Hiroyuki Takaya scored the most significant win of his career by breaking new ground.
Takaya (13-8-1) snapped a two-fight losing streak by knocking out former lightweight champion Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen (19-10-1) with 28 seconds left in the first round of their bout today at Dream 14 in Saitama, Japan. It was the first knockout defeat in the 10 1/2-year career of Hansen, who lost his second fight in a row since dropping to featherweight earlier this year.
Hansen was doing well in the early going. Takaya circled and tried to land flurries, Hansen was blocking almost everything and landing a few jabs of his own.
But Takaya connected with a right hand on the button that put Hansen on rubber legs. Takaya followed with a right hook that dropped Hansen and landed one more right hand on the ground that left him glassy-eyed.
None of Takaya's previous victories were over men as well-regarded at the time as Hansen, who is the No. 18 featherweight in the USA TODAY/SB Nation consensus rankings and was a top-10 lightweight as recently as four months ago.
Beating Hansen could put Takaya in position for a rematch with Bibiano Fernandes, who won Dream's 143-pound championship by taking a decision over Takaya in October, during the final of the Dream Featherweight Grand Prix.
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