1. JZ Calvancante vs Shinya Aoki
Round 1: Aoki immediately hops on him and pulls guard standing but JZ remains up and brings him back to his feet in the corner. They fall in the corner with Aoki briefly grabbing his back but JZ gets top position and they’re restarted in the center. Aoki is working his normal high active guard as JZ stands in it and lands a couple of punches. Aoki grabs a leg and falls to his back but JZ remains composed despite the leglock danger and peppers the crap out of Aoki’s face before they get back on their feet and into the corner. Aoki again looks for a takedown and wants zero distance. Shinya gets his back standing and locks in the hooks with his back against the post. He’s looking for a RNC but JZ defends, still standing in the corner. Aoki looks to be putting everything into it but he doesn’t have it as JZ continues with professional defense. Aoki, still with his back in the corner, peppers shots before looking for another RNC. We’ve spent about 3 minutes in this position with Aoki peppering shots and looking for a choke. Finally JZ crumples down to the ground, still with Aoki on his back against the corner looking to choke. Aoki locks in a full body triangle with two minutes left as the referee again restarts them in the center. Aoki wanted this to be complete jiu-jitsu and he’s having his way. JZ finally fights his way out and stands over the grounded Aoki looking for his spot. JZ just wants to unload but Aoki’s defense is incredible on the ground. Multiple upkicks by Aoki but JZ isn’t requesting he stand as the round comes to an end. I score this round 10-9 for Shinya Aoki.
Round 2: Aoki again pulls guard and if he continues to control JZ like this it should be a lopsided decision. Aoki looks to grab an omoplata but JZ pulls out and this time is wise enough to make him stand. GREAT flying guard pull by Aoki as he’s telling JZ he has no chance at keeping this standing. Aoki working rubber guard looking for another omoplata but JZ is again able to pull out and look to land before the ref stands Aoki back up. Two minutes remain in the round and this time JZ just tosses Aoki off as he dives in. Aoki butt scoots toward him and JZ plays by diving in with a punch and getting into his guard. Aoki’s third omoplata does the job and puts JZ in a horrible position ready to tap as Aoki lands punches to the back of the head with no warning. Aoki with a full armbar but JZ flips out of it!! JZ, now visibly upset, begins trying to tee off on Aoki’s face but does little damage. I score this round 10-9 for Shinya Aoki and 20-18 overall.
WINNER: Shinya Aoki, unanimous decision
2. Taiei Kin vs Punk Minowa
Round 1: Minowa immediately dives in for the takedown but it fails. Kin lands a couple of kicks as Minowa continues to dive in for the takedown unsuccessfully. Another horrible takedown attempt by Minowa and he’s just eating kicks and looking awful early. Minowa’s 4th takedown attempt is successful as he’s in Kin’s guard in the center. Little action in this position with Minowa throwing an occasional weak punch and Kin basically holding him down. Punk stands over in the guard and gets tossed off and they’re back to their feet. Minowa now 2/5 on the takedowns as he’s back in Kin’s guard in the center. They’re up again with Kin still landing kicks as Minowa’s left leg is turning red. Shot by Kin, knee by Kin, Minowa again with a takedown. This will be interesting scoring as Minowa is doing genuinely nothing but making takedowns and laying there. Three minutes left and Minowa is on top in the guard doing little to nothing. They’re stood as a yellow card is given. Restarted, they exchange shots but mainly it’s Kin landing kicks. He goes in for more strikes and tosses off Minowa’s takedown. Muay Thai clinch by Kin and knees as Minowa is again backing away before landing yet another takedown. Minowa’s legs are a bruised mess and I hope he doesn’t win this round based on meaningless takedowns and doing no damage. The round comes to an end and I refuse to give it to Minowa for those takedowns. I score it 10-9 for Taiei Kin.
Round 2: Minowa starts with another takedown attempt in the corner and successfully gets it. I feel like I’m watching PRIDE 2. After no action they are restarted. Knee by Kin and they exchange shots, with Minowa finally hitting something, before Kin goes for a takedown for the first time and Minowa looks for a guillotine. Kin fights out and lands a few shots and then a jab as they break. Minowa another failed takedown and we’re in north-south with Kin landing half-protected knees to the head. Kin moves more to the side and continues to throw knees and then some punches before Minowa fights out and we’re standing again. Knee, punch, knee by Kin as Minowa again shoots for a takedown and gets knee’d in the head again. We have 90 seconds left and Kin has north-south landing the occasional knee. Standing, Kin with another clinch and misses a haymaker but lands yet another knee. Another failed takedown by Minowa and he’s giving an awful performance tonight. More knees to the head by Kin and there are twenty seconds left. Round is over and the fight is over. I score it 10-9 for Taiei Kin and 20-18 overall for Kin.
WINNER: Taiei Kin, unanimous decision
3. Dong Sik Yoon vs Shungo Oyama
FUN FACT, USA Today had an article with this card and his name was D*ng Sik Yoon. Apparently Dong is not allowed on USAToday even if it’s a name. Dong out to “When Doves Cry” by Prince. It’s worth noting.
