by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
Yoshida vs. Josh Barnett
gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida takes on former UFC heavyweight champion Josh
Barnett. Yoshida has a 7-5 record and trains out of the Yoshida Dojo with
Kazuhiro Nakamura. Barnett has a 20-5 record and trains out of CSW with Erik
comes off a stoppage loss to James Thompson at Pride Shockwave 2006, while
Barnett comes off a decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at Pride
fighter has fought since the end of 2006, so both might have some ring rust to
start off the fight. Yoshida is one of the most popular fighters in Japan and
he will have the crowd’s support.
the better fighter on the ground when it comes to submissions, while Yoshida
has the edge when it comes to takedowns. On the feet, Barnett has a slight edge
because of his size and reach advantage.
will all come down to Barnett’s size advantage and Yoshida being a small
heavyweight. He hasn’t fared well against bigger opponents and it will continue
here, Barnett will control Yoshida from the top en route to a decision.
Josh Barnett by decision.
Gomi vs. Duane Ludwig
lightweight champion Takanori Gomi takes on UFC and K-1 Max veteran Duane
“Bang” Ludwig. Gomi has a 27-3 record and trains out of Team Rascal with
Nobuhiro Obiya. Ludwig has a 16-7 record and trains out of Jackson’s Submission
Fighting with Donald Cerrone.
off a no contest with Nick Diaz at Pride 33, while Ludwig comes off a knockout
over Mario Stapel at Ring of Fire 30.
his return to fighting after a year out of the ring. Ludwig was one of the
better up and coming lightweights a couple of years ago, but inconsistency has
held him back from reaching his full potential.
fighter has much of an advantage on the ground, but Gomi is the better wrestler
of the two. On the feet, Gomi is the striker with power and Ludwig is the more
technical and precise.
are going to get in an all out striking battle and it that happens the
advantage goes to Gomi, he will land that big powerful shot that puts Ludwig
out for good.
Takanori Gomi by knockout in the first round.
Misaki vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Grand Prix 2006 champion Kazuo Misaki takes on Shooto light heavyweight
champion Siyar Bahadurzada. Misaki has an 18-8-2 record and trains out of Team
Grabaka with Akihiro Gono. Bahadurzada has a 13-1-1 record and trains out of
the Tatsujin Dojo with Martin De Jong.
comes off a no contest with Yoshihiro Akiyama at Yarennoka, while Bahadurzada
submitted Nathan Schouteren with strikes at Ultimate Glory 6.
This is an
interesting fight between champions and should be an action packed fight. Misaki
is one of the better middleweights in the world and has proved that in the past
is a young and talented fighter that has a bright future ahead of him, but
inexperience against quality opposition might be his downfall. Both fighters
are strikers, Misaki being an elusive technical striker and Bahadurzada being
the powerful striker.
ground, Misaki is the better fighter at submissions, while Bahadurzada is the
better wrestler. Miskai should be able to tag Bahadurzada with shots while
avoiding any punishment and outwork him en route to a decision.
Kazuo Misaki by decision.
Fujita vs. Peter Graham
veteran Kazuyuki Fujita takes on K-1 veteran Peter Graham. Fujita has a 14-6
record and trains out of Japan with Marco Ruas. Graham will be making his MMA
debut and trains out of Xtreme Couture with Ray Sefo.
comes off a submission loss to Jeff Monson at Pride 34, while Graham recently
fought at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in a kickboxing bout.
one of Japan’s better heavyweights and will look to get back on track with a
win over the respected Graham. Graham has recently relocated to Las Vegas and
now has started to train for an MMA career, but he has a big task ahead of him.
the distinct advantage on the ground over Graham, who hasn’t had much time to
prepare for his MMA debut. On the feet, Graham has advantage, but Fujita is
known to be able to take a shot.
look good early, landing several shots as Fujita tries to get the fight on the
ground, but once it does go to the ground, look for Fujita to submit the MMA
Kazuyuki Fujita by submission in the first round.
Takimoto vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos
gold medalist Makoto Takimoto takes on the wild Brazilian striker Evangelista
“Cyborg” Santos. Takimoto has a 4-3 record and trains out of the Yoshida Dojo
with Michihiro Omigawa. Santos has a 15-11 record and trains out of the Chute
Boxe Academy with Fabio Silva.
comes off a decision victory over Murilo Bustamante at Yarennoka, while Santos
was stopped by Gegard Mousasi with strikes at Hardcore Fighting Championships:
had a rough beginning to his MMA career, but has settled into a promising
fighter. Santos has been known for his ultra aggressive style but inconsistency
has held him back as a fighter.
This is a
classic grappler vs. striker match-up.
has a huge advantage on the ground and will look to exploit Santos’ lack of a
ground game. Santos has a slight edge on the feet, but it isn’t by much. He is
an aggressive, powerful striker, while Takimoto has become a technical striker.
aggression will work against him. He will charge wildly with strikes and be
taken down by Takimoto, who will end it shortly thereafter with a submission.
Makoto Takimoto by submission in the first round.
Thompson vs. Fabricio Monteiro
welterweight champion Nick Thompson takes on DEEP veteran Fabricio Monteiro.
Thompson has a 34-9-1 record and trains out of the Minnesota Martial Arts
Academy with Sean Sherk. Monteiro has a 16-6 record and trains out of Gracie
Fusion with Antonio Braga Neto.
comes off a submission victory over John Troyer at Bodog Fight: Thompson vs.
Troyer, while Monteiro was stopped by Mohamed Khacha with strikes at Fury FC 4.
makes his return to Japan and hopes that this time it well goes better then it
did the first time, having lost to Yushin Okami in June 2005. Monteiro looked
to be a promising prospect, but has hit a streak of bad luck, dropping two
the better fighter on the feet and the better wrestler, while Monteiro has a
slight edge in submissions. Thompson is the bigger fighter of the two and will
look to utilize his size advantage.
will dictate the fight on feet and wear down Monteiro before taking him down
and finishing him off with strikes midway through the fight.
Nick Thompson by TKO in the second round.
Kawamura vs. Antonio Braga Neto
Pancrase prospect Ryo Kawamura takes on Brazilian submission fighter Antonio
Braga Neto. Kawamura has a 7-2 record and trains out of PANCRASEism with Yuki
Kondo. Neto has a 4-0 record and trains out of Gracie Fusion with Fabricio
comes off a decision loss to Keiichiro Yamamiya at Pancrase Rising 10, while
Neto submitted Fabiano Astorino at Fury FC 5.
This is an
interesting fight between two prospects, who both have something to prove as
they open World Victory Road’s debut event. There might be some pressure on
both fighters to put on an entertaining fight to get the night off with a bang.
primarily a striker and hasn’t been tested by a submission grappler, but Neto
will be the man to test him. Neto is still somewhat green and this will be his
biggest test to date after easily going through his opponents in Brazil.
didn’t look good on the ground in his last fight, exposing his weak ground
game. Neto will take advantage of that. He will take the fight to the ground
and control Kawamura with positioning and submission attempts en route to a
Antonio Braga Neto by decision.