By Jaime C. Feal
Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva made a triumphant return to the land where he gained his fame and popularity, as he dispatched Brian Stann in the second round of their main event in Tokyo, Japan. Earlier in the night, Dong Hyun Kim grinded out a decision victory over Siyar Bahadurzada by employing superior grappling and top control. Yushin Okami scored a big win over Hector Lombard, much to the delight of the Japanese fans. The only disappointment for them was when Takanori Gomi lost a very questionable split decision against Diego Sanchez.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.):
Yushin “Thunder” Okami (28-7, 12-4 UFC) vs. Hector “Lightning” Lombard (32-3-1, 1-1 UFC)
Lombard comes forward and just misses with a straight left. Lombard lands with a combo to the body. Okami catches a leg kick and gets a takedown. Okami working in guard, laying on Lombard just like he wants to. Lombard scrambles back up. Nice jab from Okami. Right hand lands for Lombard, then a left. Lombard leaps and misses with a right hook, Yushin takes him down with a nice single leg. Okami on top again, winning the round with these takedowns. Okami with some light striking, passes to half guard. Lombard scrambles back up, but Okami has him pressed against the cage. Lombard reverses the position, but Okami has double underhooks. They struggled on the cage to close the round. 10-9 round for Okami.
Jab from Okami. Lombard still stalking forward, eats a knee. Very nice combo from Okami, staggers Lombard backwards. Another stiff jab from Thunder Okami. Lombard looks tired and lost right now. More jabs from Yushin. Lombard cant connect, missing with his punches. Okami goes for another takedown and gets it after a brief struggle. Okami working from half guard, looking to pass to side control. Good left hook from side control by Okami. Lombard gets mounted by Okami with just under 50 second in the round. Okami not really doing much, then postures up and lands an elbow. A couple more strikes from Okami to close out the round. 10-9 round for Okami.
Lombard comes out very aggressively, and is landing hard for the first time. Lombard landing some good hooks! Okami is hurt and backing up, but Lombard looks tired again. Nice right hook from Lombard, needs to pounce. Okami just retreating, jab from Lombard. Good left hook from Lombard, Okami with a knee. Lombard sprawls nicely when Okami goes for a takedown. Lombard on top now in half guard, elbows Okami. Lombard lands a few punches, Okami working to reverse the position but cant. Lomabrd landing good shots again, but he needs to finish Okami. Lombard back in guard, working too methodically. Finally Lombard lets Okami up and the fighters are in the clinch. Lombard breaks free. Lombard sprawls nicely but inexplicably jumps into guard. Just winning this round will not do it. Lombard rides out the round in top control. 10-9 round for Lombard.
The judges score the fight 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 for the winner by split decision Yushin “Thunder” Okami.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs.):
Diego “The Dream” Sanchez (23-5, 12-5 UFC) vs. Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi (34-8, 3-3 UFC)
Nice leg kick from Sanchez, Gomi pawing with the jab. Nice right hand from Gomi. Sanchez circling and backpedaling away. Sanchez scores a takedown, lands some intense ground and pound. Gomi scrambles up, crowd roars in approval. Crowd chanting Gomi’s name. Good combo to the body from Sanchez. Jab from Gomi lands. Gomi lands a knee but Sanchez eats it and goes for a takedown. Sanchez rolls into a kneebar, but Gomi escapes and gets back to his feet. Gomi back to jabbing. Good right hook to the body from Gomi. Body kick by Gomi to end the round. 10-9 round for Sanchez.
Gomi with another heavy shot to the body. Nasty jab by Gomi. Sanchez starting to slow down. Another hard straight right to the body from Gomi. Left hook lands for Gomi, the beloved Japanese fighter. Hood jab from Sanchez, his first offense of the round. Gomi with a good leg kick. Nice right hook from Sanchez, Gomi misses with some haymakers. Right hand from Gomi, sprawls nicely to defend the takedown. Hard inside leg kick from Gomi. Liver kick lands for Sanchez. Gomi goes to town with a combo, Sanchez counters with a body shot. 10-9 round for Gomi.
