UFC 144 Results: What We Learned from Issei Tamura vs. Tiequan Zhang

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2012

Tamura and Zhang face off at weigh-ins. Photo taken by Esther Lin and courtesy of bloodyelbow.com
Tamura and Zhang face off at weigh-ins. Photo taken by Esther Lin and courtesy of bloodyelbow.com

Issei Tamura and Tiequan Zhang started off UFC 144 in style, igniting the Saitama Super Arena with a reckless and fast-paced bout.

At the opening bell, Zhang and Tamura charged forward, throwing vicious looping hooks and throwing caution to the wind.

The first round eventually slowed into a bit more of a grappling contest, but the things picked up again in the second, both men again coming out recklessly.

This time one of Tamura's power shots landed flush, knocking Zhang out just 32 seconds into the second round.


What we'll remember about this fight:

Two fighters putting it all on the line, for the sake of the fans.

Japan has a rich history in MMA and Tamura and Zhang honored that history putting on the kind of fight they know fans like to see.

It's been great to see the evolution of MMA over the past few years, with fighters getting smarter and developing better game plans.

That said, sometimes it's nice to see a throwback fight where two men just like hell to knock each other out.


What we learned about Isseu Tamura:

Tamura can take a hard punch, as well as dish one out.

This was his first UFC fight and, based on his strategy tonight, he doesn't seem like a threat to any of the featherweight division's top contenders. However, if he is as entertaining every time he fights as he was tonight there may be a place for him in the UFC.


What we learned about Tiequan Zhang:

This guy may not be a UFC caliber fighter.

This was Zhang's second straight loss, putting him at 1-2 in the UFC and 2-3 in combined UFC and WEC bouts.

Because of his courageous performance tonight, Zhang will probably not be cut, but he definitely needs a win in his next fight.


What's next for Isseu Tamura:

Let's get him in the cage with Leonard Garcia.

Garcia is one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history and always puts on a good show. He is also an experienced veteran and will let us know where Tamura belongs in the 145 lbs. weight class.


What's next for Tiequan Zhang:

Zhang's next opponent will likely be someone else with a losing record, who is need of a win.

Dennis Bermudez and Eddie Yagin are possibilities.


Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8