Josh Barnett outlasted a game Roy Nelson in a grueling five-round heavyweight war at UFC Fight Night 75 in the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Barnett used his dirty clinching game to wear down and pile up the points on Nelson.
The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, and 50-45.
Barnett, Uriah Hall, Keita Nakamura and Diego Brandao all secured performances of the night and a $50,000 USD bonus.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman weighs in:
MIZUTO HIROTA VS TERUTO ISHIHARA
WINNER: MAJORITY DRAW (29-28, 28-29, 29-29)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: TERUTO ISHIHARA VIA TKO
Wiseman: This was a battle which certainly made up for the slow prelim fights. Both fighters gave it their all, and while they gassed early due to the pace, they still kept swinging. I had Hirota connecting more and firing more, but Ishihara would counter with powerful strikes that often put Hirota in dangerous positions. I expected a split with Hirota with a slight advantage win. However, the judges called it a draw. Strange, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
KATSUNORI KIKUNO VS DIEGO BRANDAO
WINNER: DIEGO BRANDAO VIA TKO 0:28 R1
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DIEGO BRANDAO VIA TKO
Wiseman: We know Brandao doesn’t have a deep gas tank, but tonight he didn’t need it. He came into the start of the fight swinging with a bomb, and that’s what he continued to do until he ended Kikuno’s night. Kikuno didn’t stand a chance with what Brandao was throwing. Brandao got in there and got it done within the first minute, not allowing his gas tank to be tested. Smart man.
#8 TAKEYA MIZUGAKI VS GEORGE ROOP
WINNER: TAKEYA MIZUGAI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: TAKEYA MIZUGAKI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: While we were on a roll, this was a fight that ended all excitement. Mizugaki had the superior striking and was trying to fight, while Roop realized that Mizugaki had the superior striking, so he decided to just clinch for the entire fight. It was slightly ridiculous! Luckily, Mizugaki got the win.
#7 KYOJI HORIGUCHI VS #13 CHICO CAMUS
WINNER: KYOJI HORIGUCHI VIA UANAIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
PREDICTION: KYOJI HORIGUCHI VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: While it was expected that this fight would be close, Horiguchi showed that he took his loss against DJ and took it as a lesson. Horiguchi’s striking and cardio were on point tonight. He changed his footing, striking combinations, and his cardio was excellent for the entire three rounds. His most impressive match to date as he tries to show that he is still a future contender.
#6 GEGARD MOUSASI VS URIAH HALL
WINNER: URIAH HALL VIA TKO 0:25 R2
ANDREWS PREDICTION: URIAH HALL VIA TKO
Wiseman: The first round had Mousasi showing that Hall’s ground game needs work. Mousasi limited Hall’s ability to use his most dangerous weapon, his standup. However, in the second round Hall didn’t give Mousasi time to close the gap. He went for a spinning back kick which connected perfectly, followed by a knee that landed perfectly. Incredible change of events which led to Hall with a TKO finish. Truly amazing!
#8 JOSH “THE WARMASTER” BARNETT VS #11 ROY “NELSON
WINNER: JOSH BARNETT VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (48-47, 48-47, 50-45)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOSH BARNETT VIA TKO
Wiseman: This fight turned out to be a full five rounds. Yes, you read that correctly. Both fighters were gassed, but still throwing power. It ultimately turned into a grappling match with Barnett winning more in the clinch. The number of strikes for Barnett as he tried to finish Nelson, were insane. Nelson, being the usual, just stayed standing. A tough fight, but ultimately it came down to strikes which gave the match to Barnett.