Front kick to the body lands for Sanchez, but very lightly, more of a defensive kick. Jabs from Gomi, looking to land a big right hand. Inside leg kick from Gomi lands. Good jab fdrom Sanchez. Good punches landing for Sanches now, but Gomi does land a hard counter right. Sanchez misses with a front kick, and a right hand. Hard body kick lands for Sanchez. Gomi sprawls and defends a takedown attempt. Right hook to the body lands for “The Fireball Kid.” Leg kick for Gomi. Sanchez tries to clinch, but is shrugged off. Good kick from Sanchez, but eats a counter punch. Jabs from Gomi, Sanchez misses with hooks. 10-9 round for Gomi.
The judges score the fight 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28 for the winner by split decision Diego “The Dream” Sanchez.
Heavyweight Division (265 lbs.):
Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (25-5, 9-3 UFC) vs. Mark Hunt (8-7, 3-1 UFC)
Struve tries a kick but Hunt blocks it. Hunt lands an outside leg kick. Another hard outside leg kick from Hunt. Jab from Struve. The fighters clinch, and Struve pulls guard. Struve with a nasty butterfly sweep into full mount. Hunt regains half guard. Struve fails on an arm-triangle attempt. Struve back in mount and starts landing bombs. Struve has Hunt trapped against the cage, Hunt gives up his back. Struve rolls to an armbar attempt. Hunt escapes and winds up on top. Good right hand from Hunt. Struve looking to set up a triangle, Hunt shrugs it off. Hunt in side mount, lands a few left hands. 10-9 round for Hunt.
Big left hook from Hunt, Struve handles it ok. Jab from Struve. Hunt lands to the body. Another left hook from Hunt, then with a good right hand. Left body kick from Struve. Jab-jab-straight combo from Hunt. Nice body shot from Hunt. Struve gets tossed down by Hunt, who is working from guard. Hunt passes to side control, lands a couple punches. Struve scrambles back to his feet, then takes Hunt down and mounts him. Struve starting to land lots of punched and elbows. Struve turning it on looking for the finish. Struve tries for an armbar and it’s very sloppy; Hunt easily escapes. 10-9 round for Struve.
Good left hook to the body from Hunt, then a huge left hook to the head. Struve’s head popped back from that shot. Head kick from Struve, both heavyweights looking winded. Right hand from Struve, counter shots from Hunt. Big right hand from Hunt, and another. ENORMOUS left hook drops Struve against the cage, crowd roars in approval. Hunt confidently backs away, Herb Dean tells him to keep fighting. Hunt reluctantly walks in, then Dean changes his mind and stops the fight as Hunt is about to land more bombs on the downed Struve. No complaints from Struve, as he is still wobbly when he gets to his feet.
Mark Hunt wins by TKO at 1:44 of Round 3.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Brian “All-American” Stann (12-5, 6-4 UFC) vs. Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (34-12-1, 4-7 UFC)
Stann coming forward, Silva circling away. The fighters get in a wild exchange, neither landing. Big knee to the body from Silva. Another wild exchange, this time Stann lands some good shots that briefly drop Wanderlei. Brian Stann is bleeding from the bridge of his nose. Another wild exchange, Stann grimaces and lands a shot that connects. Crazy fight so far. Lots of rock ‘em sock ‘em robot action. Good jab from Silva. Leg kick from Stann, Silva with a counter punch. Outside leg kick from Stann. The fighters start scrapping again, each hurting eachother with hooks. Stann is a bloody mess but winds up on top, lands some punches to end the round. 10-9 round for Stann.
Stann charges forward and lands a right hand, only to eat a counter punch from Silva. Outside leg kick by Stann lands well. Good right hand from the All-American. Nice straight right hand by Silva backs up Stann. Much less action this round. Good right hand lands for Brian Stann. Head kick from Silva grazes Stann. More leg kicks from Stann. Silva lands a vicious right hand and left hook that drops Stann flat on his back. Silva pounces and shows his patented killer instinct, knocking Stann out cold with some hard right hands.
Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva wins by KO at 4:08 of Round 2