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UFC Japan results and highlights: Japanese fighters go 4-0 on the prelims

Check out the results of the four preliminary card bouts at UFC Fight Night: Saint Preux vs. Okami in Saitama, Japan.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Abe vs Lim Susumu Nagao-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC Fight Night: Saint Preux vs. Okami preliminary card is in the books. Daichi Abe and Hyun Gyu Lim got things started with an entertaining scrap, Shinsho Anzai returned from a long layoff to get a win over Luke Jumeau, Syuri Kondo edged out Chan-Mi Jeon on the scorecards, and Keita Nakamura made it 4-for-4 in Japan’s favor with a win over Alex Morono. Here’s how the fights played out.

Keita Nakamura def. Alex Morono by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) - Welterweights

Not much was happening over the first-half of round 1, but Nakamura hurt Morono with a vicious body kick, as Morono backed up in pain. It wasn’t enough for Morono to go down, and Nakamura didn’t really pursue the knockout. Morono spent the rest of the round mostly searching for the big right hand. Round 2 was mostly a staring contest and meaningful strikes were few and far between. Morono got off a stiff jab and popped Nakamura with it. Nakamura went to the body with his kicks again, but Morono returned fire with a brief flurry of head shots. Early in the third and final round, Nakamura secured a takedown and put the Houston native on his back. Morono did a great job to get back to his feet in under a minute. A straight left from southpaw caught Morono cleanly, and it was perhaps Nakamura’s best punch of the fight. Nakamura had blood leaking from the left side of his face after Morono clipped him with an elbow Another takedown by Nakamura was countered by an unsuccessful Morono guillotine, and he was back to his feet again. Sloppy kicks and punches were exchanged in the final few seconds. Nakamura gets back on the winning track after losing last October to Elizeu Zaleski, while Morono has now gone consecutive bouts without a win.

Syuri Kondo vs. Chan-Mi Jeon by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27) - Women’s Strawweights

This matchup between the 20-year-old Jeon (the youngest fighter on the UFC roster) and highly-touted newcomer Kondo was a glorified kickboxing match throughout round 1. Not a lot of real clean shots landed but both women had their moments. In round 2, a hard right hand by Kondo caught Jeon and her legs buckled for a split second. Kondo poured on the pressure and attacked with more punches and standing elbows. Jeon fought back but was on the backfoot while doing so. The South Korean did well on the counter and was having success with knees to the midsection, but was outgunned by the Japanese pro wrestling star and competitive kickboxer. The high-paced nature of the bout continued into round 3, with neither woman backing down from the other. Kondo buckled Jeon’s lead leg with a hard kick, but Jeon answered with short right hands on the inside. After an inadvertent eye poke halted things for a moment, Kondo turned up the heat and tagged Jeon with several good shots that had her a bit buzzed. A spinning back kick to the body was there for Kondo in the closing stages, and Jeon did emptied her tank trying to land a big shot. Kondo wins in her debut, Jeon falls to 0-2.

Shinsho Anzai def. Luke Jumeau by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) - Welterweights

Anzai drew first blood by slamming home a left hook that stunned Jumeau and forced him to return fire in the clinch. Shinsho threw a couple of knees to the body and briefly put the New Zealander’s back against the fence. Jumeau clipped Anzai with a good right hand as the Japanese fighter was coming forward. Anzai began round 2 with a takedown, but he couldn’t keep Jumeau down, and seconds later Anzai landed another one of his dangerous left hooks. Jumeau was mostly content to counter, while Anzai was winging power shots. Anzai changed levels midway through the round and was able to put Jumeau on his back. Not much was happening apart from Anzai maintaining half-guard and throwing soft strikes. Jumeau was able to get to a closed guard as the ref implored both men to do something. Luke did well to get back to his feet, and he closed the round with a nice pair of right uppercuts.

Anzai looked for another takedown to start round 3, and Jumeau was able to stuff it. The second shot was also unsuccessful, with the fence working to Jumeau’s advantage. Anzai was persistent with the takedown attempts, switching from a double-leg to a single-leg, but Jumeau stopped them all. They each landed right hands, then Anzai went to work in the clinch with knees to the dome. An exhausted Anzai briefly wound up on the bottom after Jumeau reversed him on a shot, and then Anzai returned to his feet. Jumeau connected on more uppercuts to close the contest, but the win went to Anzai in his first fight since 2015. Jumeau loses for the first time in the UFC.

Daichi Abe def. Hyun Gyu Lim by unanimous decision (29-28 x3) - Welterweights

Abe and Lim traded heavy punches (mostly in single shots) throughout round 1, with the South Korean Lim catching his Japanese opponent repeatedly with the right hand. Abe’s shots had Lim’s eyes swelling, as he tagged “Ace” with the left hook often. A nasty eyepoke in round 2 had Abe reeling, and it took him a couple of minutes to get restarted. Lim cracked Abe and momentarily stopped him in his tracks with a well-timed overhand right. The thunderous punch caused swelling on Abe’s cheekbone. Abe switched things up and threw a series of low kicks, causing redness on Lim’s left leg. Another right staggered Abe, as Lim searched for the KO. Abe finished the 2nd with a flash knockdown of Lim. There wasn’t a whole lot of action for much of round 3, but things changed quickly when Abe dropped Lim again with a hard right hand, causing the Korean’s nose to leak blood. The judo black belt tripped Lim down to end the contest. Abe wasn’t able to get the finish, but it essentially won him the fight. It’s a debut win for Abe and a third straight loss for Lim.