Saturdays UFC event at the historic Saitama Super Arena may not have been a card packed of finishes, but the few we had harked back to the Pride era of MMA that the arena is famous for hosting. Here is a look at all of UFC Fight Night 75 Japan : Barnett vs. Nelson finishes.
Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi via KO round 2
The biggest surprise of the night was the resurgence of The Ultimate Fighter version of Uriah Hall as he picked up by far the biggest win of his becoming the first man to ever KO the 45 fight veteran and number 6 ranked Gegard Mousasi.
this fight ending started with a sensational spinning back kick to the head of Mousasi set up brilliantly by Hall. Uriah baited Gegard into a trap byu showing the startings of a spin with every stand-up exchange both men had. Hall showed incredible fighter IQ by biding his time to unleash the spinning technique with full effect and when he threw the kick, it was simply devastating.
As Hall threw the spinning kick Mousasi attempted to evade well by lowering his body and looking for an easy takedown as Uriah was on one leg and off balance due to the spin. however, this fell directly into Hall’s trap as instead of throwing a full spinning hook kick, he instead landed a much shorter kick directly to the face of the crouching Mousasi.
Mousasi showed great resolve and an unbelievable chin to absorb the strike that set him staggering backwards, but unfortunately when you’re dealing with a striker of Uriah Hall’s calibre, you know he isn’t going to let that opportunity go to waste, as he followed up with a flying knee again landing flush on Gegard’s chin as the rocked Mousasi looked for a takedown.
the knee put Mousasi on the mat and a few well-placed punches later and the referee was forced to step in and stop what was a sensational KO victory. Hall showed just what mixing a high-level striker and insanely physically talented athlete can do showed perfect timing, technique and killer instinct to catch Mousasi off guard and then follow up with the kill shot. This win should propel Hall into the top 10 and be a bedrock of his highlight reel for years to come.
Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno via KO round 1
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kikuno’s stance is costing him his consciousness, we first saw it against Ferguson, secondly against Souza and now against Brandao. The fact is that when you take on the elite fighters in the world, keeping your hands by your hips for the entirety of the fight is always a bad idea and Kikuno learnt this lesson hard once again against Brandao.
in this 28 second long contest, Kikuno was caught early by a huge overhand right from Brandao right on the chin putting him on the canvas. Due to Kikuno having his hands down by his hips, there was no way he was going to get his guard up to deflect the speedy strike of Brandao and this cost him the contest. the overhand put Kikuno down who, to his merit, was able to partially recover and scramble to his feet, but the ferocious Brandao never let up with the strikes and soon overwhelmed Kikuno forcing the referee to step in.
There isn’t much to say about this stoppage that anyone who has ever seen any fight, ever shouldn’t already know and that’s to keep your hands up and your chin tucked, otherwise a man like Diego Brandao will take your head clean off your shoulders every single time.
Keita Nakamura def. Li Jingliang via submission (rear naked choke) round 3
This fight finish showed a beautiful mix of basic ground techniques,blending technical wrestling and a textbook rear naked choke, leading to a spine-tingling faceplant technical submission victory.
the end of this fight came off a JingLiang sprawl, where he was attempting to stuff Nakamura’s head down to completely stuff the takedown. From here, Nakamura slid out to the side and underneath Jingliang’s unsuspecting left arm that offered no defence. This allowed Nakamura to take Li’s back and sink in his leg hooks and the all important arm underneath JingLiang’s chin as Li tried to stand up. This spelt the end for Jingliang who was now in a fully locked rear naked choke courtesy of Nakamura who already had 13 rear naked choke victories. Keita showed his choking prowess once again by putting Jingliang to sleep in seven seconds causing him to faceplant the floor in dramatic fashion.
This finish showed how one simple mistake can cost you the contest. JingLiang was so preoccupied with stuffing Nakamura’s head that he didn’t realise that all that downward force caused Nakamura to slip his head out to the side and escape to take Li’s back. From here Jingliang should have known Nakamura would go to his bread and butter rear naked and defended accordingly, but instead by standing up he wasn’t able to focus on hand fighting and stopping Keita’s choking arm and left himself open to the submission. This is a mistake you simply cannot afford to make in the UFC, especially against a guy known for his rear naked chokes. Every fighter should learn from this and do your research before the fight.
