Photo via God Bless the Ring
In what turned out to be a surprisingly one-sided affair, Japanese lightweight kingpin Tatsuya Kawajiri dominated Josh Thomson over the course of three rounds with impressive wrestling ability and smothering control on the ground. In almost every instance in which Thomson was trying to defend against takedowns, Kawajiri seemed to shift into a gear that didn't even exist, tossing Thomson around the ring and gaining top control at every opportunity.
In the second round, Kawajiri nearly submitted Thomson with an arm triangle, but Kawajiri smartly gave up on the hold when he realized he couldn't finish it. The rest of the fight was similar to the first round of action as Thomson tried to find any way to regain his feet and punch his way to victory. Unfortunately, Kawajiri continued to throw Thomson to the canvas and "crush" him with hammer fists and constant pressure.
The win solidifies the theory that Kawajiri may be the only true Japanese lightweight in the modern era who can compete with elite-level UFC and Strikeforce lightweights. His style runs parallel with what we see in both divisions from the strongest fighters, and Kawajiri just dominated a fighter who many considered to be one of the best in the world at lightweight. This win should fuel a showdown with Gilbert Melendez in 2011.