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Yarennoka! Thoughts & Commentary

Fedor Emelianenko cuts easy.  WATCH this FIGHT
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fedor beat Hong Man-Choi. Whoopty doo. I know this isn’t new information but the real story behind Fedor is that the dude’s face is made of Kleenex. He’s been cut in the first round in his last two fights. Choi cut him and made his face look beat up from only a few punches. He was cut by the first punch Lindland threw in their fight. Listen, I like Fedor. He’s a mean man but how easily he cuts is bothersome.

Gilbert Melendez was good but Mitsuhiro Ishida’s wrestling was better.

Melendez, an unbeaten lightweight before the bout, was suffocated by Mitsuhiro Ishida’s wrestling ability. Melendez wasn’t able to let go with his hands because of Ishida’s takedowns. His speed and quickness combined with his wrestling proved to be a deadly combination to Gilbert. Melendez eventually became so afraid of the takedown that he was reaching with his punches. Melendez had his moments in the fight, especially when he landed a big knee in round two, but it wasn’t enough to win him the fight. Ishida was very impressive with his gameplan and his ability to take away Melendez’s relentless fighting pace and slow the fight down. Melendez fought well but not well enough. He will almost assuredly go back to the gym and work on his wrestling and his takedown defense.

Murilo Bustamante got screwed.

How do you control a fight for the first twelve minutes, get rocked once, recover well enough to end the fight on someone’s back and still lose? The only meaningful thing that Takimoto did during the fight was land a wild punch in the second round that rocked Bustamante and left him in a bad position for a few minutes. He weathered the storm, though, and tried for an armbar that eventually lead to him mounting Takimoto and taking his back to end the round. Outside of a two minute period in the last round, Takimoto did nothing. Bustamante mounted him several times in the first, had several armbar attempts, and totally controlled Takimoto on the ground. Even when the fighters were standing, Murilo’s striking looked to be more technical and he landed the more meaningful shots. Judging fights as a whole has its upsides and downsides. Murilo Bustamante got a taste of the downside.

Kazuo Misaki vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama was a fantastic fight.

This was an intense standup battle between two fighters who apparently have some bad blood between them. Akiyama’s bloodlines trace back to Korea which made him a perfect villain for the Japanese hero, Misaki. It’s a known fact that these two countries generally dislike one another so it made for a good atmosphere for the fight itself. Akiyama absolutely floored Misaki with a left-right combination that he set up with a low kick midway through the round. Misaki generally recovers quickly and he did, but not until Akiyama was on top of him landing flush punches to the jaw. In American MMA, the fight would most likely have been stopped. But Misaki did one of the things he does best, and that’s recover quickly enough for the ref to let the fight go on. He eventually worked himself back into a standing position and that’s when he mounted his comeback, knocking Akiyama silly with a left hand a brutal head kick on his way back up from the floor. Disappointing for Akiyama that he couldn’t finish, especially coming off of a nice win over Denis Kang. A win over Misaki would have been a solid notch on his belt, both personally and professionally. A nice win for Misaki, who was coming off of a semi-upset when he was beaten by Frank Trigg at PRIDE 33. This one’s got “rematch in K-1 in Korea” written all over it.

Aoki almost got submitted.

What the hell? That’s not something I thought I’d be saying when I looked at this card. Was it lack of time for preparation because of a last minute opponent? Was he taking Bu-Kyung lightly? Who knows. Either way, Aoki almost got submitted on a couple of separate occasions by tight armbars from a Korean not known for his submission game. What’s even more strange is that Aoki was able to escape these armbar attempts and win the fight with ground and pound. It was a lackluster performance from Aoki but the fact that he still found a way to win when his submission game was not on point is certainly the bright side to this fight.

Mike Russow’s wrestling and ground game looked good.

He controlled Roman Zentsov from start to finish, taking him down with relative ease and moving from position to position on the ground with not much trouble. He eventually was able to submit Zentsov with a nice North/South choke. Unfortunately that’s about all we’ve seen from Russow. I have yet to see a whole lot of other facets of his game but his wrestling and ground game looks to be pretty solid. Let’s hope we get to see more of Russow next time out.

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