UFC Fight Night 75 Preview

ufc_fn75The UFC will travel back to Japan this week with a big heavyweight fight leading the way at UFC Fight Night 75.

The main event will feature two of the biggest stars in Japan and two big heavyweight contenders but there will be a more important fight to start the main card.

In that fight two fighters will look to make their way to the UFC and earn a contract after Road to the UFC: Japan.

The reality show followed a similar pattern to The Ultimate Fighter that has brought so many new fighters to the UFC.

This show was slightly different though as it worked its way into the MMA culture of Japan with fighters on the show from all walks of life.

There were young fighters just starting out their career and fighters that had fought throughout Japan’s multiple fighting promotions like DEEP and Shooto.

There was even a fighter who had already found his way to the UFC but had been cut after losing every fight in the top promotion.

It was a chance for eight fighters from a country with some of the deepest roots in MMA to find their way to the UFC and finally achieve something that has never been done by an Asian fighter, winning a championship.

With the Ultimate Fighter: China they looked for a potential champion with the original format while this time they looked everywhere for the best Japanese fighter not in the UFC.

Two fighters emerged from the new format and both are from entirely different worlds showing the effectiveness of the show.

In one corner is the former Mizuto Hirota who earned a UFC contract in 2013 but lost his only two fights in the promotion.

He also had a tough time trying to make weight when he as in the UFC and the combination of all of those things had him cut from the UFC after only two fights.

Now he returns looking to get another contract and make-up for the mistakes that he had his first time around.

In the other corner is Teruto Ishihara who has only been fighting since 2011 and is a 24-year old with plenty of personality.

Ishihara is a young fighter with little experience but an exciting style and an infectious personality that is looking for his shot in the UFC to become a superstar.

Throughout the show he was rarely seen without a smile and always had something to say while he backed it up with his ability in the octagon.

The two fighters are what the UFC was looking for when they began this new show as they were two fighters representing the diversity of the Japanese fighting world.

Both will now face off for a UFC contract in their home country to open the main card at Saitama Super Arena.

Not only are both fighters on the opposite side of the world in experience and personality but they have far different fighting styles.mma-sidebar.fw

Ishihara has a tendency to drop his hands and fight without a guard but still has power and creative strikes to knock out opponents.

Hirota is far more calculated as the veteran fighter tries to pick his spots and also has the power to knock out his opponents.

Neither are well-versed on the ground so expect a stand-up battle but it will be calculated versus free-flowing that will decide this fight.

After one of them earns a UFC contract to open the main card their coaches will close out the main card in a heavyweight main event.

Josh Barnett and Roy Nelson have made their impact on the UFC as Barnett has already taken a title while Nelson seemed like the next man up until he lost to Stipe Miocic in 2013.

Both fighters have made their impact in Japan with Barnett fighting in Pride and Dream before making it to the UFC and Nelson using his big personality to become a fan favourite in the country.

They will face off looking to get back on the path towards the title after recent struggles in the UFC.

Barnett won the heavyweight title in 2002 before moving to fight in Japan and eventually rejoining the UFC in 2013.

He once again rejoins the UFC after a loss to Travis Browne sent him to Metamoris as he hopes to return with a bang in his adopted home.

Nelson was on his way to a title shot before Miocic and after that loss Nelson has lost three of his last four fights.

Both are sitting around the #10 spot in the heavyweight rankings and they will try to move their way up to begin a run at the title.

Neither have any problems taking shots or delivering them in what could be a great stand-up battle unless Nelson decides to take it to the ground and grind out a win.

Although both have a similar skill set, Nelson seems to be on his last legs in the UFC and he won’t be able to stay standing against Barnett who will take the win in front of a big fan base in Japan.

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