While Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto is considered to be one of Japan's most popular figures from the past, Japanese judo player Michihiro Omigawa may be the man to carry the torch for Japan in the modern era. He hoped to prove that he could handle the bullish American style of wrestling on Saturday night as he battled Chad Mendes in featherweight action on the UFC 126 undercard live on Spike TV.
Mendes not only proved that his wrestling was enough to control Omigawa on the ground, but his speedy footwork and powerful overhand combinations absolutely crushed Omigawa at every opportunity. Omigawa's lone threat in the fight occurred in the first round as Omigawa nearly latched on a straight armbar from guard, but Mendes escaped. The rest of the fight featured Mendes' quicker footwork and crushing combinations as Omigawa desperately looked for an opening.
Mendes grew tired as the fight entered the later part of the third round, but he secured a late takedown to take the fight to the scorecards. Mendes won on all three scorecards, 30-27.