On the UFC Fuel TV 8 card held in Japan last night, eight fights went to decisions – all of which occurred in a row starting after the very first fight to kick off the night. Hyun Gyu Lim, Mark Hunt and Wanderlei Silva were the only men able to finish their opponents, and there was no submissions pulled off for the entire card. Despite the card lacking the explosive finishes it was expected to have, it was still an entertaining card and a historic night for “The Axe Murderer”
Three young men made their UFC debuts last night, and established themselves as legitimate prospects in their divisions. Lim started off with a knockout over Marcelo Guimaraes. Despite losing a controversial split decision “Bruce Leroy”, Kyung Ho Kang proved he has the skills to seriously compete in the UFC bantamweight division. Kazuki Tokudome dominated the Brazilian Cristiano Marcello en route to a unanimous decision victory. All men showed in their debut that they possess the ability to hang in the Octagon, and certainly belong there.
Out of the three prospects, the one who lost is the one actually impressed me the most. Kang showed very solid striking skills, tight defense, crisp, straight punches, and a very good wrestling game; he seems very strong at 135 and I think he will do well in that weight class. Caceres is a tough opponent who is well rounded and great in the scramble. It was a tough match-up for a debut, but I think Kang had Rounds One and Two and should have won that fight.
Yushin Okami, Ranhi Yahya and Dong Hyun Kim all used their grappling prowess to earn decisions over their opponents. Kim cruised to an easy decision over Siyar Bahadurzada, Okami dominated Hector Lombard in Rounds One and Two, and despite and rocky third, was still able to seal the deal and earn the split decision. Yahya also dominated Rounds One and Two against Mizuto Hirota, and managed to pull out a unanimous decision after a close Round Three.
Okami and Kim are great at what they do, but their fights are a little boring to watch. Lombard made a bad decision going to the ground with Okami in the third when he almost finished it on the feet, which shows his low fight IQ.
Yahya looks like a forced to be reckoned with in his weight class, but he did gas in the third. He needs to work on his cardio if he’s going to continue to fight the way he does.
Diego Sanchez is Finished
Regardless of the fact that Sanchez pulled out a split decision in a fight many felt Takanori Gomi won, Sanchez looked horrible compared to his old self. He just doesn’t seem to have what it takes anymore and I think it’s time for man to hang up his gloves.
Japanese Legends Prevail
Both Hunt and Silva made their returns to Japan, the place that made them so famous, and both men delivered with impressive knockouts. Hunt knocked out Struve, which puts him on a four-fight win streak, and Silva knocked out Stann, which shows he still has what it takes to compete at his age. It was a historic night for both former PRIDE veterans.
Hunt is literally in the hunt. I want to see him take on Roy Nelson next to see which one falls first; he looked really good on the ground with Struve, so let him and “Big Country” bang it out.
Although Silva proved he can still bang, it’s time for him to hang up the gloves. This would be a perfect opportunity for him to leave on a good note with a knockout win in Japan. He should start thinking about potential brain injuries rather than winning fights. The man is a legend and always will be.