Okami Decisions Lister at UFC 92; Hamill Stops Andy

By Brian Knapp Dec 28, 2008
Yushin Okami may not have earned any style points with his latest effort, but he reaffirmed his place among the world’s premier middleweights.

In his first appearance in nine months, Okami cruised to a unanimous decision victory against the one-dimensional Dean Lister at UFC 92 “The Ultimate 2008” on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges gave the Japanese standout the 30-27 nod in what was, by all accounts, a one-sided affair.

Okami (23-4) posted his ninth win in 10 fights, as he avoided Lister’s feared but predictable submission game and punished him with strikes, both standing and on the ground. When his takedown attempts failed, Lister (11-6) resorted to pulling guard and lying on his back in an attempt to lure Okami to the match, much to the crowd’s chagrin. Boos flowed as freely as the beer.

Lister swung wildly in the third round, but missed his target and looked bad doing so. The 27-year-old Okami dodged the errant bullets, landed when he needed to score and stayed out of danger for the duration.

File Photo

Matt Hamill bounced back
with a win over Reese Andy.
Hamill Blasts Andy, Rights Ship

Matt Hamill rebounded nicely from his UFC 88 defeat to former middleweight champion Rich Franklin, as he unleashed a torrent of ground strikes and forced a second-round stoppage against Reese Andy.

After a sloppy first round that saw Andy open a cut underneath Hamill’s right eye, the momentum swung wildly to one side. Hamill (5-2) and his tomato can fists stunned Andy with punches and a stout right knee from the clinch, forcing the three-time Div. I All-American wrestler to the ground.

From there, the finish was a formality. Hamill unloaded with a barrage of punches, eventually secured back control and finished Andy (7-3) with heavy ground-and-bound. With the International Fight League castoff unable to defend himself, referee Steve Mazzagatti intervened 2:19 into the second round.

Hardonk Hands Wessel First Loss

Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk showed off improved ground skills, as he stopped previously unbeaten newcomer Mike Wessel on second-round strikes in a heavyweight scrap. The end came 2:09 into round two, as referee Yves Lavigne stepped in on Wessel’s behalf.

Based out of the famed Vos Gym, Hardonk (8-4) threatened with submissions off his back in the first round and then escaped from underneath Wessel in the second. Hardonk peppered Wessel with strikes from behind following the escape, mounted his opponent and battered him with strikes from the top.

The 32-year-old Hardonk has rattled off three straight wins since his submission loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 74.

Blackburn Edges Chonan, Wins Third Straight

In a showdown between ambitious welterweights with B-level resumes, IFL veteran Brad Blackburn edged Ryo Chonan by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 29-28 in the American’s favor.

Blackburn (13-9-1) built an early lead against the former Deep champion, as he controlled the first two rounds with superior stand-up and highlighted exchanges between the two with crisp combinations.

Chonan threatened to end the match late, as he staggered Blackburn with a right uppercut with roughly half a minute to go in round three. However, Blackburn survived and notched his third consecutive win in the process. Chonan (15-9) -- whose claim to fame remains his spectacular submission victory against reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in 2004 -- has lost two of his three fights inside the Octagon, both by decision.

Barry Chops Down Evensen

Heavyweight prospect Patrick Barry needed just 2:36 to short circuit Dan Evensen with leg kicks, as he chopped down the Norwegian in his UFC debut.

A protégé of four-time world kickboxing champion Duke Roufus, Barry (4-0) has yet to visit the second round as a professional. He barely broke a sweat in dispatching Evensen (10-4), a one-time Gladiator Challenge heavyweight titleholder who had won four of his previous five fights.

Three thunderous low kicks in succession marked the beginning of the end for Evensen, as he succumbed to Barry’s vaunted strikes shortly thereafter.

Mike Sloan contributed to this report.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>