Round 1: They feel each other out to start. Dong looks for a takedown and gets it into Oyama’s full guard. Oyama working an active guard looking for a triangle but Yoon fights out before standing and diving back in. Oyama looking for an arm against the ropes but Yoon pulls out and remains in body control now up on his knees in the guard. Dong works to pass the guard and after a couple of attempts winds up in side mount and lands some punches to the face. Oyama tries to fight back to guard as Yoon works for mount. Yoon works over for his back but gets hung up on the ropes and we’re restarted in the center halfway through the round in full mount. Soft punches landed by Yoon, Oyama tries to go to his stomach but Yoon maintains control and keeps it in mount. Yoon doing little damage considering the position but as he goes for an arm Oyama is able to transition to the top. Yoon still winning the round with three minutes left as Oyama stands over him and lands leg kicks. The referee restarts them standing and they’re both cautious in what they throw with one minute remaining. Dong gets the takedown and he’s back in Oyama’s full guard in the center. Oyama works for an arm but Yoon retains control and is standing over when the round ends. I score it 10-9 for Dong Sik Yoon.
Round 2: They tap gloves and we’re underway. Yoon lands a hard shot which sends Oyama to the ground but he backflips and we’re back to standing. That was interesting. Yoon with a mediocre superman punch and now we’re on the ground with Oyama having a head triangle but Yoon recovers and, standing, sends him into the corner and down. Oyama’s legs are keeping Yoon at bay and stopping damage. Yoon still on top, now in full mount, landing weak punches with two minutes left. Yoon still in control and still not doing much damage with full mount and there is one minute left. Yoon gets high in his mount and starts teeing off on Oyama’s head as he has no defense for it. Yoon is going for the finish but it doesn’t look like he’ll have the power or time. Oyama spins out looking for a leg but the bell rings and the fight is over. I score it 10-9 for Dong Sik Yoon and the fight 20-18 for Yoon.
WINNER: Dong Sik Yoon, unanimous decision
4. Magomed Sultanakhmedov vs Zelg Galesic
Zelg Galesic out to Linkin Park. This stuff never ceases to amuse me.
Round 1: They touch gloves and we’re underway. Zelg charges hard with shots but Magomed immediately takes him down to his back. Zelg actually makes a sweep and gets on top, I’m shocked. Magomed working for a guillotine and gets full guard but Zelg pushes his head out. Magomed looks for an arm which allows Zelg a chance at an arm and the fight is over. That was very fast action.
WINNER: Zelg Galesic, submission (armbar), Rd1
5. Jacare vs Ian Murphy
Round 1: Murphy with an immediate takedown but Jacare begins working and gets back to his feet, lands some knees to the head, and takes him down to get his back. Beginning of the end as Jacare grabs an arm against the ropes and looks to end it. He puts the legs over and gets a body triangle before taking Murphy’s back and slamming punches into his temple. Jacare retains back control and continues to land punches while trying to flatten him out. Murphy already looks defeated on his stomach just trying to cover his head while Jacare looks for a hole to punch into. You hear “fight back” from the corner as Jacare continues to measure Murphy with shots and gets a RNC in as Murphy taps.
WINNER: Jacare, submission (RNC), Rd1
6. Kiyoshi Tamura vs Masakatsu Funaki
Round 1: Tamura throws two strikes to start. Funaki with a nice knee but misses a high kick. Leg kick by Funaki, jab by Funaki, but a nice response shot by Tamura. Multiple shots by Tamura send Funaki down and five straight shots on the ground lead the ref to stop the fight. Funaki needs to go back in time and not come back.
WINNER: Kiyoshi Tamura, TKO (strikes), Rd1
7. Denis Kang vs Gegard Mousasi
Round 1: They throw wildly to start and Kang gets a big takedown by the ropes. Kang turns him toward the center and is in half guard. Mousasi smacks him in the back of the head a few times, which apparently isn’t illegal since it’s happened multiple times tonight. Kang with a shoulder butt, still in half guard, and he’s looking to pass. Now Kang looking for a Kimura but taking knees to the face by Mousasi. Kang knows the knees aren’t connecting and keeps working for the Kimura as he stays in position but Mousasi works his way out of it at the present time. Kang back up, eats an up kick, and looks for a way to get back in. Kang dives down into a triangle choke and taps out. Wow, what a horrible performance.
WINNER: Gegard Mousasi, submission (triangle choke), Rd1
8. Kazushi Sakuraba vs Nakahara Andrews
Round 1: Saku starts with a missed kick to the torso and a missed leg kick. Saku goes for the takedown and grabs a leg into the corner while Nakahara starts punching away. Saku trying hard for the takedown but just can’t get it yet as Nakahara gets him against the ropes. Nakahara gets him against the ropes and immediately the ref restarts them. What? That’s fishy. That’s happened a few times tonight and the referee hasn’t done that. In the center, Saku gets a body kick and then on the next exchange complains of a groin shot I didn’t see. Replay shows a hard shot between the legs (completely accidental) by Andrews as both threw kicks. We have a short stoppage as Saku composes himself. Saku shoots and fails on the restart. High kick by Andrews and Saku fails again with a takedown. Feels like I’m watching a Nishijima fight. People figured Saku would stand for a bit but he wants none of it. Horrible, slow takedown attempt by Saku fails and Andrews has him up against the ropes and gives him knees. The ref restarts them in the center. They feel each other out, Saku goes for another takedown and this time gets it. Andrews hops right back up with great defense and they’re pressed against the corner. Saku again looking for a takedown but Andrews with great defense but eventually gets taken down. Saku on top, Andrews with good leg defense and pops right back up. Saku with another shot and gets another takedown into Andrews’ guard. Andrews shoves him off but Saku gets into side mount with it. Slowly working up, Saku is holding him down and looking for an arm. Saku peppers shots to the head and body looking for an arm before grabbing his back when Andrews tries to get up. Saku working hard for the RNC and Andrew taps with 1:30 left in the round.
WINNER: Kazushi Sakuraba, submission (RNC), Rd1