Last weekend made for an especially full raft of fight results from the regional circuit, hence this week's two-parter. In the final installment, big-show veterans throw down in China and Japan...
TUF: China favorite and eventual runner-up Wang Sai (8-5-1, 1-1 UFC) emerged victorious from his last UFC outing--a unanimous decision win over Danny Mitchell--but nevertheless finds himself fighting outside the confines of the Octagon. It seems that, with his contract up, Chinese promotion Kunlun Fights made him an offer that the UFC wasn't interested in matching. That decision to let him go may imply a thing or two about the UFC's immediate interest in the Chinese market. Sai, however, seems happy to barrel forward: at Sunday's Kunlun Fight 23, he faced Vasiliy Fedorych (17-7-0) and, according to the promotion's Facebook page, stopped him in the first (though it doesn't indicate by which method). Sai has now won two in a row, making for his first win-streak since 2009, when he opened his career with a submission victories. As for Fedorych, his solid overall record belies his current 1-5 slump.
And in the main event of Pancrase 266 in Tokyo, Marlon Sandro (25-6-1, 8-3 Bellator, 5-2 Sengoku) returned to competition, to take on rising featherweight talent Isao Kobayashi (17-2-4), making for the Brazilian's first bout of 2015.
It was in Japan that Sandro first rose to prominence, emerging as a force in the now-defunct Sengoku and capturing the organization's featherweight title. He's been unable to replicate that success in subsequent forays into Japan, however, this past weekend included. Tasked with the younger Kobayashi, Sandro ended up dropping a split-decision. He falls to 1-1 since 2014, having beaten Chris Horodecki last spring. As for Kobayashi, this victory marks a successful rebound from his unanimous decision loss at the hands of veteran Kazunori Yokota.
Also on the card, knockout artist Hiroyuki Takaya (20-11-2, 7-2 Dream, 0-2 WEC, 0-1 Strikeforce, 4-4 K-1 Hero's) made it three wins in a row with his third-round TKO of Guy Delumeau (20-10-3). 14 of Takaya's 20 career wins have now come by knockout, technical or otherwise.
Earlier in the evening, Daniel Roberts (15-7, 3-4 UFC) looked to right ship following a submission loss last September. His opponent Akihiro Murayama (17-6-9) would, however, deny Roberts his first victory of the year, walking away with a split-decision. Roberts is 3-3 since receiving his walking papers from the UFC in 2012.
And finally, former Dream and K-1 Hero's fighter Atsushi Yamamoto improved to 18-8-3 with a split-decision win over Yusuke Kitago (13-10-1). Yamamoto is 3-1 since his last appearance in a major promotion.