The UFC just out did themselves once again, as Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson stood in the middle of the cage and exchanged violent pleasantries to the delight of the Japan crowd. Hunt stalked down Nelson and landed the game changer on Nelson’s chin, which sent the big man tumbling down in a heap, while Myles Jury continued to improve by leaps and bounds, being the first fighter to stop the legendary Takanori Gomi via strikes. Miesha Tate proved why she is considered one of the best fighting in the women’s bantamweight division, plus a lot more summarized for viewers pleasure who may have missed the event.
Mark Hunt defeats Roy Nelson via KO (Punch) rd. 2 – Fans can officially call Mark Hunt the king of the walk off knockout. Hunt just waited and fainted with the jab, setting up Roy Nelson with what would be the one uppercut to send “Big Country” to sleep in an instant. An unfortunate turn of events for Nelson, as he was landing shots of his own in the first round, and may have already been one up on the “Super Samoan”. With earth rattling power each of these two possess though, it was just a matter of time until one of these heavyweights planted one another with something ruthless. Hunt may have been the victor tonight, but on any given night in any weight division, one is just a clean flush punch away from the tides turning. Nelson will have to take a step back and view which heavyweights behind him in the ranks are worthy of giving him a run for his money. Hunt on the other hand can start squinting at the bigger picture, with UFC heavyweights like Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski sitting there for a potential match up down the road.
Myles Jury defeats Takanori Gomi via TKO (Strikes) rd. 1 – Myles Jury becomes the first man to finish Takanori Gomi via strikes in “The Fireball Kid’s” career, and he did it in a matter of 92 seconds. Jury just uses his reach and athleticism so beautifully, getting in out quicker than a hiccup. As Jury continues his journey up the lightweight ladder he continues to knock off legitimate names in the process. Takanori Gomi was once considered one of the best, if not the best, lightweight in the world years ago, while also defeating the likes of Diego Sanchez a fight before. With so many intriguing match ups to be made out there, it would not surprise many to see Jury fight an opponent in the top ten; and if he would have called someone out when given the opportunity by Brian Stann, he might have done better if not a top six opponent. Jury’s quickness and smarts are rare, and his skill set is beyond belief; it will not be too long before we see Jury taking on the best in the UFC lightweight division.
Yoshihiro Akiyama defeats Amir Sadollah via Unanimous Decision – For taking two years to make his return back to the octagon, “Sexyama” fined tuned his game and came back victorious as he completely dismantled the overwhelmed Amir Sadollah. Akiyama picked his shots and loaded up on his dangerous right hand, and even brushed up on his communication skills; talking to people outside of the cage as he rained down the ground and pound on Sadollah. As good as Akiyama looked after his two-year hiatus, Sadollah looked just as rusty; coming out hesitant in the first round and not being able to avoid the ground during the second and third rounds. At the ripe age of 36 years old, the Japanese star would like to make one last run in the welterweight division and compete with some of the best, but mentioned a fight with Wanderlei Silva would be something he would look into. Obviously he did not get the memo though, as Silva retired just hours ago.
Miesha Tate defeats Rin Nakai via Unanimous Decision – Tate showed a much improved boxing game that carried her to victory over the formerly undefeated Rin Nakai. The constant and consistent take down attempts from Nakai kept Tate at bay through two rounds, as she had to be cautious not to fall into a trap. Nakai had her own moments of the fight, taking Miesha’s back in the second round and again in the third. Tate fought through it though, and continued to pepper Nakai from the outside with some profound crisp punches mixed in with some short impact elbows. Tate once again proved that she was top of the chain in the UFC women’s bantamweight division, which could set her up with a potential top five ranked opponent in the very near future.
Kiichi Kunimoto defeats Richard Walsh via Split Decision – These judges continue to make headlines in just about every card, as once again, they reward a fighter who was out performed and out classed through one round and a good portion through the second. Walsh steam rolled through Kunimoto in the first round, hurting him three times and dropping him twice. In some cases, that round alone could have been scored a 10-8 in Walsh’s favor. In the second, the action somewhat stalled after the first minute, with Kunimoto repeatedly going in for the take down to come out of the clinch empty-handed while taking strikes from Walsh. Third round Kunimoto was able to finally get the Aussie to the ground and threaten from the back position. The result was about as perturbing as it sounds, another fighter gets robbed on yet another UFC Fight Night.
Kyoji Horiguchi defeats Jon Delos Reyes via TKO (Strikes) rd. 1 – The heavy-handed Horiguchi found just the opening needed to put the stamp on Jon Delos Reyes and finish the fight. Possessing the power of a fighter in a higher weight class, Horiguchi keeps climbing himself up the ranks in his division, which may lead to a shot at someone in the top ten in possibly his next fight. This marks the eighth straight victory for the Asian fighter, as Reyes has yet to record his first victory inside the octagon.
In other notable fights, Johnny Case flies home with a nice pocket full of change as he picks a “Performance of the Night” bonus after taking out Kazuki Takudome. Kyung Ho Kang and Michinori Tanaka take home “Fight of the Night” honors, putting on quite the grappling display for three rounds. For full results of the prelims please check down below.
Masanori Kanehara defeats Alex Caceres via Unanimous Decision
Katsunori Kikuno defeats Sam Sicilia via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) rd. 2
Hyun Gyu Kim defeats Takenori Sato via TKO (Elbows) rd. 1
Kyung Ho Kang defeats Michinori Tanaka via Split Decision
Johnny Case defeats Kazuki Takudome via Submission (Guillotine Choke) rd. 2
Maximo Blanco defeats Dan Hooker via Unanimous Decision
The action doe not stop here as the Ultimate Fighting Championship heads back to the states to Las Vegas, Nevada. Demetrious Johnson will defend his flyweight title against Chris Cariaso. Joining him will be international stud and Irish superstar, Conor McGregor, when he takes on Dustin Poirier. Not to mention the numerous ranked bouts that make the 178 card a must watch. As always, make sure to follow the Guardian Liberty Voice as well follow the UFC into next weekend and the weekend’s beyond.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
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Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA