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UFC Fight Night 75 Main Card Preview: Can Nelson Avoid Being Knocked Out in Japan Again?

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The UFC returns to the Saitama Super Arena in Japan with an action packed card being headlined by heavy handed heavy weights as the #12 ranked Roy “Big Country” Nelson (20-11) takes on submission ace and former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current #6 ranked “The Warmaster” Josh Barnett (33-7). The pair will clash in the main event of UFC Fight Night 75.  Then in the Co-Main event #6 ranked middleweight Gegard Mousassi (37-5-2) will face off with The Ultimate Fighter 17 runner-up Uriah Hall (11-5).

Starting off the main card will be a Featherweight clash between Former DEEP Lightweight Champion Mizuto Hirota (17-7-1) and Teruto Ishihara (7-2-1). Ishihara will be making his UFC debut on the main card in a well known Japanese Arena, while welcoming him in the cage will be the returning Hirota who went 0-2 in his first stint in the UFC. Mizuto dropped bouts to Rodrigo Damm and Rani Yahya in his first go round but is 3-0 since his departure. The pair will be the final fight to determine The Road to the UFC: Japan Featherweight Champion.

Then another former DEEP Lightweight Champion Katsunori Kikuno (23-7-2) takes on The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner Diego Brandao (19-10) in the second straight featherweight bout of the night. Kikuno is 2-2 in his current UFC run and will look to bounce back from a first round knockout loss to Kevin Souza at UFC Fight night 62. Brandao will look to win his second straight after a TKO win over Jimy Hettes at UFC on Fox 15.

Will the 17 Zuffa fight veteran Takuya Mizugaki’s (20-9-2) career with the organization end? He will take on the 13 Zuffa fight veteran George Roop (15-11-1) who is also on the verge of being sent to the regional fight scene. With a loss bantamweights Mizugaki will be dropped to 0-3 in his last 3 and Roop to 1-3 in his last four. Somewhat of a “loser leaves town feel” from two men that have 30 combined Luffa fights between them from the WEC and the UFC.

Fresh off a failed UFC Flyweight Title attempt against Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and having suffered the latest loss in UFC history at UFC 186 at 4:59 of Round 5, Kyoji Horiguchi (15-2) will look to get back to his winning ways Saturday. Kyoto will face Chico Camus (14-6-1) who made his Flyweight debut in November with a split-decision win over Brad “One Punch” Pickett at UFC Fight Night 57. Before losing to Mighty Mouse, Horiguchi rode a 9 fight winning streak, a streak he will look to start again Saturday night.

The Co-Main event follows as former Dream Middle and Light Heavyweight Champion and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi (37-5-1) looks to win his 3rd fight in 2015 when he takes on Jamaican Kickboxer Uriah Hall (11-5). Gerard TKO’d legend, Dan Henderson in the first round at UFC on Fox 14 and received a unanimous decision nod at UFC Fight Night 66 over #12 ranked Costas Philippou. Hall has gone 4-2 in the UFC since his TUF run, in his last outing he TKO’d Oluwale Bamgbose in round 1 at UFC Fight Night 73.

Closing out the show will be as listed Roy Nelson (20-11) taking on the 6’3 Metamoris Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett (33-7). Barnett was riding an 8 fight winning streak until current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier derailed it in their Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final in 2012 via Unanimous Decision. Since coming back to the UFC he has gone 1-1 with a controversial TKO win in the first round over former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir at UFC 164, and lost in his last outing to the #5 ranked Travis Browne via first round TKO at UFC 168. Nelson is skating on thin ice as he is 1-4 in his last 5 and has lost back-to-back contests to Mark Hunt via second round knockout at UFC Fight Night 52 (Nelson’s last appearance in the Saitama Super Arena) and he dropped a unanimous decision to #8 ranked Alistair Overeem at UFC 185. If Roy Nelson loses Saturday night he may be looking at a Bellator contract in his near future.

 

 

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.