PRIDE Fighters Successful in Cage Rage Bouts. Imanari Takes Championship!

PRIDE veterans and fan favorites Daijiro Matsui and Eric "Butterbean" Esch both fought and won in their recent February 10th Cage Rage 20 matches. Masakazu Imanari also shined, becoming the new World Featherweight Champion.

Masakazu Imanari competed in the February 10th Cage Rage 20, a cage-based event held at Wembley Arena in London, England. Imanari faced off against the then-current World Featherweight Champion, Robbie Olivier, in a title match. At 27 seconds into the 1st round, Imanari defeated Olivier by arm-bar to become the new World Featherweight Champion.

Additionally, James Thompson, local favorite and fresh off a PRIDE victory on New Year's Eve, competed against a favorite of fans around the world, Eric "Butterbean" Esch. Butterbean sent Thompson to the mat with a hook at just 43 seconds into the 1st round, winning by KO.

Another fan favorite, Daijiro Matsui, easily dispatched his opponent, Tom Watson, by armbar at 59 seconds into the 1st round.

Cage Rage 20

February 10, 2007/02/13

Wembley Arena, London, England

[Other Match Results]

○ Masakazu Imanari (Japan/Team-ROKEN)
0' 27" 1st Round Submission (arm-bar)
● Robbie Olivier (England/Tsunami Gym)

○ Eric "Butterbean" Esch (America/Team Butterbean)
0' 43" 1st Round KO
● James Thompson (England/Team Trojan)

○ Daijiro Matsui (Japan/Freelance)
0'59" 1st Round Submission (arm-bar)
● Tom Watson (England/Gorilla Academy)

○ Dave Legeno
3rd Round Decision
● Dan Severn (America/Freelance)

○ Mustapha al Turk (England)
2' 29" 1st Round Submission
● Mark Kerr (America/Team Kerr)