UFC Fight Night 52 delivered in the wee hours of the morning. From the undercard to the main card, the card from the land of the rising sun gave fans of MMA action throughout.
The card was capped off by a heavyweight tilt between Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson.
It was everything people wanted it to be and more, complete with a walk-away KO from Hunt.
In the co-main event, Myles Jury announced himself as a legitimate contender in the lightweight division. He dispatched the former PRIDE champion in quick order by TKO. He looked phenomenal against a solid competitor.
Four more main card bouts were on the slate as well. UFC Fight Night 52 had a little bit of everything for the audience.
This is a look back at the fantastic card that came your way on early Saturday morning.
Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson
The two heavy-handed heavyweights had a tentative first round, but they got into a few exchanges. It was relatively even. They seemed to be trying to find their range in the opening five minutes more than anything else.
Nelson got a takedown early in the second, but Hunt was able to work back to his feet without issue. Nelson was able to open up more with his strikes, and Hunt appeared to slow down. Slow or not, Hunt still possesses big power and top-level technique. He utilized his counterpunching effectively to touch up Nelson as he pressed forward.
Finally, Hunt landed the uppercut that torched Nelson. The referee saved him from further punishment.
An outstanding KO.
Myles Jury vs. Takanori Gomi
If you were on the fence about Myles Jury, now you are not. He took out Gomi with ease in under a round.
Jury dropped Gomi, followed up with ground and pound and got the stoppage. Jury has silently built a good resume. There is little doubt he is a true contender in the lightweight division. Now it is time for the UFC to book him against a top-five fighter to build a challenger.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Amir Sadollah
Two fighters coming off long layoffs is usually not a recipe for an exciting fight, but on Saturday it was.
Akiyama looked sharp in the first round, but Sadollah was not out of his depth. Sadollah has always been a crafty fighter who can stun his opposition in areas where they are stronger. Akiyama was not able to continually take him down for threat of a submission.
In the second round, Akiyama’s power came out. He rocked Sadollah on the feet and pounced. Sadollah covered up well to avoid getting stopped, but it was the biggest bit of offense in the fight to that point. The clean punches were enough to put the fight firmly in Akiyama’s favor.
Akiyama was in full control in the third frame and rode out the round until the judges rendered their decision. A solid return performance from Akiyama where he battered Sadollah the deeper the fight went.
Miesha Tate vs. Rin Nakai
Tate showed the difference between an elite bantamweight and a one with a padded record in the first round. It was dominance. In the second, however, she got into a bit of trouble by allowing Nakai to take her back. She was able to shrug her off and got into top position.
Once on top, she continued to show her superiority. She got tossed to the ground again in the third but was able to defend easily. Tate has some work to do to avoid these positions against more accomplished fighters, but she was never in any real danger.
This was a mismatch and it showed. A good win for Tate.
Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Richard Walsh
Walsh came out like a ball of fire. He hurt Kunimoto early, but the Japanese fighter was able to quickly recover. However, it wasn’t long until Walsh hurt Kunimoto again and busted him open. Kunimoto showed his toughness and stayed alive in the fight.
Walsh dared Kunimoto to strike him. He sensed he could get the finish, but Kunimoto was able to do enough grappling to survive the first round.
Kunimoto tried to get his grappling going in the second frame, but Walsh showcased outstanding takedown defense.
Kunimoto finally was able to do some successful grappling in the third. He got Walsh’s back, and locked in a body triangle to maintain position while seeking a submission. Unfortunately for Kunimoto, Walsh’s submission defense was on point.
In spite of that performance, the judges gave Kunimoto a split decision win. Highlighting, seemingly on every card, just how poor MMA judging is.
Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Jon Delos Reyes
Horiguchi took it to Reyes right out of the gate. Reyes looked to be a game opponent but when you get rocked the game plans go out the window.
Horiguchi stunned Reyes early, but he was unable to finish the fight. He hurt Reyes again later in the first round, and that time the referee was forced to step in to stop the bout. It was a big win for the Japanese fighter on home soil.
It was a fun way to kick off the main card after a stellar undercard that saw some fantastic fights excite the crowd.
- Mark Hunt defeated Roy Nelson by KO at 3:00 of the second round
- Myles Jury defeats Takanori Gomi by TKO at 1:32 of the first round
- Yoshihiro Akiyama defeats Amir Sadollah by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Miesha Tate defeats Rin Nakai by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Kiichi Kunimoto defeats Richard Walsh by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Kyoji Horiguchi defeated Jon Delos Reyes by TKO at 3:48 of the first round
- Masanori Kanehara defeated Alex Caceres by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Katsunori Kikuno defeated Sam Sicilia via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:38 of the second round
- Hyun Gyu Lim defeated Takenori Sato by TKO at 1:18 of the first round
- Kyung Ho Kang defeated Michinori Tanaka by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Johnny Case defeated Kazuki Tokudome via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:34 of the second round
- Maximo Blanco defeated Daniel Hooker by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC