Okami returned to the UFC to replace Mauricio Rua on short notice in the main event of UFC Japan Friday night at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, and Saint Preux had no trouble stuffing a takedown attempt and locking another Von Flue choke in the opening round.
"I pretty much knew the choke was there when he put his hand around my head and I basically trap his glove,” Saint Preux said after his third Von Flue choke win in the UFC. "After that it’s just me locking up and waiting for him to pass out.”
In the post-fight interview inside the cage, OSP said he still wants to fight Rua. Saint Preux and "Shogun" met for the first time in 2014, and he finished the Brazilian icon in 34 seconds.
Gadelha started off connecting the best punches early on, opening a cut in Andrade’s forehead, but “Bate Estaca” managed to get the fight to the ground and land good shots on “Claudinha”.
The second round started and Andrade easily defended the takedowns, landing vicious kicks and punches on the feet. Gadelha threatened with a guillotine choke with seconds left, but Andrade was saved by the bell.
Andrade kept punishing Gadelha in the third and final round, working on the ground and point for pretty much five minutes to secure her biggest win so far (30-27, 30-26, 30-25).
Back to the winning column following a loss to strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Andrade said she will continue working until she gets another shot at the belt.
“I promised to myself that I’d come back more focused and better every fight, and that’s what I’m doing,” Andrade said. “This was a show for you guys, and I hope you liked it."
Gokhan Saki delivered in his UFC debut, but it wasn’t as easy as many expected with Henrique da Silva coming off three straight defeats, including a 22-second knockout in his last bout.
Saki started aggressive and came close to knocking the Brazilian out in the first minutes, but Silva survived the early scare and went for takedowns. Saki successfully defended the takedown attempts, and the Brazilian had no option but to stand and bang.
Silva surprised the kickboxing legend with knees in the clinch in the final minute, rocking Saki with elbows, but got overconfident and threw a high kick, getting knocked out with a counter left hand with 15 seconds left in the clock.
"This was a big challenge for me,” Saki said after his victorious UFC debut. "People called me crazy, what I'm doing, but I'm f**king happy man. This is my house. I'm back in the Octagon."
Saki admitted that the knees and elbows in the clinch caught him off guard since he was not used to getting attacked like that in kickboxing bouts, but is ready for whatever comes next in his second UFC bout.
"The feeling is back and there is no surprise anymore for the next fight.”
“The Fireball Kid” was finished in mere 90 second, getting knocked down with a right hand and eating punches on the ground, forcing the referee to stop the bout. Gomi’s UFC record now stands at 4-9 with five straight first-round defeats.
Entering the bout coming off consecutive losses to Artem Lobov and Gray Maynard, the young prospect came close to finishing Dy in the opening round, but couldn’t get the finish following a knockout early on. Dy came back strong in the second round, landing the better punches and kicks.
The third round started and Ishihara once again came up short with takedown attempts, but Dy ended up landing a third low blow that forced the referee to deduct a point. In the end, all three judges gave Ishihara the win (28-27, 29-27, 28-27).
"I lost two in a row, but I came back with the victory today here in Japan, so I will survive,” Ishihara said after the bout. "I will come back strong. I can fight anybody."
Jussier Formiga opened the main card with an impressive finish. Competing in Japan for the first time since 2009, the Brazilian stood with Ulka Sasaki for three minutes, getting tagged a couple of times, before he finally went for a takedown.
Once on the mat, Formiga quickly took Sasaki’s back and went for a rear-naked choke, getting the finish with 30 seconds left in the opening round.
“I think it was a great performance,” Formiga said after the win. “I came to Japan to do this.”
The Brazilian gave two opposite answers about a potential shot at the belt, though.
In his first answer, Formiga said he “doesn't want to think about it” even though people constantly ask him about it. Seconds later, he sent a message to UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby: "I want my chance, please."