Despite a dearth of submission, the UFC’s first venture into China was a banquet for anyone who loves Jiu-Jitsu and a technical ground battle.
In the opening fight of the main card, things started out hot already.
Jon Tuck, making his promotional debut, and Tiequan Zhang, a Chinese submission artist, dove head first into the grappling game and put on a Jiu-Jitsu show in the very first fight on the main card at UFC China this Saturday, in Macau.
And the best part: there wasn’t a single boo as the action played out on the octagon floor.
Wielding sweeps, reversals, submission attacks, transitions to mount and the back, the lightweight Tuck took the unanimous decision to bring his, undefeated, record to seven wins. He did have to escape from an unusual triangle in the first round. While visibly fatigued in the third, the Marcão Oliveira-trained Guam native made it to the end without meeting much resistance.
In the fight that followed, Mac Danzig did well to sink a tight guillotine on legendary lightweight Takanori Gomi, but the former Pride FC defended and hung on to ultimately win by split decision—the most common outcome at the Macau event.
Next up was stalwart South Korean judoka Dong Hyan Kim taking on Brazilian policeman Paulo Thiago. The judo black belt outdid his Jiu-Jitsu counterpart in the grappling department for the entire fight. The Brazilian did manage to ward off the submissions for three rounds and ultimately lost the unanimous decision.
The co-main event saw put his Jiu-Jitsu black belt to work. After offering little offense and even suffering a knockdown in the second round, the Brazilian launched a third-round onslaught on an exhausted Stanislav Nedkov, passing guard and finishing with an arm-and-neck choke.
In the main event of the evening, 40-something-year-old Cung Le put out Rich Franklin’s lights in surreal fashion in the opening round, connecting a nasty counter-punch to the chin.
Cotai Strip, Macau
November 10, 2012
Cung Le KO’d Rich Franklin in R1;
Thiago Silva subbed Stanislav Nedkov via arm-and-neck choke at 1:45 min of R3;
Dong Hyun Kim defeated Paulo Thiago via unanimous judges’ decision;
Takanori Gomi defeated Mac Danzig via split judges’ decision;
Jon Tuck defeated Tiequan Zhang via unanimous decision;
Takeya Mizugaki defeated Jeff Hougland via unanimous decision;
Alex Caceres defeated Motonobu Tezuka via split decision;
John Lineker defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani via unanimous judges’ decision;
Riki Fukuda defeated Tom DeBlass via unanimous decision.