial artist. He is a veteran of DEEP, ZST, Pride Fighting Championships, and Cage Rage and also has had a successful career in Combat Wrestling, placing as high as third and second in their All-Japan championship tournaments. He was the final Cage Rage Featherweight Champion, DEEP Bantamweight Champion, the former DEEP Featherweight Champion and Dream Japan Grand Prix Finalist.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Masakazu had his first contact with the combat sports at age of 20, when he became a student for Antonio Inoki's short-lived Universal Fighting-Arts Organization. He then moved to Fujiwara Dojo and trained in kickboxing before completing his mixed martial arts formation with Hidetada Irie. He briefly worked for Kingdom Ehrgeiz before joining ZST.

ZST[edit]

Imanari gained popularity during his mixed martial arts career in Japanese promotion ZST fighting the likes of top Lightweights including Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Jorge Gurgel and Marcus Aurélio despite being a much smaller Featherweight. He defeated Gurgel, who is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt former UFC fighter via submission (heel hook) while Imanari was a much lower rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as lighter in weight. Imanari also defeated former Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion Danny Batten. In the first round Batten took Imanari down on the ropes but Imanari attempted a triangle choke. Batten escaped it but Imanari then transitioned to an armbar causing Batten to submit in just over 40 seconds.

DEEP[edit]

Imanari moved on to compete in DEEP where he defeated a top WEC contender and the former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown via submission (heel hook) where Brown's leg became dislocated. Imanari now a top contender in DEEP went on to compete for the title shot against Yoshiro Maeda in which he defeated Maeda via submission (toe hold) to become the new DEEP Featherweight Champion. Imanari made his first KO victory in his first defense for the belt against Takeshi Yamazaki with an up kick.

Cage Rage[edit]

His next fight which was his first fight outside Tokyo, Japan was in London, England where he became the Cage Rage World Featherweight Champion by defeating Robbie Olivier with a flying armbar at Cage Rage 20. This accomplishment made him the only mixed martial artist in the Featherweight division to hold belts in two separate major promotions (DEEP and Cage Rage). He defended his Cage Rage belt for the first time against Jean Silva, winning by reverse heel hook in the first round, injuring Silva's knee in the process.

Dream Featherweight Grand Prix[edit]

Imanari was a participant in the Dream Featherweight (63 kg / 138 lb) Grand Prix[1] and won his first-round matchup against Atsushi Yamamoto by split decision at Dream 7 but lost to current DREAM Featherweight Champion Bibiano Fernandes by unanimous decision at Dream 9.

Dream Bantamweight Grand Prix[edit]

In 2011 Imanari returned to DREAM to take part in the DREAM Bantamweight Japan Tournament. He won his first two tournament fights in a single night defeating both Keisuke Fujiwara and Kenji Osawa at Dream: Fight for Japan!. The tournament finals took place at Dream: Japan GP Final where Imanari faced off with Hideo Tokoro. Tokoro defeated Imanari to win the tournament, the second place finish gained Imanari entrance into the Bantamweight Grand Prix. Imanari faced Abel Cullum in the opening round of the Bantamweight Grand Prix at Dream 17 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Sept. 24.[2] He won the bout via submission in the third round. In the semifinal round at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011, Imanari lost to Antonio Banuelos via split decision.

ONE Fighting Championship[edit]

On January 31, 2012 it was announced that Imanari would be fighting for ONE Fighting Championship, who have a partnership with DREAM which allows both organizations to share fighters. He faced unbeaten URCC Flyweight Champion Kevin Belingon at ONE Fighting Championship 3 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on March 31.[3] He won the fight via submission in the first round.

Team allegiances[edit]

Imanari left Paraestra in 2008 and founded Nippon Top Team with Shinya Aoki and Satoru Kitaoka. However, Aoki left for Evolve MMA of Singapore, whereas Kitaoka joined Lotus Paraestra, Setagaya branch of Paraestra. Consequently, Imanari became a member of Team Roken.

Imanari is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Marco Barbosa of Barbosa jiu-jitsu.[4]

Imanari is also credited in mentoring Canadian MMA fighter and Grappler's Quest 2010 Canadian National Champion Jason Geiger, who frequents Japan to train with Imanari. He is known as "Canadian Imanari" due to his leg lock skills.

