Shields outpoints Akiyama in close fight
Despite some beautiful throws in front of his home crowd Saturday night (or Sunday morning locally), Yoshihiro Akiyama was out-pointed by former number one contender Jake Shields. While Shields did not do much damage with his strikes, his activity made up for it against Akiyama. Akiyama hit beautiful throws in both the first and second rounds but his inability to follow up and lack of striking numbers hindered his chances of winning.
One reason Akiyama was unable to settle in against Shields was Shields relentless takedown attempts set up off his strikes. With Akiyama being forced to keep his hands busy with blocking Shields, he was unable to attack with them. Shields relentlessness was rewarded in the the third as Akiyama missed a trip and found himself in a precarious position as Shields took his back to end the fight.
The win stopped Shields losing streak at two and extended Akiyama’s losing streak to four.
Boetsch roars back to steal victory from Okami
For two rounds, Yushin Okami did everything right in his dismantling of Tim Boetsch. That however, proved to not be enough against Boetsch as the American left the Japanese crowd stunned with a technical knockout of the hometown fighter.
Boetsch entered the third round way behind the scorecards and rather than yield the fight he heeded the advice of corner and laid it all on the line. He stunned Okami in the opening minute of the round and sent the former number one contender reeling with a barrage of powerful strikes that eventually sent the Japanese fighter to the canvas.
With the win, Boetsch remained undefeated in the UFC middleweight division. The loss marked the first time in Okami’s career that he has lost two in a row. While Okami looked fantastic the majority of the fight, his letdown in the third left both him and the crowd stunned and disappointed.
Hioki puts on grappling clinic against Palaszewski
After a disappointing showing in his UFC debut against George Roop, Hatsu Hioki put on an incredible display of MMA as he handled Bart Palaszewski. While the fight was relatively close on their feet, when the fight hit the ground Palaszewski was constantly scrambling to avoid being finished. Hioki made the BJJ blackbelt expend a ton of energy defending submission attempts and superior passing attempts the whole fight.
With the win, expect Hioki to likely be named a challenger for UFC featherweight champion Jose Also.
Pettis blasts Lauzon
In a somewhat fitting moment, Anthony Pettis kicked off (no pun intended) the UFC 144 card with a devastating knockout of Joe Lauzon. Pettis caught Lauzon looking for a legkick and rocked the Brockton fighter unconscious with a wicked headkick.
Pettis will likely now go from the opening fight to the main event in his next fight as he is expected to be the next challenger for his WEC 53 opponent, and new UFC lightweight champion, Ben Henderson.
MAIN CARD (PPV)
- Ben Henderson def. Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (49-46,48-47,49-46)
UFC Lightweight Championship
- Ryan Bader def. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)
- Mark Hunt def. Cheick Kongo via TKO (strikes) at 2:11 of Round 1
- Jake Shields defeats Yoshihiro Akiyama via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)
- Tim Boetsch def. Yushin Okami via TKO (strikes) at :54 of Round 3
- Hatsu Hioki defeats Bart Palaszewski via unanimous decision (30-27,29-28,29-28)
- Anthony Pettis def. Joe Lauzon via KO (head kick) at 1:21 of Round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
- Takanori Gomi def. Eiji Mitsuoka via TKO (strikes) at 2:21 of Round 2
- Vaughn Lee def. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto via submission (armbar) at 4:29 of Round 1
- Riki Fukuda def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,30-27)
- Chris Cariaso def. Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
- (Facebook) Issei Tamura def. Tiequan Zhang via KO (punch) at 0:32 of Round 2