Tuesday, September 29, 2015

UFC Fight night 75 #UFCJapan

The UFC Fight Night 75 may have been under promoted, but the event had overwhelming performances from many of the competitors. Josh Barnett out worked Roy Nelson, Uriah Hall jumped up the middleweight ranks, and two fighters from “The Ultimate Fighter Japan (TUF: Japan)” fought to an impressive draw. A lot has gone down in MMA during the month of September, but this card from Japan could make for a better reminder than a Pride FC themed show if you were lucky enough to catch it.

Mizuto Hirota and Teruto Ishihara were both fighting to earn UFC contracts after getting through the Fight Pass broadcast of TUF:Japan. Ishihara looked the favorite to win, seemingly because he was ten years the junior of Hirota but the older fighter showed what experience does when facing a greener opponent. For every combo Hirota delivered, Ishihara would answer with counter-left-hook. Even with that happening, Hirota only seemed to press on. If judges ever had a hard fight to call it would have been this one. Japanese MMA fans are not the kind that would boo for anything, let alone a draw but everyone seemed to wonder, “Who won the contract?” The answer came shortly after, both fighters deserved and one a contract with the promotion. A rematch between the two would make for a good fight on a future event.

Standout fight of the night had to go to Uriah Hall, who was the underdog in his fight against Gegard Mousasi. Hall seemed to have trouble with fights that went the distance since his high profile debut on The Ultimate Fighter 17. Anyone that knows anything about Hall and Mousasi knew, this fight was not going the distance. With his higher profile opponents, Mousasi looked to be the favorite and did control the earlier part of round one. That is, until Hall started hunting for submissions when he was taken down by the Armenian. He was forced to defend quickly against very close submissions before the round finished. Round two showed Hall had enough of the ground and when Mousasi changed levels for another take down, Hall jumped into a spinning back kick that could only come out of a video game to send Mousasi reeling back. He followed up with a knee and some more strikes to earn a TKO against the number six ranked Mousasi. Hall should be in contention for a title now.

Josh Barnett has never looked as good as he did against Roy Nelson. The Metamoris champion did a great job avoiding the overhand right Nelson has finished so many with and countering “Big Country’s” assault. The rounds seemed to wear on Nelson more than Barnett as he stopped taking down the Japanese crowd favorite and seemed to try and still land his well-known one punch KO. Barnett’s hand fighting against the cage, clinch-work, and in fighting with elbows seemed to be where he won the bout standing. It was enough for the judges to award Barnett the win that still felt hein feeling, he could have done better.

MMA in Japan is awesome, some of the themes from Pride FC were present in the Bellator: Dynamite show as well. If you're just getting into MMA and like what you saw last weekend you owe it to yourself to watch some past events from Pride FC.

Photo credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

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