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After The Crossfire – UPDATED – UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs Nelson

Mark Hunt with a crushing right uppercut knocked out Roy Nelson in the second round, staking his claim to the UFC heavyweight title shot conversation at UFC Fight Night 52 in the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

Nelson was knocked out for the first time in his UFC career.

Michinori Tanaka and Kyung Ho Kang earned Fight-of-the-Night honours, while Hunt and Johnny Case earned performance-of-the-night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Welcome back to The Crossfire.

MMA Crossfire

MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman:

Cassie Wiseman

MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman. She is a martial artist with over six years of study. Training primarily in South Korea, the proud Canadian from Roberts Arm, Newfoundland has black belts in Taekwondo, Hapkido, and proficient in Muay Thai kickboxing. Image courtesy Steve Bartlett

 

#14 KYOJI HORIGUCHI vs “THE HEAT” JON DELOS REYES 

UFC Fight Night 52

The referee calls a technical knockout by stopping the fight early from Kyoji Horiguchi’s punches on Jon Delos Reyes. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

WISEMAN PREDICTION: JON DELOS REYES VIA SUBMISSION

WINNER: KYOJI HORIGUCHI VIA TKO

Andrews: Horiguchi went in there like he had a plane to catch and  got down to business, countering a Reyes strike with a counter left and swarming a crumpled Reyes. Impressive win.

Wiseman:  I underestimated the young skills of Horiguchi. There, I admit it. He was wild against Reyes, showing incredible speed, movement, and power. Nothing but business as Horiguchi was able to rock Reyes early in the very first round and get the TKO win. Incredible!

KIICHI “STRASSER” KUNIOTO VS “FILTHY” RICHARD WALSH

UFC Fight Night 52

Richard Walsh lands a punch on Kiichi Kunimoto. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

WISEMAN PREDICTION: KIICHI KUNIOTO VIA SUBMISSION

WINNER: KIICHI KUNIOTO VIA SPLIT-DECISION

Andrews: Richard Walsh should have won this fight. That is all.

Wiseman:  Walsh started very aggressively and rocked Kunimoto several times. Experience certainly helped Kunimoto recover as he would immediately go for the clinch. The first round easily Walsh’s. The problem for Walsh is that he allowed Kunimoto to force the clinch game too much and took his foot off the gas a little. The second round could have gone either way, but the final round Kunimoto was able to score the only takedown of the match. Still a close fight, but certainly one that Walsh could have won had he performed like he did in the first round. Kunimoto showed good cardio as he was able to grind out a win.

#2 MIESHA “CUPCAKE” TATE VS RIN NAKAI 

UFC Fight Night 52

Rin Nakai and Miesha Tate exchange punches. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

WISEMAN PREDICTION: MIESHA TATE VIA TKO

WINNER: MIESHA TATE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

Andrews: Nakai valiantly went the distance, but was unable to land a clean takedown and take advatage of the few times she climbed on Tate’s back. Meanwhile, Tate showed improved takedown defence, while using her striking to pile up the points. I thought Nakai did better than I thought she would, but you need to be a threat on the feet in the UFC, not just on the ground.

Wiseman:  I really thought that Tate would get the TKO finish, but I was still impressed with the growth that Tate showed. Her boxing and takedown defence prevented Nakai from getting things to the mat like she wanted. Tate’s awareness when Nakai had her back and was threatening, fantastic. The biggest improvement was Tate’s technique. Usually rushing in and seeming like wrestling is the only skill setting she has, this Tate version seemed calculated, controlled, and just a completely different league than Nakai. Considering Nakai’s size, I personally wonder if dropping to Strawweight would be an option. She is extremely muscular, but it may be a move that would definitely put her against people more her size.

YOSHISHIRO “SEXYAMA” AKIYAMA VS AMIR SADOLLAH 

UFC Fight Night 52

Yoshihiro Akiyama throws a punch at Amir Sadollah. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Z

WISEMAN PREDICTION: AMIR SADOLLAH VIA SUBMISSION

WINNER: YOSHISHIRO AKIYAMA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

Andrews: Sadollah was a replacement and was coming off a layoff, but this was easily the best UFC Sexyama. He landed beautiful jufo throws and spin kicks. Powerful right hands and jabs that floored Amir. He even brutalized Amir on the mat. Sadollah didn’t have an answer for him. Great win for the veteran Akiyama.

Wiseman:  Given the 39-year-old Akiyama was debuting at 170, he has been out of the octagon for over two years, I certainly didn’t see this fight going the way it did. Akiyama was the best version of himself against Sadollah. His cardio was on point, his combinations, movement, and ability to dictate where the fight went really gave him all the advantages. Sadollah, a very talented fighter, just seemed out-classed. Truly the best performance we’ve seen from Sexy-Yama.

#9 MYLES “FURY” JURY VS TAKANORI “THE FIREBALL KID”  GOMI 

UFC Fight Night 52

The referee stops the fight early after Myles Jury’s damage on Takanori Gomi. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

WISEMAN PREDICTION: MYLES JURY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION

WINNER: MYLES JURY VIA TKO

Andrews: 92 seconds. Fantastic movement combined with picture-perfect precision won this fight in the first round for Myles. He caught Gomi with a right hand that dropped the former PRIDE champion. Gomi tried to make it a brawl, but Myles had other plans.

Wiseman:  

MAIN EVENT

#6 MARK “SUPER SAMOAN” HUNT VS #8 ROY “BIG COUNTRY” NELSON 

UFC Fight Night 52

Mark Hunt looks on after his finishing blow on Roy Nelson. (Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

WISEMAN PREDICTION: ROY NELSON VIA TKO

WINNER: MARK HUNT VIA KNOCKOUT

Andrews: Wow! Give some props to Hunt’s corner for identifying Nelson ducking his head down. Mark planted a a crushing uppercut when Nelson ducked his head down and did what no man has been able to do: Knock out Big Country. Nelson was winning the fight prior, landing more shots and leg kicks. But Hunt landed the equalizer.

Wiseman:  Everyone knew there was going to be a KO finish, but I personally didn’t see it being Nelson with his iron chin. Nelson showed better head movement while in the pocket, but Hunt showed that he is quick to pick up on timing and movements. He set Nelson up perfectly for an uppercut which is how he ended the night. The first person to ever knock out Nelson. A great performance by Hunt.

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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