Fight #3 in our series keeps us focused on the smaller Japanese scene:
Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer (Krush.6, April 29)
Once again, a very fun fight. Here, 2009 K-1 MAX Final 4 fighter Yamamoto main events Krush against the largely unknown Shaffer. But Shaffer gives it a real go, pushing Yuya into the kind of fight where the Japanese fighter thrives, resulting in one of the best finishes of 2010.
I like this one as a sort of more technical version of yesterday's Bovy v. Umeno fight. At first it looks like Yuya might easily take this, but once Shaffer drops him in the first, then almost finishes him as time runs down, you know this is closer than it appeared. From there, you get great swings in the momentum, with Yamamoto dropping Shaffer, only to have the American come back strong to end round 2. At the start of the 3rd it's a very close fight, when Yamamoto just pours it on, absolutely wrecking Shaffer with a brutal finish.
A note on this series - we'll be posting 1 or 2 of the top fights of the year on a daily basis over the coming week. Fights will be featured in chronological order moving through the year.