UFC Fight Night 75 takes place in Japan on Saturday night and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson
There’s some interesting variables in this heavyweight main event with Barnett returning after a two year absence, while Nelson is coming off a tough run in the Octagon with three losses in his last four fights.
Nelson is unquestionably the heavier handed fighter here, is more durable and will generally pose more of a threat on the feet despite not having a great deal of technique. That’s not to say Barnett can’t be somewhat competitive on his feet, but he’s more effective in other areas.
Nelson also has some skills on the mat, but mostly when he’s in control on top which isn’t somewhere he’s likely to be against an excellent grappler like Barnett. I think we’ll see Barnett take ‘Big Country’ to the mat and work patiently from there as long as it takes to latch on to a fight-ending submission – more than likely later in the fight as his opponent starts to tire.
Josh Barnett to win by submission in Rd3.
Uriah Hall vs. Gegard Mousasi
Less than two months after his last fight Hall is back in action and taking a big step up in competition against Mousasi who’s coming off wins over Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou.
Hall has all the physical tools and potential required to be a significant player in the middleweight division, but doubts remain about his ability to put together a consistent run together against a high level of opposition.
Mousasi on the other hand is far more experienced and on the occasions he has lost it’s generally only been against top-flight opponents. That consistency could be key here and he has the kind of high-level striking required to compete with Hall while also being a more complete fighter overall.
It might end up being relatively competitive, but Mousasi should get his hand raised here.
Gegard Mousasi to win by decision.
Chico Camus vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Horiguchi was pushed into a title fight earlier than was ideal and as with many others he ended up coming up short against ‘Mighty Mouse’, but he’s a real handful for most of the other fights in the flyweight ranks.
Camus is no pushover himself and definitely make this one competitive on the feet, but in front of his home crowd Horiguchi will be looking to impress and his eye-catching style and superior striking power will give him an opportunity to do just that.
Kyoji Horiguchi to win by TKO in Rd2.
Takeya Mizugaki vs. George Roop
Crafty Japanese veteran Mizugaki looks to get back to winning ways against the rangey Roop who’s also coming off a loss.
Roop’s height can cause problems for his opponents as at 6ft 1″ he towers over the rest of the 135lb division and he uses kicks well, but on the flipside he’s defensively vulnerable and he’s not very durable which isn’t a good combo.
Mizugaki has a broader skill-set than Roop and as well as being a more compact striker he also holds the advantage should the fight go to the mat here, so I favor him in this match-up, though he’s never been much of a finisher, so let’s say this one goes to the scorecards.
Takaya Mizugaki to win by decision.
Mizuto Hirota vs. Teruto Ishihara
Two UFC newcomers on show here in Hirota and Ishihara, the finalists of the recent ‘Road To UFC: Japan’ reality show coached by Barnett and Nelson.
Neither man is an earth-shattering talent, but in a fight likely to be contested mostly on the feet Hirota is less reckless in his striking approach than Ishihara and by taking a more patient approach he should be able to outpoint his opponent to clinch a decision win.
Mizuto Hirota to win by decision.
Diego Brandao vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Li Jingliang vs. Keita Yakamura
Nick Hein vs. Yusuke Kasuya
Kajan Johnson vs. Naoyuki Kotani
Shinsho Anzai vs. Roger Zapata