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Heavyweight: Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson

I don’t know who’s more tired after that grueling five round fight, me or the fighters. Sadly at this point Roy Nelson looks like a training bag that occasionally throws a punch. That punch is capable of taking your head off but Nelson is set in his ways and opponents know exactly how to plan for the fight.  Nelson was able to get some takedowns that sadly were negated by the referee standing up the fighters. Josh Barnett was able to get into his preferred place of attack and just tee off on Nelson. He landed short elbows, knees and some thunderous body kicks. Barnett took away Nelson’s most dangerous weapon with a combination of wrist control and closing the distance. Both fighters looked absolutely gassed when the ref raised Barnett’s hand in victory.

The event ended with a great show of sportsmanship. He thanked Roy Nelson, and sang his praises for always stepping into the octagon to fight and go for a finish. Even more impressive was his Japanese, which showcased just how close of a connection he has with a Japanese audience.

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Middleweight: Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi via KO/TKO in the 2nd round.

Knock Out of the Night! Lock it down! Uriah Hall lands a jump spinning back kick, to a flying knee, then finishes with some ground and pound to secure the biggest victory of his career in the 2nd round. Uriah Hall proves that he is able to withstand adversity and unleash that monster we saw in The Ultimate Fighter. There was more action in this roughly six minute fight than some entire cards. Let’s talk about that excellent first round that was overshadowed by the magnificent KO.

Talk about a first round! If you’re not a fan of MMA’s ground game you should watch this first round and get back to me. Gegard Mousasi utilizes his grappling advantage and quickly takes Hall to the mat where he punishes Hall with ground and pound. Hall did pretty well defending himself and trying to keep Gegard at bay but Mousasi is a killer on the mat. Hall actually put some fear into Mousasi with a dangerous kimura attempt and a scary arm-bar attempt. Mousasi almost saved himself from going into the second round by taking Hall’s back and almost securing a rear naked choke. Hall held on and he made the most of the second round.

Mousasi is still one of the best in the division, and without a doubt one of the toughest guys in the UFC.

Hall took a major jump in competition and his belief in himself has won him even more fans and propelled him into the upper echelons of the division.

SAITAMA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 27:  in their flyweight bout during the UFC event at the Saitama Super Arena on September 27, 2015 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
SAITAMA, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 27: in their flyweight bout during the UFC event at the Saitama Super Arena on September 27, 2015 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Flyweight: Kyoji Horiguchi def. Chico Camus via UNA DEC.

Both fighters came into the math bouncing around with all the speed expected from the 125 pound division. The first round came off as a feeling out affair, with both fighters trying to establish their rhythm and range with splashes of exchanges. Horiguchi won the second round handedly. He landed a flurry at the get go of the second round and rode that wave of confidence. He threw with more variety and then slipped out of range. Chico Camus was outclassed here, he should take this loss as a major learning experience. Horiguchi was on top of his game with this fight, he threw a little bit of everything. His hands landed quickly and clean, his kicks to the body and head dig hard and he shot for takedowns and clinch enough to throw Chico off of his groove. Horiguchi aims to get back into title contention and avenge his loss to reigning champ Demetrious Johnson.

Bantamweight: Takeya Mizugaki def. George Roop via UNA DEC.

Mizugaki and Roop are no strangers to stand up wars and they gave the fans something they didn’t expect. Standing exchanges with some clinching up against the fence. Mizugaki held the advantage in both aspects landing cleaner punches and using his impressive technique in the clinch where he landed some dirty boxing and a fair share of knees. Throughout the first and second round Mizugaki landed counter right hands, that he flung with some power but to his credit George Roop didn’t go down. Roop continuously pushed Takeya Mizugaki to the fence where he held him in the clinch and couldn’t amount any amount of offense. The crowd began booing as Roop looked like he was doing as much as possible to avoid eating any more of Mizugaki’s solid right hand. Mizugaki deserved the win and wasn’t afraid to show his emotion as he swelled up with tears proud to represent his country with a win. I don’t know what’s next for Roop after that performance, but Mizugaki looks like he’ll be an exciting addition to any card with his ferocious style.

Featherweight: Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno via KO/TKO in the 1st

Wow! Diego Brandao goes into Japan and silences the home crowd. Brandao landed a massive right hand that left Kikuno completely wobbled, all it took was 29 seconds for the Brazilian to swarm and force the referee to step in and break it up. Look for Brandao to ride this wave into his next fight, that shouldn’t be too far away seeing as he took absolutely no damage.

Featherweight: Mizuto Hirota vs. Teruto Ishihara (DRAW)

In a stunning announcement the Featherweight bout ends in an anticlimactic Draw. The crowd giggles at the unbelievable judgement and the fighters, who shared in the confusion, had a good attitude about it and got another chuckle out of the crowd. At one point in the 3rd Ishihara dropped Hirota with a solid left counter that I thought was going to seal the bout. Hirota had nothing of it and somehow stayed awake and quickly worked his way to his feet where he kept up the pressure on the younger Ishihara. Fun fight and while I understand that it was very close, it’s always weird to get a Draw. Both fighters look like they’re ready to keep fighting soon.  Good news though, Dana White (UFC President) gave both fighters a six figure UFC contract.

 

Special Shout-out to the Japanese crowd. I love their etiquette and how different it is from the typical American crowd. Let’s get some more events in Japan, maybe with a title fight as the main-event.

 

Michael Gomez covers MMA for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelGom3

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