The Surprises & Disappointments Of UFC Fight Night 52

Masanori-Kanehara Surprises and Disappointments is a column featured on after every UFC event, highlighting three fighters who had surprising performances and three fighters who disappointed. Here were the three biggest surprises and the three biggest disappointments from UFC Fight Night 52. Surprises Mark Hunt  In the main event of the evening, Mark Hunt knocked out Roy Nelson with a brutal second-round uppercut, becoming the first man in the UFC to KO Nelson, and the second in MMA after Andrei Arlovski. Hunt is now 5-2-1 in the UFC and at this point is one of the top contenders at heavyweight despite being 40 years of age. He’s an amazing fighter and I can’t wait to watch him compete again. For his next fight, let’s have Hunt face off against the other man who knocked Nelson out, Arlovski. Masanori Kanehara — In a preliminary bantamweight bout, Masanori Kanehara had a successful UFC debut as he was able to outwrestle Alex Caceres and earn the upset decision win. I thought Kanehara looked great in the fight and I think he makes a very interesting addition in the 135lb division. I’m not sure who the UFC gives him next, but Johnny Eduardo, another vet who recently picked up an upset win, could make sense. Johnny Case — In a preliminary lightweight bout, Johnny Case earned a small upset over Kazuki Tokudome as he came back in the second round after losing the first to rock Tokduome with punches and then finish him off with a brutal guillotine choke that put Tokudome to sleep. It was the best performance of Case’s career to date, and he won a Performance of the Night award for his troubles. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Case, and at this point any lightweight ranked in the top 50 on a win streak makes sense. Disappointments Miesha Tate — Is there a fighter on a decline, yet one who is on a win streak, as much as Miesha Tate is? For the second-straight fight, despite looking very mediocre she still did enough to win, this time outpointing Rin Nakai en route to a decision. Tate did win the fight but I think she looked awful and can’t see how this win helps her case for a rematch against Ronda Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Let Tate fight Holly Holm next, then we’ll see exactly what’s up. Kiichi Kunimoto — In a welterweight bout, Kiichi Kunimoto somehow received a split decision nod over Richard Walsh despite being clearly outstruck in the first two rounds. For some reason two of the judges gave more weight to Kunimoto pushing Walsh against the fence in the second round than to Walsh for hurting him on the feet, and I don’t agree with it. Kunimoto was a favorite heading into the fight but I don’t think he looked good at all, and I think the win actually dropped his stock, strangely enough. Sam Sicilia — In a featherweight prelim, Sam Sicilia was choked out for the second time in 2014 — once again with a rear-naked choke — this time by Katsunori Kikuno. Sicilia was one of the brighter spots on season 15 of TUF but he’s very inconsistent since coming to the UFC. I like Sicilia and think he should get one more fight in the UFC, but he might get cut after lowering his Octagon record to 3-4.

Written by Adam Martin.

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