UFC 219’s Jimmie Rivera to TJ Dillashaw “Defend Your Belt or Vacate.”
MMA Latest had the chance to talk to #4 ranked UFC bantamweight Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera ahead of his fight at UFC 219 against John Lineker.
Rivera (21-1) extended his unbeaten run to twenty when he defeated Thomas Almeida at UFC Long Island in July. Originally scheduled to face former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, we began by asking Rivera how the opponent change had affected his preparation for UFC 219.
The only thing that’s changed is the game plan, everything else stays the same. Cruz is more of an irritating fight because he just doesn’t stop moving, but with Lineker, he’s going to stay in the pocket and bang, and I love that.
Recently, Rivera posted a video to his Twitter account of him sparring with the recently crowned bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. He told us about the context of this video, and how the sparring went down between them.
It was 3 or 4 years back. I think TJ had just lost to (John) Dodson on TUF. My teammate Louis Gaudinot was actually fighting Tim Elliott at the time, and we were in Milwaukee so I got to train with (Urijah) Faber and Dillashaw.
Oh by the way did you forget this?…. I’m not cody, i don’t show videos then get knock out. pic.twitter.com/EsyvJmGnkz
— Jimmie Rivera (@JimmieRivera135) November 26, 2017
I just sent it to TJ to say, don’t forget what happened. I was getting the best of him, and I don’t really brag about it. But he wants to leave the weight class and fight DJ for the money fight, and I want to fight for the belt, so it’s defend your belt or vacate.
After briefly referencing the potential superfight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, I asked Rivera about his thoughts on the somewhat flawed UFC rankings system, and title fights being put together purely for entertainment value.
It sucks. When I become champ I won’t be like a TJ or McGregor, I’m going to be like Demetrious Johnson and defend my belt against people coming up, it’s the right thing to do. If you want to win the belt and leave the division straight away, it’s kind of bullshit.
Rivera concluded by telling me that although he isn’t looking past Lineker at 219, “the only fight that makes sense after this one, is fighting TJ for the belt.”
Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221
UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.
The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.
After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return. Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.
Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”
Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.
With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira Officially Booked for Belem, Brazil card
The wait is over. Valentina Shevchenko (14-3, 3-2 UFC) will make her highly anticipated flyweight debut when the UFC returns to Brazil. She will face Priscila Cachoeira (8-0) on the February 3rd card scheduled for Belem, Brazil. Luciana Andrade was the first to report the match-up last week. On Tuesday, the UFC posted an article which stated the bout had been set.
Now that the flyweight tournament is over and the inaugural champion has her crown, many women shall migrate from the strawweight and bantamweight ranks in search of a more suitable weight class. The division is so infantile means a lot moving parts in the rankings. Yet, only women who fought at one hundred and twenty-five lbs. are ranked. Such practices muddy the title picture for the time being. Essentially ruling out the idea of Montano vs. Shevchenko for the first defense of the belt, illogical. An idea that floated around the internet until today’s confirmation of the newest female flyweight match-up. The TUF 26 winner, Nicco Montano called it, “kinda silly”, earlier this week while on The MMA Hour. Montano believes her first title defense, as it stands, should pit her against the original finalist of the flyweight tournament, Sijara Eubanks. Although Eubanks withdrew from the title fight, she is still ranked as the #1 contender in the division.
Shevchenko explained her desire for the flyweight belt on The MMA Hour, a week earlier than Montano, “For me it’s number one, to fight for the title… It doesn’t matter for me, if I have to have one fight before it, okay I will do it… my main goal is to be the champion… It doesn’t matter I move from one thirty-five to one twenty-five. My goal is still the same, to be the champion”. The Russian fighter is coming off an unsuccessful title shot in the bantamweight division against the current reigning champ, Amanda Nunes. The bout went to a decision after close five rounds, Nunes ultimately defeated Shevchenko via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).
Her opponent, Priscila Cachoeira, is not only new to the UFCs female flyweight division but the promotion’s roster as well. Cachoeira originally was scheduled to make her promotional debut against veteran Lauren Murphy at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 26. The Brazilian fighter withdrew from the bout due to visa issues. As a professional, she is undefeated with four knockouts in her eight fights.
UFC Belem is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018. The card will feature Timothy Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm in the heavyweight division. It will also have Thiago Santos taking on Anthony Smith in the middleweight division.
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