Yushin Okami woke up looking at the lights and undoubtedly realized he made the same mistake as Nikita Krylov and Marcos Rogerio de Lima.
Ovince St. Preux rendered Okami unconscious with a Von Flue shoulder choke in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 117 headliner on Friday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. A short-notice fill-in for the injured Mauricio Rua, Okami (34-11, 13-6 UFC) went limp 1:50 into Round 1. There have been five successful Von Flue chokes in Ultimate Fighting Championship history; St. Preux (21-11, 9-5 UFC) owns three of them.
Perhaps understanding he was at nightmarish physical and athletic disadvantages, Okami shot for a takedown inside the first 10 seconds. St. Preux sprawled and settled in half guard, with the Japanese veteran clinging to an ill-advised guillotine. Okami was in immediate danger. St. Preux secured the choke, cut off blood flow and waited for “Thunder” to lose consciousness.
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Andrade Handles Favored Gadelha
Parana Vale Tudo representative Jessica Andrade leaned on pinpoint striking and ferocious ground-and-pound, as she was awarded a unanimous decision over Claudia Gadelha in the women’s strawweight co-main event. Scores were 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27, all three judges siding with Andrade (17-6, 8-4 UFC).
Gadelha (15-3, 4-3 UFC) looked like the superior fighter through the first three minutes. The 28-year-old Andre Pederneiras protégé ripped into Andrade with three-, four- and five-punch combinations and connected with a series of standing elbows, one of which opened a cut on the forehead. Late in the round, she ragdoll slammed Gadelha to the canvas, extracted herself from an attempted guillotine and found another gear with her ground-and-pound, drawing blood with a well-placed elbow strike near the left eye.
From there, it was all Andrade. She battered Gadelha with punches, executed takedowns, sprawled into top position and smashed the three-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion with punches, hammerfists, elbows and knees to the body. By the time the second round was over, it was clear Gadelha was on fumes and the fight was essentially done.
Kim Dispatches Shopworn Gomi
Dong Hyun Kim took care of former Pride Fighting Championships and Shooto titleholder Takanori Gomi with first-round punches in a lightweight attraction. Gomi (35-14, 4-9 UFC) succumbed to blows 90 seconds into Round 1 and remains winless since April 26, 2014.
After a brief period of posturing, Kim (15-8-3, 2-2 UFC) sent a lunging straight right crashing into the face of “The Fireball Kid.” The impact sat down and dazed Gomi, leaving him vulnerable to the South Korean’s follow-up attacks. Kim pounced on his fallen adversary, first with punches and then with hammerfists. Referee Steve Perceval had soon seen enough.
Gomi, 39, has lost five consecutive fights.
Dazzling Saki KOs ‘Frankenstein’
Former Glory champion and 2006 K-1 World Grand Prix finalist Gokhan Saki knocked out Henrique da Silva in the first round of their light heavyweight feature. Da Silva (12-4, 2-4 UFC) bowed out 4:45 into Round 1, the Brazilian “Frankenstein” suffering his fourth straight defeat.
In his first MMA bout since July 11, 2004, Saki (1-1, 1-0 UFC) cut loose with accurate, powerful punches during their initial exchanges. Left hooks, right hooks, head kicks and leg kicks all penetrated da Silva’s defenses. The Elite Combat export failed to close the distance and saw his two takedown attempts denied. However, Saki nearly depleted his gas tank in his bid to forge a quick finish. Da Silva trapped him on the fence with knees, elbows and punches late in the first round, as he appeared to have the decorated Turkish kickboxer in legitimate danger. Saki then connected with a sweeping left hook that floored da Silva where he stood and prompted an immediate stoppage.
Ishihara Halts Two-Fight Skid
Team Alpha Male representative Teruto Ishihara put an end to a two-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision over Rolando Dy in a three-round featherweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it for Ishihara (10-4-2, 3-2-1 UFC): 28-27, 28-27 and 29-27.
Dy (8-6-1, 0-2 UFC) withstood a near-finish in the first round, where his counterpart sat him down with a straight left, pounced with punches and unleashed hellacious elbow-laced ground-and-pound. Ishihara could not close the deal. Dy bounced back in Round 2, as he punched in combination and targeted the body with knees and kicks. He carried the momentum into the third but became his own worst enemy. Dy was deducted a point for his third low blow of the fight, all but ending his bid for a comeback.
‘Formiga’ Choke Submits Sasaki
Former Shooto Americas champion Jussier da Silva submitted Yuta Sasaki with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their featured flyweight affair. Da Silva (20-5, 6-4 UFC) brought it to a close 4:30 into Round 1, as he recorded his fifth win in seven appearances.
Sasaki (21-4-2, 3-4 UFC) early on gave “Formiga” fits with his height and length, zeroing in on the body with kicks while firing straight punches upstairs. Roughly two minutes into the first round, da Silva secured a takedown and went to work on the Japanese standout’s guard. He achieved full mount before transitioning to the back and consolidating his position with a body triangle. In his haste to escape, Sasaki failed to properly defend his neck. Da Silva snaked his arms in place and squeezed, prompting the tapout.
It marked the second time Sasaki had been submitted in his 27-fight career.
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