Steve Juon told you yesterday why this show matters. Several of us on FGB are pretty excited about this card. And just being back at the Saitama Super Arena makes it a little more special.
1. Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Bahadurzada caught Kim with a short right and Kim had a mouse over his eye. Outside of that, it was all Kim. Kim got a takedown, got the mount, and peppered Bahadurzada with shots. He tried to get his back late in the round and was on his back like Urijah Faber last week, but didn’t get the choke.
The round was all Kim and and usual Kim. Takedown, side control, not much damage. Mount, double hammer fists, not much damage. Poor Bahadurzada. Poor us.
Kim took him down and completely immobilized Bahadurzada. He started raining down with elbows and punches from the top. Easy win for Kim.
Winner: Dong Hyun Kim by way of unanimous decision
2. Rani Yahya vs. Mizuto Hirota
The fight wasn’t much different than the Kim fight, except that Yahya was working for submissions, including a kimura. Hirota wasn’t in any good situations.
Yahya sunk in an arm triangle, but miraculously, Hirota survived. Yahya stayed on top of him the whole time and never let up.
Hirota showed some energy. Yahya nearly got caught in a triangle/arm bar. Hiorota had more of a gas tank and threw a knee at the end that landed. Yahya got on his horse for the last 15 seconds.
Winner: Rani Yahya by way of unanimous decision
3. Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami
While Lombard looks like he can catch Kim at any time because of how quick his strikes are on the inside, it was Okami’s round with two takedowns. He neutralized his power by staying on the outside.
Lombard couldn’t get inside and was starting to lunge with his punches. Okami used his jab to keep him frustrated and away. He then got a takedown with a couple of minutes left and worked a nasty ground and pound.
Lombard made it a more hectic style and was starting to land. Okami went for a takedown and Lombard stuffed it and Okami rolled to his back. He did it a second time. I think this was a stalling technique for Okami who was tiring. Lombard needed to let him back up and stand, but he wouldn’t and the fight ended.
Winner: Yushin Okami by way of split decision
I didn’t see Lombard get a second round, but oh well.
4. Diego Sanchez vs. Takanori Gomi
Sanchez was two pounds over at the weigh-in and blamed it on the lack of distilled water in Japan.
Gomi landed two nice right hands early, but after that, it was all Sanchez. Sanchez had two takedowns and also landed a nice right hand that Gomi tried to smile off. Sanchez looks good, but he’s open to being hit.
Sanchez was warned for kicking low after also kicking low in the first. Sanchez is more on the defensive in the second round. For much of the round, he was also circling to Gomi’s power hand. I had the round for Gomi until the last 45 seconds or so. Sanchez landed a few body kicks and then punches when Gomi tried to end strong.
Probably lean toward Gomi in the last round, but still have the fight for Sanchez. The first two rounds were pretty close.
Winner: Diego Sanchez by way of split decision
Diego’s nickname is now “The Dream” as opposed to the nightmare. Somewhere, Dusty Rhodes is shaking his head while wearing polka dots.
5. Stefan Struve vs. Mark Hunt
Struve’s chest and back are red with scratches. Not sure what he was doing before the fight.
Struve pulled guard and swept him to get to the mount and looked like he was going to finish him with ground and pound. Hunt was on top near the end and landed a nice punch, but Struve’s round.
Hunt landed a haymaker. Fight’s a little sloppy. Struve was on top and looked to possibly be getting near a finish, but Hunt’s too tough. Struve gave up position and nearly caught heavy stuff in his guard.
Hunt landed big punches, both with lefts and rights. Struve was standing right in front of him for whatever reason. Hunt blasted him with a left hook the followed an overhand right. Struve just stayed down, didn’t try to get up and Herb Dean stopped it.
Winner: Mark Hunt by 3rd round TKO
6. Brian Stann vs. Wanderlei Silva
What an insane round. These guys stood right in front of each other and threw huge punches. Rather than throw them and get out of pocket, they just kept throwing them. Stann slipped, then Silva wobbled, then Silva wobbled again, but Stann’s nose is bleeding like crazy.
Stann kicked Silva low once in the first and did it again in the second and received a warning. Fight was much slower paced in the second. Silva ducked under, threw an overhand right and followed with a left to put Stann on his back. And one shot on the ground and it was all over. What a moment for Wanderlei.
Winner: Wanderlei Silva by way of 2nd round TKO