Saitama, Japan, here the UFC comes! Packed plum full of some heavyweight power, with a little dash of spice when the women hit the cage. Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson hope to provide the fireworks expected from the Japanese crowd as these two collide in what could be another heavyweight classic. Japan’s own Rin Nakai puts her unblemished record on the line as she takes on one of the best in the bantamweight division, former title challenger Miesha Tate. In the co main event, Myles Jury will look to dodge the fireballs being thrown by “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi, while Akiyama and Sadollah finally step foot back into a cage after both have been missing in action for over two years. All that and more, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship invades Japan, starting with the prelims on Fight Pass at 12:30 AM EST, with the main card taking over on Fight Pass at 3 AM EST. Do not miss it as the Guardian Liberty Voice will not!
#7 Mark Hunt (9-8-1) vs. #8 Roy Nelson (21-9) Heavyweight Bout – The battle of the behemoths, not to mention the thunderous punching power that they carry in their fists. Nelson and Hunt may not look the part of fighters at first glance, but do not underestimate the talent or pure determination these two heavyweights both possess. This fight could be as simple as it gets if Roy Nelson could just, for one night in the UFC, not be totally enamored with his right hand of devastation.
“Big Country” throws one of the heaviest right hands in the game, and has numerous “one hitter quitters” to the dome under his belt, but this fight is different, as none of those other fighters were Mark Hunt. Hunt has proven to have a chin of granite, and is much more experienced in the striking game then Nelson. His punching power is equal to, or better than, Roy Nelson, which makes this fight very dangerous for Nelson if he wants to keep standing.
Roy Nelson could very easily win this fight on the ground if he could take down Mark Hunt, who is known for not having the most polished take down defense or submission defense. If Nelson decides to grind this out on his feet, Hunt should take this fight with ease; if he takes him down, Hunt is prime for being beaten. Prediction here is that Roy Nelson still has not fallen out of love with his right hand, making Hunt the favorite to win this bout. Mark Hunt via Unanimous Decision.
#9 Myles Jury (14-0) vs. Takanori Gomi (35-9) Lightweight Bout – Myles Jury has quietly climbed up the UFC lightweight ranks and has become a must-see prospect. Gomi has slowed quite a bit from his youthful days, but has become quite articulate with his combinations and has not been entirely relying on his punching power to do the trick.
Jury has the athleticism, footwork, and the smarts to avoid Gomi’s game, while sticking and moving from the outside. Jury’s wrestling and submission game is also quite underrated, and it would not surprise the MMA Spotlight at all if the young man dragged down “The Fireball Kid” and found a way to submit him. Just as long as Jury avoids close exchanges with Gomi, it should almost be smooth sailing from there. Myles Jury via Submission.
Yoshiro Akiyama (13-5) vs. Amir Sadollah (7-4) Welterweight Bout – It seems like forever since we have seen these two inside the octagon. Yoshiro “Sexyama” Akiyama has not fought since February of 2012, and Amir Sadollah has not since September of 2012. Both are past the point of ring rust, and neither should really have the advantage here. Sadollah has an above average Muay Thai base and could use intense volume and pressure on Akiyama to earn the decision. Akiyama solely relies on singular punches, and does not have quite the speed or combinations that Sadollah has. It is fairly hard to predict how either one will perform, each have not fought in over two years. Akiyama is getting up there in age, not to mention that he has quite the cut to get down to 170 lbs. Based on those facts alone, Sadollah may have the slight edge here. Amir Sadollah via Unanimous Decision.
#2 Miesha Tate (14-5) vs. Rin Nakai (16-0-1) Women’s Bantamweight Bout – Miesha Tate is stepping into the unknown, fighting an undefeated fighter that is more known for her awkwardly interesting videos then her reputation inside the ring. Nakai is a strong Judo based fighter who has used her wrestling prowess and slick submissions to finish fights. Tate is the number two ranked bantamweight for a reason though. She implements the same game plan as Nakai in some ways, but does hold the advantage in striking department and cage experience, something Nakai has very limited to no experience of. Expect Tate to push the newly signed UFC fighter against the cage and use her clinch game with an arsenal of trips to grind Nakai out for three rounds. Miesha Tate via Unanimous Decision.
Kiichi Kunimoto (17-5-2) vs. Richard Walsh (8-1) Welterweight Bout – Walsh’s game seems to keep on improving and growing every time he steps foot inside the octagon. His top game is very heavy and impossible to move, while his striking game is leaps and bounds ahead of what it used to be. Kunimoto is not exactly the quickest welterweight, nor is he the most technically sound on the ground; but, he may surprise Walsh with his opportunistic submission attempts, and a brutal counter right hand that could put Walsh to sleep in an instant. As long as Walsh does not get sloppy here, the grind may become very real for Kiichi Kunimoto as he may very well be fighting off his back for a good duration of the bout. Richard Walsh via Unanimous Decision.
#14 Kyoji Horiguchi (13-1) vs. Jon Delos Reyes (7-3) Flyweight Bout – This very well could be a possible “fight of the night” right here if Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson do not steal the show. Both fighters are very explosive, and are in the Flyweight division. Their explosiveness could result in the fight progressing at a very rapid pace. Horiguchi is the more technical striker, while Reyes is more known for his athleticism and raw talent. Wherever Reyes wants to take this fight, expect Horiguchi to have the upper hand in each and every aspect of this bout. Kyoji Horiguchi via Technical Knockout.
In another notable bout, Alex Caceres hopes to rebound from his loss to Urijah Fber against a veteran in Masanori Kanehara. Also, Johnny Case makes his debut as he takes on Kazuki Takudome in an entertaining lightweight bout. For all UFC Fight Night coverage of Hunt vs. Nelson, please follow the Guardian Liberty Voice as the MMA Spotlight updates you immediately after the conclusion of the card.
Commentary by Justin Huffman
Follow Justin’s coverage in the MMA Spotlight Section
Guardian Liberty Voice sports writer leading the coverage in MMA