The UFC returns to the home of PRIDE with Fight Night Japan this FRIDAY night. As the main event, Ovince St. Preux gets a new opponent in former middleweight contender Yushin Okami in his return to the UFC. Additionally, we get to see two of the best female straw weights, Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade, bang it out.
The main card starts at 10pm eastern on FXX (wait, what? Not Fox Sports 1?), while the prelims are at 8pm, also on FXX. The early pre-lim fight is on UFC Fight Pass (and trust me, you won’t want to miss that one).
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Now let’s get down to business.
The women’s straw weight clash is a very close fight to call. However, Jessica Andrade ($7,200) is one of the cheapest fighters on the card, which is most likely a product of her opponent rather than her own skill set. Gadelha’s two UFC losses have come against Joanna Champion, and while Andrade doesn’t have the same technical expertise as the champ (not many do), she certainly has more power. Andrade with the upset.
Dong Hyun Kim ($9,100) (not the welterweight one) has a multitude of holes in his game. But the dude throws, throws a lot, and throws hard. Once upon a time this would be a recipe for disaster against someone with the power of the Fireball Kid, Takanori Gomi, but he simply has no chin left. This will be wild and furious for as long as it lasts, but Gomi hasn’t survived the first round in his last 4 fights, and won’t this Friday either.
Gokhan Saki ($8,600) is making his UFC debut against Henrique de Silva, but the talent discrepency is going to be extremely noticeable in the newcomer’s favor. The K1 standout is going to punish the much slower de Silva on the feet en route to an early KO.
The opening fight on the main card pits Teruto Ishihara ($8,700) against the hard hitting Rolando Dy. Both fighters have a similar, all-offense, style, but Ishihara is just better at it. This is another fight that could be fast and brutal, with both men taking their share of shots. Ishihara lands the last one, however.
When you watch Alex Moreno ($8,500), you don’t see a world-beater. But his brawling style is surprisingly effective. His opponent, Keita Nakamura, has shown a tendency to engage in such brawls. Unfortunately for him, “The Great White” is just better at it.
The very first fight of the evening might actually be the most entertaining of the card. Hyun Gyu Lim takes on power puncher Daichi Abe ($7,800) in a scrap that might as well be titled “There Will Be Blood”. I like Lim a lot, but he gets into a barn burner every time he steps into the cage, and against fighters with Abe’s power that does not end well. Abe with the KO to start the night.