UFC Fight Night: Saint Preux vs. Okami was the final UFC event of September, and it just had to end with Ovince Saint Preux pulling off another Von Flue choke win. This time Yushin Okami was his victim, and he went to sleep at the 1:50 mark of the opening round. It’s time to call it the Von Preux choke henceforth, considering he’s won this way three times. This was sort of a meaningless fight given Okami was recently at welterweight, so OSP was supposed to win, it’s just nutty to see OSP win the way he does. There wasn’t a single significant strike thrown by either man! Okami shot right away, OSP sprawled, got on top, did his thing, and Okami was out cold.
And to think, I jokingly predicted the outcome a few days ago.
OSP is going to Von Flue choke Okami and MMA will literally shut itself down indefinitely. https://t.co/9sDCdLFaEa— Crucial Mookie (@mookiealexander) September 18, 2017
Overall, this card was pretty good in terms of entertainment value. What it lacked in actual high-level fighters, it made up for with plenty of action on the main card, plus some decent stuff on the prelims. Above all else, the pacing was surprisingly good, but maybe that’s the benefit of the show being just ten fights in five hours.
More thoughts on tonight’s card:
- Wow. It was a slow start for Jessica Andrade, but she beat up Claudia Gadelha from the end of round 1 through the whole of round 3. That was an astonishing performance against the consensus #2 fighter at strawweight (behind only Joanna Jedrzejczyk, of course). She took Gadelha’s best shots, which bloodied her very early on in the fight, and then showed off her incredible strength by straight-up bullying Gadelha. Andrade delivered some devastating body shots, a whirlwind of punching combinations to the head, and Gadelha had few answers other than guillotine attempts. That was tremendous stuff from Andrade, and it really shouldn’t take much for her to get another title shot, whether or not Jedrzejczyk is still the champion.
- The UFC should’ve never booked Takanori Gomi to fight “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim. He shouldn’t have been fighting anyone even halfway decent at MMA. This had a 99.9% chance of ending with him getting hurt/dropped and finished. Guess what happened? He got dropped and finished. I hated the fight when it was announced, I hated watching “The Fireball Kid” get pointlessly beaten up again (in his home country!), and it sucks that this is how his career is ending. I’m really hoping Gomi retires, because this is just hard to watch. Enough is enough.
- Former kickboxing champion Gokhan Saki had a hell of a scrap with Luis Henrique da Silva, as the fearsome Turkish knockout artist dominated the early part of round 1, then looked to be fading badly before unleashing a fight-ending left hook. I suppose the stoppage was a tad early, but watching it live it looked like da Silva was not going to recover from that shot. This fight showcased Saki’s vaunted kickboxing skills, plus some nice takedown defense, but he was also facing a bottom-of-the-barrel UFC opponent, so I wouldn’t even think the idea of him being a contender just yet. That said, he brought the violence, so that’s step one complete. We can work out whether he’s actually going to be a top-level light heavyweight later.
- Teruto Ishihara nearly knocked out Rolando Dy in round 1, and otherwise won that round 10-8, then nearly had his testicles removed through three different low blows. Dy was deducted a point in round 3 after the third shot to the balls, and it essentially cost him a draw. Fun fight, and as an aside, I’m not sure Ishihara and Team Alpha Male are a good fit for each other. It feels like Ishihara should be at a different camp to better mold his skill set.
- You learn something new everyday. I thought Brazilians spoke Portuguese, but if you listened to Todd Grisham, apparently they actually speak Brazilian.
- When Jussier Formiga has your back, you’re probably going to be tapping out. That’s what happened to Ulka Sasaki, who was winning the striking exchanges, but as soon as it went to the ground, Formiga passed his guard, got to mount, then the back, and he sunk in the rear-naked choke for the W. He’s still hanging around as a potential flyweight title challenger, but time is running out for him to finally get that crack at the belt.
- Keita Nakamura took a split decision vs. Alex Morono in a fight where you could’ve made an argument for either guy. Nakamura definitely took round 1 by hurting Morono with a body kick, but then rounds 2 and 3 were fairly tight and not too many great, quality strikes landed. Morono finished nicely by cutting Nakamura’s face open with an elbow, but it wasn’t enough for victory.
- Japanese pro-wrestler and kickboxer Syuri Kondo won a fast-paced, glorified kickboxing match against 20-year-old Chan-Mi Jeon, who nearly busted my eardrums with hear incredibly loud screaming at the end of round 1. Kondo had the better, cleaner offense in my book, especially in rounds 2 and 3, where she had Jeon at least a little bit hurt. Jeon really should be in Invicta or at least going back to the regional scene to develop her skills.
- Shinsho Anzai returned from a two-year layoff to take a unanimous decision over Luke Jumeau in a fight that was kinda sloppy to watch over the last two rounds. Jumeau just didn’t have enough spurts of offense to win on the scorecards, even when Anzai was gassed in round 3.
- Daichi Abe probably ended Hyun Gyu Lim’s UFC career with a fun unanimous decision win, scoring a pivotal late knockdown in round 3 to secure him 29-28 scores across the board. Neither man is what you would call defensively sound, but Lim doesn’t have a good chin, and Abe found it with the fight hanging in the balance.