The UFC’s first TUF season in China is over. Zhang Lipeng defeated Wang Sai to become the first-ever Chinese Ultimate Fighter winner.
But I’m sure most of you don’t really care too much about that. After all, TUF china was a show with a recruitment policy so lax that an 0-0 yoga instructor somehow made it into the cast.
Despite the questionable levels of talent present, there were a few important fights on the card—relevant matches and interesting clashes of styles. Which fights were those? We’re gonna recap them for you.
Vaughan Lee decisioned Nam Phan. It was a fight in which Lee never lost control. His striking was too accurate and too quick for Phan to counter. Lee was able to shrug off Phan’s takedown attempts as well.
Kazuki Tokudome was on the wrong side of a split decision against Yui Chul Nam in what was a barn-burner. Nam nearly finished Tokudome in the first round, but punched himself out. This enabled a stunning comeback from Tokudome in the second round, where he returned the favor and nearly finished Nam. The match was decided in the third round, where Nam wobbled Tokudome with a right hand and landed two takedowns.
Hatsu Hioki vs. Ivan Menjivar kicked off the four-fight main card. This fight was pretty straightforward. Hioki was the superior grappler, and he let Menjivar know it throughout the first two rounds, taking him down and working for a variety of submissions. Menjivar had a glimmer of hope in the third round when he landed a right hand that had Hioki hurt, but Menjivar couldn’t capitalize on it. Hioki took home a unanimous decision win for his efforts.
The heavyweights came in for the next fight. Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan met in the center of the cage and threw leather. Mitrione managed to throw a bit more, however, and ultimately knocked out Jordan at the 4:59 mark of the first round. Here’s the GIF (via @ZProphet_MMA).
The co-main event featured TUF: China welterweight finalists Zhang Lipeng and Wang Sai. In a closely contested fight, Lipeng managed to edge past Sai by less than a hair’s width.
The night’s main event (or morning’s main event since the card began at around 6:30 am EST) was worth the price of UFC Fight Pass admission. John Hathaway and Dong Hyun Kim put on a show. Kim decided to abandon his grappling in favor of brawling. Hathaway was happy to oblige, which for him was a poor decision—a gorgeous spinning back elbow from Kim left him staring at the ceiling. Kim won the fight via KO at 1:02 of round 3. Check out the GIF (again via @ZProphet_MMA).
Here are the complete results:
Dong Hyun Kim def. John Hathaway via knockout (elbow) – Round 3, 1:02
Zhang Lipeng def. Wang Sai via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
Matt Mitrione def. Shawn Jordan via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:59
Hatsu Hioki def. Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Yui Chul Nam def. Kazuki Tokudome via split decision (29-27, 27-28, 29-28)
Vaughan Lee def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Anying Wang def. Albert Cheng via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Mark Eddiva def. Jumabieke Tuerxun via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)