UFC Fight Night Japan Nelson vs Barnett Recap

Sunday September 27, 2015– Live from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Japan the UFC rocked the house with the super heavyweight main event between Roy Nelson (21-11) and Josh Barnett (33-7). The co main event was a Middleweight bout between the former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi (37-5-2) vs Uriah Hall (12-5). With the UFC finally making its long-awaited return to Japan they stacked the card with some amazing fights that will leave the crowd begging for more. With 5 prelim fights to kick off the event, every single fight showed true grit and determination. With the victories coming by decisions, submission, and a draw the UFC warriors left it all out there. With the crowd already rocken and rollen from the prelims the main card kept it rolling with some exciting finishes.

The prelim bouts were no slouch, 4 fights to kick off the show. With all fighters searching and in desperate need for a win came out swinging. The first fight ended in round 3 by TKO, Shinsho Anzai (8-2) won after the octagon side doctor stopped the fight due to the dislocated finger of Roger Zapata (4-2). Next fight up was Naoyuki Kotani (33-12-7) vs Kajan Johnson (20-12-1), Kajan pulls out the tough fought victory by unanimous decision. The next bout was in the lightweight division, Nick Hein (12-2) vs Yusuke Kasuya (9-1-2). After 3 rounds Nick Hein won by unanimous decision a tough win that was earned with grit and determination. The last fight in the prelim portion of the card was a welterweight bout with Keita Nakamura (30-6-2) vs Li Jingliang (10-3). After 3 rounds of fighting a late round Rear Naked Choke by Nakamura sealed the win for him. As the Main card begins with 2 featherweights clashing in The UFC Road to Japan final. Mizuto Hirota (18-7-1) takes on Teruto Ishihara (8-2-1), after 3 rounds of straight back and forth bombs the winner of The UFC Road to Japan and the 6 figure UFC contract is… Drum Roll Please,,,,, a DRAW. These two men beat the hell out of each other I can’t say I’m shocked the fight was dead even. The next bout was in the Featherweight division, Katsunori Kikuno (23-7-2) vs Diego Brandao (23-10). Diego comes out swinging for the fences. Brandao lands some deadly shots and just completely dominates Kikuno and gets the win by TKO. Next on the main card is a battle in the Bantamweight division Takeya Mizugaki (20-9-2) takes on George Roop (15-12-1). After 3 long rounds both fighters go the distance, and the winner is Takeya Mizugaki by unanimous decision. Up next as the main card roles on is #7 ranked flyweight contender Kyoji Horiguchi (15-2) taking on #13 ranked flyweight Chico Camus (14-6). Chico’s last fight was a hell of an effort in a loss to Henry Cejudo, and the same can be said for Horiguchi, in his last fight challenging Mighty Mouse Johnson a hard-fought battle came to an end in the last second in the 5th round. After going the Distance the 2 of the top fighters in the flyweight division put on a hell of an effort but Kyoji Horiguchi was on point tonight and earned the victory.

Co Main Event Middleweight Division #6 Gegard Mousasi Vs Uriah Hall (12-5)

The co main event started out fast and furious with a single high leg take down by Mousasi. As the first round went along Mousasi kept his foot on the gas pedal by keeping Hall on the ground and constantly putting pressure on him. After a few submission attempts Hall turned things around and put Mousasi in the Komura arm lock, but with some strong defense Gegard found his way out and continued the offense. As the first round came to an end Mousasi maintained control and won the round. The second round started with a huge bang as Uriah Hall used his spinning back kick to the face that rocked Mousasi and as he fell to the mat Hall followed up with a flying knee and a flurry of punches and that as it. A huge win for Hall proving that he can beat a top 10 contender, and showing he can do it in dominating fashion. Hall struggled early in the fight but with a display of heart and great defense he found his way back into a spot where he can strike and that’s what he did. A huge win for the Fighter from New York.

Main Event Heavyweight Division #11 Ranked Roy Nelson (21-11) Vs #8 Josh Barnett (33-7)

Two of the biggest fighters in the division were on center stage for the main event in Japan. The first round began with some quick action as Nelson and Barnett landed some quick punches, but just as you thought it would be a brawl Big Country lands a take down. As both men were striking for position on the floor, not enough action was happening and the ref stood them up. Barnett back on his feet started to come hard at Nelson, but as everyone in the MMA world knows it’s going to take the whole Kitchen sink to knock out Nelson. After some work in the clinch, Nelson went for and landed his second take down as the first round came to an end. The second round began with fireworks as Nelson tried to work in that big right hand. After a few had landed Barnett changed up his approach and began to unload on Nelson. Some beautiful combos and some deadly elbows that landed on Nelson had him shook as they worked their way into the clinch. As the second round started to come to a close Big Country lands a big kick, but Barnett responded with a couple of blows to that brick of a chin that Nelson has. The third round began with a huge standing ovation from the fans, but as the cheers came down these two warriors went back to work on each other. Working in the clench both men started to show there fatigue. The 3rd round didn’t have very much combat or action as both fighters were in the clinch the entire round. The 4th and 5th round had the same results, as the slugfest continued both fighters wore down. As both fighters went the distance it came down to a Decision victory for Josh Barnett.

With the main event coming to a close the UFC put on another hell of a show. The MMA world got see some amazing stars do work and earn victories tonight. The rankings will change all over the top 15 rankings for every weight division. 146 Significant strikes landed for Barnett a New Record for the veteran, Big Country fought a good fight showed that he is more than just a huge brawler. Nothing but cheers from the great fans in Japan and im sure they are counting down the days till the octagon returns.



Josh Barnett def. Roy Nelson by
unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 50-45)

Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi by
TKO (strikes) IN Round 2, 0:25

Kyoji Horiguchi def. Chico Camus by
unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Takeya Mizugaki def. George Roop by
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno by
TKO (punches) in Round 1, 0:28

Mizuto Hirota vs. Teruto Ishihara
“Road to UFC: Japan” tournament final
split draw (29-28, 28-29, 29-29)


Keita Nakamura def. Li Jingliang by
technical submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 3, 2:17

Nick Hein def. Yusuke Kasuya by
unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Kajan Johnson def. Naoyuki Kotani
unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00

Shinsho Anzai def. Roger Zapata by
TKO (injury) in Round 3, 0:47

By: Rick San Bartolome

(Photo CreditKen:Ishii Getty Images Sport)

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