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Poor-formances of the Night: UFC Japan

Markus Schreiber, AP

Hello, Japan! The UFC returned to the land of many eccentricities with its fourth event since returning in 2012. Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett, Japan’s favorite combat sports gaijin defeated Roy “Big Country” Nelson.

The fight itself was pretty good but it was merely capping off a night that alternated between spectacular “what did I just watch?!” finishes and underwhelming “what did I just watch?” non-finishes.

Taking a breather for a few weeks, “Poor-formances of the Night” is back with a vengeance. We recap some of the night’s weirdest moments. The head-scratching, eyeball-rolling, gut-wrenching moments among other things and we’re really excited about all of these (not really). Here is the sixth edition:

 

KEYBOARD WARRIORS
Gegard Mousasi loses it on a Facebook troll following first career TKO loss to Uriah Hall

If you have MMA-addicted friends chances are you’ve seen a Gegard Mousasi impression one too many times. The Dutch-Armenian fighter’s unexpressive façade was likely his most memorable imprint on fans despite his complete MMA skillset — until Saturday night.

The former Strikeforce champion rolled into the fight as the night’s biggest favorite and came out on the wrong end of the highlight-reel combo of the year as he was unceremoniously dusted by Hall with a jumping spinning back kick into a flying knee and punches. It was straight out of a nightmare scenario for Mousasi (and everyone who bet him).

But Mousasi’s night was just getting started. Trolls took to social media to sling dirt on his rather unentertaining fight strategy and one just happened to get a hold of his account as Mousasi v2.0 unleashed quite the s–t storm on Facebook.

(Warning: Image contains NSFW language)

via Gegard Mousasi's Facebook page

via Gegard Mousasi’s Facebook page

Mousasi’s loss definitely pulls him down the combat rankings and his social media game takes a massive hit too. Whether this really was Mousasi having an emotional meltdown — a farcry from his stoic self — or trolls running amok, it’s a lose-lose situation.

 

AND THE WINNER IS… NO ONE!
Road to UFC Japan Finale between Mizuto Hirota and Teruto Ishihara ends in anticlimactic fashion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQULJwEATaU

This fight was like the Japanese version of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar and will forever live on in the UFC Hall of Fame. Jokes aside, Hirota and “Yashabo” Ishihara did engage in a commendable back-and-forth scrap that saw many score the fight for Hirota as the vet outlasted Yashabo in the latter rounds. It was a clash of dynamics as Hirota was the aged vet whose only memorable characteristic was his hair colour while Yashabo was the new age of Japanese fighters: a playboy who trains with other playboys, Team Alpha Male. Hirota had a classic grinding approach while Yashabo used fleet footwork and ranged striking.

None of the narratives mattered as the fight ended in a draw.

It’s Japan; they get more draws than a Brock Lesnar PPV. It was like Hirota and Yashabo were on a five-second tape delay as neither fighter really seemed to care so much about the result. Now for better or worse, there will likely be a rematch between the two and you can hear the collective groan from the MMA audience.

 

FIVE SECOND RULE
Roy Nelson’s mouthpiece flies from his mouth into the canvas… and goes right back in

Nelson

Nelson via AP

Nelson eats a lot of calories, eats a lot of punches and on Saturday night showed that he’ll eat a little bit of octagon. Now mouthpieces, they go traveling all the time. But something about it happening to Nelson just makes it a bit more special.

During the second round of a rather furious exchange between Nelson and Barnett, Nelson’s mouthpiece flew right out of his mouth into the canvas. Big Country wouldn’t let that sucker last as he scooped it right back and into his mouth like a man. Five-second rule.

 

A 20-SECOND TIMEOUT
Roger Zapata injures finger and suffers TKO loss after he seemingly stops fighting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q33nnOx3Txs

Ask any fighter about injuries and they’ll tell you that just about everybody goes into a fight with one or two lingering ailments.

It’s not an excuse, it seems to be a reality. Often times you hear a fighter say they broke a hand, a foot or blew a knee while fighting to justify an undesirable performance. But hey, if you break a finger all bets are off. A hand you can live with, a foot you’ll walk off. And a knee? Who needs a knee? Dominick Cruz has no ACL’s of his own left and he’s fighting for a belt. But Zapata definitely needed his finger.

It was the unheralded opening fight of the night and two rather unknowns, Shinsho Anzai and Zapata went at it when the American felt something weird in his hand. Wincing in pain, he momentarily stopped as Anzai took advantage and hit him a few times when the ref jumped in to stop the fight. And controversy followed as it appeared like Zapata wasn’t really hurt from the strikes. Maybe Zapata should’ve called a 20-second timeout so he could snap his finger back intact.

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