Post-UFC Fight Night 75: And the Bonus Goes to…

Diego BrandaoThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in Saitama, Japan last night (September 26, 2015) with UFC Fight Night 75: Barnett vs Nelson. Following the exciting and surprising night of action, the promotion handed out four $50,000 checks to four fighets for ‘Performance of the Night’ honors. And the evening’s award winners were… Josh Barnett earned Performance of the Night honors for his unanimous decision win over Roy Nelson in the main event of the evening. “The Warmaster” lived up to is moniker by going to war with “Big Country” for a full 25-minutes. The two heavyweights exchanged every strike in the book, but it was Barnett landing more shots and doing more damage, ultimately walking away with a convincing decision victory. It was the perfect way for the PRIDE veteran to return from a career-long layoff. Uriah Hall earned Performance of the Night honors for his second round TKO of former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. It was an incredible and memorable come-from-behind victory for “Prime Time” and it makes the top of his highlight-reel. After being dominated by the Armenian through the entirety of the first stanza, he came out strong and landed an amazing spinning back kick at the start of the second round. He immediately followed it with a flying knee, which also landed flush, dropping Mousasi. Hall pounced on the PRIDE and DREAM veteran and started raining his ground and pound. Mousasi was attempting to survive but failed to fight back, and the referee stopped the fight, giving Hall the biggest win of his professional mixed martial arts career, and finally cracking the division’s top 15 rankings; potentially top 10. Diego Brandao earned Performance of the Night honors for his first round knockout of Japanese veteran Katsunori Kikuno, which came at only 0:28 into the bout. Brandao has now won two straight, including a first round TKO (doctor stoppage) of Jimy Hettes. Back to looking like the fighter he was when first entering the promotion, the Brazilian appears to be on fire, and fight fans look forth to his his next Octagon outing; which could come sooner than later, considering the fact that he is asking to fight before the year is over. Keita Nakamura earned Performance of the Night honors for his third round standing rear naked choke win over Li Jingliang. It was a technical submission, as Jingliang refused to tap and went to sleep, faceplanting onto the canvas. After Nakamura got the better of the Chinese fighter in the first stanza, it was Jingliang who took over in the second, soundly outstriking Japan’s Nakamura. It was more of the same in the third and final round of action, as it appeared that Jingliang was going to cruise to a unanimous decision win, if not earn a stoppage. However, Nakamura saw a split second of an opening during a grappling exchange and took full advantage, sinking in the deep choke to put Jingliang’s lights out. It was an impressive Octagon debut for the Japanese fighter, who promises a more impressive performance his next time out.

Written by Gabe Killian

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