Bouts have been announced for “UFC Fight Night Japan: Nelson vs Barnett,” and September 27 looks to be a wild evening of MMA action at Saitama Super Arena.
Of course, headliners for the event will be the heavyweight brawlers at the top of the card—Roy Nelson and Josh Barnett.
Fighting out of the U.S. state of Nevada, Roy “Big Country” Nelson is himself a veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights,” which he won back in 2009. He has trained in the legendary Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu system, and holds a black belt in the art. Since entering the UFC octagon as a rostered fighter in 2010, he has been known for his show-stopping knockout punch. However, his 21–11 record reflects UFC CEO Dana White’s sentiment that he is the “ultimate underachiever.” Ranked 11th in the heavyweight division, the 39-year-old weighs in at 119 kg and stands 182 cm.
Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett was a one-time holder of the UFC heavyweight champion title, which he won over Randy Couture in 2002. The California-based fighter has a background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu, and has fought in other MMA organizations such as PRIDE, King of Pancrase, and Strikeforce. Weighing in at 113 kg and standing 190 cm, Barnett is known to submit his opponents with a variety of chokes and holds, but isn’t afraid to get into a striking brawl if need be. The 37-year-old is now ranked number 6 in the heavyweight division.
Featured in the “Co-Main Event” is a middleweight bout that should pack in plenty of power itself: Mousasi vs. Hall.
The UFC’s seventh-ranked middleweight, Gegard Mousasi (37-5-2, fighting out of Leiden, The Netherlands) is known as a strong technical fighter, thanks to his kickboxing background. This veteran of the Strikeforce organization is looking to rise to the top in the UFC, and has the look of a champion. He was originally slated to be facing Brazilian-born Roan “Jucao” Carneiro (20-9, fighting out of Atlanta, Georgia, USA). Due to a recent injury, Uriah Hall (11-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will now be taking the place of Carneiro. Hall is well aware that he can make a big name for himself with a win over Mousasi, which would easily be the biggest win of his career.
According to the UFC official site, the following fights and fighters have also been confirmed:
Rising Japanese UFC star, Kyoji Horiguchi (15-1, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan). The eighth-ranked flyweight recently fought UFC champion, Demetrious Johnson, in Montreal, Canada. Horiguchi will be looking to triumph once again in the Saitama Super Arena. Horiguchi’s opponent will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
A welterweight bout between China’s “The Leech” Li Jingliang (10-3, fighting out of Beijing, China) taking on Japan’s own, “Strasser” Kiichi Kunimoto (18-6-2, fighting out of Osaka, Japan), who has won three out of his last four fights.
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (18-6, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan) vs Matt Hobar “The Crowbar” (9-3, fighting out of Dallas, TX, USA). Once compared to Bruce Lee, Yamamoto has an incredible 13 wins by knockouts; he will be looking to continue this form against Hobar, who has been wrestling from the age of four.
The event will also feature the finale of the “Road to UFC: Japan” TV series. For “Road to UFC: Japan,” eight of Japan’s toughest featherweights (up to 66.3 kg) have been chosen by the UFC organization to train in Las Vegas, the home of UFC, all for a shot at a contract as a professional fighter with the world’s top MMA league—and the chance to put their skill, speed, and toughness on display at Saitama Super Arena on September 27.
UFC Fight Night Japan: Nelson vs Barnett
Where: Saitama Super Arena
When: Sunday, September 27
Doors open at 8 am
Opening fight 8:30 am
Main event opening ceremony 9:00 am
Main event 11:00 am
Buy Your Tickets Now!
To purchase tickets to the event, go to ufc.tokyoweekender.com, the exclusive English-language ticket portal for “UFC Fight Night Japan: Nelson vs Barnett.”
Tune in to “Road to UFC: Japan”
Channel: TV Tokyo (Kanto Local) | Every Monday 25:00–25:30
First Episode: Monday, July 6
Channel: BS Japan | Every Saturday 24:00–24:30
First Episode: Saturday, July 11