Last night in Japan, 140 pound Rajadamnern champion Hiroki Ishii looked to defend his title for the third consecutive time against Aikpikart Mor Krongthepthonburi in the main event of Magnum 31. The co-main event saw Mutsuki Ebata challenge for a Rajadamnern belt of his own, taking on bantamweight champion Manasak Pinsinchai.
Ishii looked good in the opening round against Aikpikart, establishing distance and using his length as the much bigger fighter. Aikpikart normally fights at 130 pounds, and the difference in size was pretty apparent at the opening bell. In the second round the challenger started to pick up steam, dropping Ishii with an elbow midway through. Ishii is usally not the most technical or agressive fighter in the world. He wins primarily by the landing very solid lead hand hooks and right straights, before knocking his opponents out cold. Aikpikart nullified most of Ishii's power shots, stepping in to close the distance and keeping a few tight guard. Hiroki looked to be back in the fight at the start of the third, but Aikpikart came out hungry. After pushing the champion into the corner, Aikpikart unleashed four or five elbows that landed flush, before following Ishii around the ring and landing one more that put him down for good.
In the co-main event, a very game Mutsuki Ebata put up a good fight against Manasak, but ultimately fell short. The Thai was dominant throughout the first four rounds, crushing Ebata in the clinch and using superior distancing to beat him to the punch or kick nearly every time. Ebata was as stubborn as they come and refused to fall. In the last round the Japanese fighter really turned on the pressure, swarming Manasak and pushing him around the ring. It wasn't enough though, and the Thai defended his belt on foreign soil for the first time.