Wanderlei Silva was victorious in the main event at UFC on Fuel TV 8, knocking out Brian Stann in Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena on Sunday.
Silva and Stann engaged in several exchanges, exciting the Japanese crowd. But Silva landed a combination that put his opponent down in the second round, ending the fight with Stann on his back at the 4:08 mark.
“I’m glad to have won here in my home in Japan,” said Silva, who made his fame fighting in the country for years under the Pride banner as the promotion’s 205-pound champion. “I’m proud to fight for you.”
The two fighters traded punches from the beginning of the contest, exchanging numerous flurries at a high rate. Stann connected on two occasions, wobbling his opponent and pursuing him after, but Silva recovered and countered with looping punches.
Silva connected a right hand that dropped his opponent to the floor, but Stann recovered and clinched with him against the cage. Stann appeared to outland Silva in the opening frame to win the round.
The two became more conservative with their approaches in the second round, but Silva landed a one-two combination that stunned his opposition. Stann fell to his back and Silva followed to land punches, knocking him out and forcing the referee to step in and stop the contest.
Following the bout, Silva thanked UFC President Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta for giving him the opportunity to perform in the country where he garnered his popularity.
Stann said he was always a fan of Silva, having watched him perform during the Pride years, and admitted the former champ provided the initial motivation to compete in MMA long ago.
“Wanderlei Silva has always been one of my favorite fighters,” Stann said following the loss. “I’m still proud to put my name on the dotted line to fight him.”
With the win, Silva makes a successful return to the light heavyweight division after spending the most recent part of his career at middleweight.
Hunt knocks out Struve for fourth straight win
After facing some adversity in the first round, Mark Hunt came back to knock out Stefan Struve in the third round of their co-main event at UFC on Fuel TV 8.
Hunt used his heavy punching power to land a walk-off left hook that sent Struve crashing to the canvas at 1:44 of the final round.
The first round had Struve attempting to keep his opponent at a distance with punches and kicks, but Hunt eventually closed in. Once within range, Struve grounded his opponent, advancing to full-mount and landing several punches from top. Hunt, however, persevered and made it out of the round.
Struve began to slow in the second frame, and Hunt took advantage, taking the 7-footer down and working in top position. Struve eventually worked to gain top position of his own, transitioning for an armbar attempt, but he lost the hold.
The third round showed Hunt pushing forward, landing a right hand and following that up with the left hook that finished the fight. Hunt walked off as his foe laid on his back. It appeared that Struve broke his jaw and could not continue on in the fight, forcing referee Herb Dean to put a stop the bout.
“I wanted Herb to take the tooth out of my cheek and continue but then it turned out my jaw was broken,” Struve posted on Twitter following the contest.
With the win, Hunt earns his fourth consecutive win and improves his overall record to 9-7.
Sanchez gets controversial split-decision win over Gomi
To the dismay of the Japanese crowd, Diego Sachez earned a split-decision win over Taknori Gomi in the third main card fight at UFC on Fuel TV 8.
Sanchez’s wrestling played a big role in controlling the fight early on, and judges saw in his favor with scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
The crowed booed the decision as it was read by UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer, as it appeared Gomi had the edge in the striking for the greater part of the fight.
Sanchez, however, earned the win by decision in his return to lightweight, a division he’s not fought in since 2009.
Okami decisions Lombard
Yushin Okami went the distance to earn a split decision over Hector Lombard in their main card fight at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in Japan.
Okami neutralized Lombard’s strikes on feet by bringing the fight to the ground, earning the judges nod with scores of 28-29, 29-28 and 29-28. He improves to 29-7 with the win.
Lombard had a lot of hype behind him before he entered the UFC, but has been 1-2 since making his promotional debut.
Yahya, Kim earn unanimous decisions
Rani Yahya and Dong Hyun Kim earned unanimous-decision wins over their opponents to open up the UFC on Fuel TV 8 main card on Sunday.
Yahya topped homeland fighter Mizuto Hirota with scores of 29-28 across the judges’ panel, while Kim prevented Siyar Bahadurzada from mounting any offense, earning 30-27 scores.
The full undercard results are as follows:
- Brad Tavares def. Riki Fukuda by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Takeya Mizugaki def. Bryan Caraway by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Kazuki Tokudome def. Cristiano Marcello by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alex Caceres def. Kyung Ho Kang by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Hyun Gyu Lim def. Marcelo Guimaraes by KO at 4:00, R2
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