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UFC Fight Night 75: Barnett Outworks ‘Big Country’

Markus Schreiber, AP

UFC Fight Night 75 takes place Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The card is headlined by a heavyweight matchup between former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and Ultimate Fighter season 10 winner Roy “Big Country” Nelson. A tilt between two of the most experienced fighters in the division, the victorious big man should be able to catapult himself outside of the “gatekeeper” conversation.

In the co-main event is a matchup between two highly skilled strikers: Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall. Mousasi, former two-division DREAM and Strikeforce champion, stands as the most skilled fighter the TUF 17 runner-up will have faced in his 10-year career. A victory for Hall — easily one of the best prospects to come out of the UFC’s reality show — would do a wonders for an otherwise underwhelming pro career.

The remainder of the card is filled with some of the better MMA talent to come out of Japan in recent years, including former flyweight title contender Kyoji Horiguchi and top-10 bantamweight fighter Takeya Mizugaki.

Results for the card are as follows:

Preliminaries (FOX Sports 2; 8 p.m. ET)

  • Shinsho Anzai def. Roger Zapata via injury TKO (Round 3, 0:47)
  • Kajan Johnson def. Naoyuki Kotani via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
  • Nick Hein def. Yusuke Kasuya via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
  • Keita Nakamura def. Li Jingliang submission (Round 3, 2:17)

Main Card (FOX Sports 1; 10 p.m. ET)

  • Mizuto Hirota fights Teruto Ishihara to a split draw (29-28, 29-29, 28-29)
  • Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno via TKO (Round 1, 0:28)
  • Takeya Mizugaki def. George Roop via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)

Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Chico Camus 

Round 1: The first round didn’t offer much outside of Kyoji Horiguchi’s improved footwork. Darting in and out of range, Horiguchi dictated much of the action. Camus managed to land his counterstrikes fairly consistently, but never had the former title challenger in any sort of danger. Certainly a tough round for any judge to score.

Round 2: Horiguchi came out with a bit more volume in the early parts of Round 2, staggering Camus in the opening seconds. Camus managed to survive the attack, but not without suffering a cut under his right eye for good measure. As the round went on, Camus struggled to offer the same sort of output, but did a solid job in landing counter lefts and rights when available. Using his lateral movement and level changes, Horiguchi likely did enough to steal this round.

Round 3: Prior to coming out for the final round, Camus’ corner told him that he needed the stoppage to be victorious. He moved forward, attempting to follow his corner’s advice. Problem was Horiguchi never gave him enough of an opportunity to capitalize. He went upstairs before landing a leg kick, only to confuse Camus with a feint for a takedown. Horiguchi’s movement was the difference maker in this bout, including the final round. Horiguchi landed a solid one-two before staggering Camus in the final seconds of the bout. Not one to back down, Camus stood his ground and swung back against the young fighter.

 

Result: Horiguchi def. Camus via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)


Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall

Round 1: The first round showed what many of Uriah Hall’s supporters feared: Gegard Mousasi was much, much better grappler. He quickly took Hall down, transitioning from one dominant position to the next. Hall nearly sunk in a kimura submission, but struggled to secure it and eventually gave up his back. Mousasi was close to finishing the bout with a rear-naked choke, but ran out of time as the round came to a close.

Round 2: For obvious reasons, Hall needed to come into Round 2 with every intention of keeping this fight standing. He did just that, allowing himself to find enough time to land a jump spinning back kick to Mousasi’s temple. The “Dreamcatcher” was noticeably rocked, only to find his condition worsen after Hall landed a flying knee. Mousasi dropped to the canvas and attempted to stop Hall from landing any more damaging blows by clasping his hands around the TUF veteran. Hall’s attack wouldn’t waiver, though, eventually forcing the referee to stop the fight.

 

Result: Hall def. Mousasi via TKO (Round 2, 0:25)


Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson 

Round 1: Surprisingly enough, Nelson was the one looking for the takedown in Round 1. He landed two of them, but the second one didn’t come without some stiff strikes from Barnett’s clinch. This fight was quickly turned upside down; seeing as the grappler wanted to strike and the striker wanted to grapple.

Round 2: Again, it was strange to see Barnett be so comfortable to keep the fight standing. Nelson was staggered midway through the second frame, forcing him to lunge in for a takedown attempt that ultimately fell short. The remaining minutes in the round were filled with heavy strikes from Barnett through the clinch. Nelson landed a sound headkick late in the round, but Barnett wasn’t fazed.

Round 3: Nelson opened up the third round by forcing Barnett up against the cage. Both men seemingly tired, neither man seemed to be able to offer much damage from any sort of distance. Nelson looked for the takedown, Barnett countered to create some distance and land some heavy shots while having Nelson pressed up against the cage. It wouldn’t be long before Nelson pushed Barnett up against the cage, often looking for the takedown that never came.

Round 4: Visibly exhausted, Barnett pressed Nelson up against the cage landing what strikes he could from the clinch. He eventually opened up with a series of heavy, heavy blows that offered him no victory. Nelson, along with his iron chin, would not fall or find himself staggered.

Round 5: Barnett opened the round with a spinning back kick to the body, but much like every other shot he’d landed in the rounds prior, Nelson didn’t seem to flinch or show any signs of pain. Barnett started ripping shots to the body as he had Nelson up against the fence. “Big Country” eventually found the trip takedown, but couldn’t offer much offense to keep Barnett on the mat. Both men stood in front of one another as the final round came to an end.

 

Result: Barnett def. Nelson via unanimous decision (48-47 x 2, 50-45)

 

 

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