(via UFC on FOX)
The UFC returned to action on Sunday morning after a nearly unprecedented 3-week hiatus, delivering a star-studded(ish) card from Japan that saw Josh Barnett, a lover of Japanese culture if there ever was one, face off against Roy Nelson, inventor and sole proprietor of the “triple bacon cheeseburger” sushi roll, in the evening’s main event.
Despite not competing in the cage since a quick KO loss to Travis Browne in December of 2013, Barnett showed up to the contest looking to be in the best shape of his life, and it paid benefits over the course of the five round affair. “The Warmaster” set a UFC heavyweight record 146 significant strikes and UFC record 95 significant clinch strikes en route to a decision victory over “Big Country,” who you can guarantee got screwed out of a performance bonus by his good buddy Dana White when all was said and done.
In the co-main event of the evening, Uriah Hall tried to make it two in a row over heavy favorite Gegard Mousasi, who was riding back-to-back wins over Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou. Save a slick kimura from guard attempt by Hall, the opening frame was absolutely dominated by the smart ground work of Sweet Sassy Moo-sassy (nickname pending), who nearly finished Hall with an arm triangle and rear-naked choke at the beginning and end of the round.
Of course, all second rounds start on the feet, as they say (citation needed), and Hall took full advantage of that, unleashing a jumping, spinning headkick to flying knee combo that was totally ninja, as Sterling Archer might call it. A few follow-up punches sealed the deal on what would’ve easily been the greatest comeback of the night, if not for…
Keita. Nakamura. Ladies. And. Gent. Le. Men.
Winless in his first three promotional appearances between 2006-2008, Keita Nakamura fought and scraped his way back to the UFC with four straight finishes under the DEEP banner. Unfortunately, two and a half rounds into his fight with Li Jingliang yesterday, it looked as if that goose egg would remain in his win column. Nakamura had been dominated on the ground, rocked on the feet, and all around outworked by “The Leech”…right up until he snatched up a rear-naked choke that caused Jingliang to face plant on the mat in one of the most brutal “Did He Died?” moments in recent memory.
Nakamura was awarded a $50,000 performance bonus for his efforts, and improves to 31-6 overall.
In the night’s quickest performance, Diego Brandao tore through Katsunori Kikuno in less than 30 seconds, obliterating the local legend with a pair of well-placed right hands that left Kikuno turtled up against the fence. Not much to take away from this fight, really, other than two things we already knew:
1.) Diego Brandao is deadly in the first five minutes.
2.) Kikuno really, *really* needs to abandon this “leave your hands at your sides and dare his opponent to KO him” style of stand-up.
The full list of results of Fight Night 75 are below.
Josh Barnett def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision
Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi via second-round TKO
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Chico Camus via unanimous decision
Takeya Mizugaki def. George Roop via unanimous decision
Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno via first-round TKO
Mizuto Hirota vs. Teruto Ishihara ruled a draw
Keita Nakamura def. Li Jingliang via technical submission at 2:17 of R3
Nick Hein def. Yusuke Kasuya via unanimous decision
Kajan Johnson def.Naoyuki Kotani via unanimous decision
Shinsho Anzai def. Roger Zapata via third-round TKO