Championships and Accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 27–13–2 Haruo Ochi TKO (doctor stoppage) Deep: 67 Impact June 22, 2014 2 0:51 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 27–12–2 Yuki Montoya Decision (unanimous) Deep: 65 Impact March 22, 2014 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 27–11–2 Kenichi Ito Decision (unanimous) Deep: 61 Impact February 16, 2013 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 26–11–2 Masahiro Oishi Submission (toe hold) Deep: 59 Impact August 18, 2012 1 1:01 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 25–11–2 Leandro Issa Decision (unanimous) ONE Fighting Championship: Destiny of Warriors June 23, 2012 3 5:00 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Win 25–10–2 Kevin Belingon Submission (reverse heel hook) ONE Fighting Championship: War of the Lions March 31, 2012 1 1:18 Kallang, Singapore
Loss 24–10–2 Antonio Banuelos Decision (split) Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011 December 31, 2011 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan DREAM World Bantamweight Grand Prix Eliminator (Semifinal)
Win 24–9–2 Abel Cullum Submission (armbar) Dream 17 September 24, 2011 3 0:46 Saitama, Japan DREAM World Bantamweight Grand Prix Eliminator (Opening Round)
Loss 23–9–2 Hideo Tokoro Decision (unanimous) Dream: Japan GP Final July 16, 2011 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan DREAM Bantamweight Tournament Final
Win 23–8–2 Kenji Osawa Submission (heel hook) Dream: Fight for Japan! May 29, 2011 2 0:58 Saitama, Japan DREAM Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal. Vacates DEEP Bantamweight Championship.
Win 22–8–2 Keisuke Fujiwara Decision (unanimous) Dream: Fight for Japan! May 29, 2011 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan DREAM Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Loss 21–8–2 Hiroshi Nakamura Decision (unanimous) Deep: 52 Impact February 25, 2011 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Non-title bout
Win 21–7–2 Daiki Hata Decision (majority) Deep: 50th Impact October 24, 2010 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Non-title bout
Win 20–7–2 Tomoya Miyashita Decision (unanimous) Deep: 49 Impact August 27, 2010 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Defended DEEP Bantamweight Championship
Win 19–7–2 Isao Terada Submission (armbar) Deep: 47 Impact April 17, 2010 3 0:27 Tokyo, Japan
Win 18–7–2 Justin Cruz Submission (omoplata crossface) Deep: Cage Impact 2009 December 19, 2009 1 2:39 Tokyo, Japan Fought at 137 lb
Win 17–7–2 Tomohiko Hori Decision (unanimous) Deep: 43 Impact August 23, 2009 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Defended DEEP Bantamweight Championship
Loss 16–7–2 Bibiano Fernandes Decision (unanimous) Dream 9 May 26, 2009 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan Dream Featherweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal
Win 16–6–2 Atsushi Yamamoto Decision (split) Dream 7 March 8, 2009 2 5:00 Saitama, Japan Dream Featherweight Grand Prix Opening Round
Win 15–6–2 Hiroshi Umemura Submission (heel hook) Deep: 37 Impact August 17, 2008 1 0:29 Tokyo, Japan Won DEEP Bantamweight Championship
Loss 14–6–2 Dokonjonosuke Mishima Decision (majority) Deep: 35 Impact May 19, 2008 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Lost DEEP Featherweight Championship
Win 14–5–2 Jean Silva Submission (heel hook) Cage Rage 25 March 8, 2008 1 2:30 London, England Defended Cage Rage World Featherweight Championship
Win 13–5–2 Hiroyuki Abe Submission (toe hold) Deep: 32 Impact October 10, 2007 3 4:32 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12–5–2 Kim Jong-Man Submission (armbar) Deep: 31 Impact August 5, 2007 1 3:28 Tokyo, Japan Defended DEEP Featherweight Championship
Win 11–5–2 Robbie Olivier Submission (armbar) Cage Rage 20 February 10, 2007 1 0:27 London, England Won Cage Rage World Featherweight Championship
Win 10–5–2 Takeshi Yamazaki KO (upkick) Deep: 26 Impact October 10, 2006 3 1:49 Tokyo, Japan Defended DEEP Featherweight Championship
Loss 9–5–2 Fredson Paixão Decision (majority) Deep: 25 Impact August 4, 2006 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 9–4–2 Yoshiro Maeda Submission (toe hold) Deep: 22 Impact December 2, 2005 3 1:31 Tokyo, Japan DEEP Featherweight Tournament Final. Won DEEP Featherweight Championship
Win 8–4–2 Mike Brown Submission (rolling kneebar) Deep: 22 Impact December 2, 2005 2 3:38 Tokyo, Japan DEEP Featherweight Tournament Semifinal
Win 7–4–2 Fabio Mello Decision (unanimous) Deep: 21st Impact October 28, 2005 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan DEEP Featherweight Tournament Quarterfinal
Loss 6–4–2 Joachim Hansen KO (knee) Pride Bushido 8 July 17, 2005 1 2:34 Nagoya, Japan Fought at Lightweight
Draw 6–3–2 Yoshiro Maeda Draw (majority) Deep: 18th Impact February 5, 2005 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–3–1 Renato Tavares Submission (heel hook) Deep: 17th Impact July 17, 2005 2 2:36 Nagoya, Japan Return to Featherweight
Loss 5–3–1 Luiz Firmino Decision (unanimous) Pride Bushido 5 October 14, 2004 2 5:00 Osaka, Japan
Loss 5–2–1 Marcus Aurélio Decision (split) Zst: Grand Prix Final Round January 11, 2004 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 5–1–1 Jorge Gurgel Submission (heel hook) Zst: Grand Prix Opening Round November 23, 2003 1 0:32 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 4–1–1 Dokonjonosuke Mishima TKO (punches) Deep: 11th Impact July 13, 2003 2 2:58 Osaka, Japan Moves up to Lightweight
Win 4–0–1 Danny Batten Submission (armbar) Zst: The Battlefield 3 June 1, 2003 1 0:43 Tokyo, Japan
Win 3–0–1 Erikas Petraitis Decision (unanimous) Zst: The Battlefield 2 June 1, 2003 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 2–0–1 Yuji Oba Decision (majority) Pancrase: 2002 Anniversary Show September 29, 2002 2 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 1–0–1 Tokusaburo Iwama Submission (heel hook) Premium Challenge May 6, 2002 1 3:24 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 0–0–1 Ryoji Sai Technical Draw Titan Fighting Championship 1 September 29, 2000 1 1:29 Tokyo, Japan

References[edit]

External links[edit]