UFC 144 Results: The Top 10 Techniques from the Historic Event
The UFC's return to Japan proved to be a successful and monumental event.
Once the premiere destination for mixed martial arts events, Japan represented a homecoming of sorts to the spiritual motherland of martial arts and MMA.
The contests did not disappoint as a variety of martial arts techniques were on display.
There were wrestling slams, judo throws, jiu-jitsu submission grappling, muay thai strikes, boxing punches, and just about every bit of imagination and ingenuity you could hope to fit in between.
The live Japanese crowd and audiences tuning in worldwide were treated to a spectrum of the wonderful world of mixed martial arts in a memorable event.
This list highlights some of the most singularly spectacular techniques of the event, but that should not diminished the tremendous technique displaced throughout the event.
Heavyweight kickboxing specialists tried not to blink in a short striking match that was determined by momentum from the first significant strike.
Featherweight standouts Hatsu Hioki and Bart Palaszewski put on an outstanding display of knowledge in ground-fighting throughout their tough 3 round battle.
Plus much much more....
Now, in chronological order....
Issei Tamura's Overhand Punch on Tiaquan Zhang
Using a trademark power punch from the world of boxing, Japanese fighter Issei Tamura landed a perfect punch that is a mix between an overhand right and a straight punch.
The blow brutally knocked out his Chinese foe Tiaquan Zhang on impact. Zhang had never been KO'd in his 17-fight career.
Vaughn Lee Armbars Norifumi Yamamoto
Facing one of his fighting idols, Britain's Vaughn Lee was able to use his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills to earn a stunning first-round victory.
Once the fight hit the ground, Lee quickly locked his legs together to threaten with a triangle choke. Yamamoto postured to avoid the finish, but Lee remained latched on like a bear-trap and transitioned to a brilliant armbar that earned the submission.
The legendary Yamamoto had never before been submitted in professional MMA competition.
Anthony Pettis Head-Kicks Joe Lauzon
Anthony Pettis is a striking master who has blended his taekwondo background with muay thai and American kickboxing stylings.
The results are beautiful but devastating.
Facing the always durable Joe Lauzon, Pettis connected his shin on Lauzon's jaw and dropped him instantly. Pettis then followed with some punches on the ground, but the job was already done.
Tim Boetsch Uppercuts Yushin Okami
In orchestrating his inspirational come from behind victory over stalwart middleweight Yushin Okami, Tim Boetsch utilized some original and ingenious uppercuts up against the cage.
Boetsch's relentless assault worked best when he got inside into the clinch and threw right-handed uppercuts that went underneath and around both Okami's guards.
The sneaky uppercuts did the trick and finished the job in incredible fashion.
Yoshihiro Akiyama Judo-Throws Jake Shields
A world-class judo competitor, Yoshihiro Akiyama has some of the best hips in either the welterweight or middleweight divisions.
Despite being a spectacular grappler in his own right, Shields found himself on the wrong end of a couple of brilliant judo throws during his bout with Akiyama.
Quinton Jackson Slams Ryan Bader
Quinton Jackson became an international superstar fighting in Japan. Probably his most trademark move was the slam, something absent from his stateside bouts in recent years.
Jackson promised that he would deliver a slam in his return to Japan, and he delivered.
Bader was lifted up and painfully slammed onto his neck and shoulders. He would recover, but it was the highlight of Jackson's effort in the fight and a treat for all fans to watch.
Ryan Bader Slams Quinton Jackson
A decorated wrestler himself, Bader did not much appreciate getting slammed.
Dedicated to returning the favor, Ryan Bader was able to lift his opponent off the ground a couple of times, displaying his own considerable wrestling power and prowess in the process.
Benson Henderson Upkicks Frankie Edgar
When so many different techniques are allowed in competition, a fighter cannot afford to ever take a break in any position.
This truism has led to the development of very effective upkicks from fighters on their back.
Henderson landed a perfect upkick on champion Frankie Edgar diving into his guard. The strike hurt Edgar badly and drastically changed the course of the round.
It would have knocked out other fighters but we already knew that Edgar is practically indestructible.
Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar's Boxing/Striking
Both championship fighters displayed tremendous heart in enduring lots of fast-paced boxing exchanges throughout much of their battle.
Henderson was particularly effective utilizing his size and reach advantage by mixing in a tremendous jab with other techniques from his robust striking arsenal.
Edgar, as always, was superlative in stringing together and connecting on rapid-fire combinations.
Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar's Total Grappling
The world-class competitors made the most of their time in the Octagon by mixing it up with just about every aspect of mixed martial arts.
Despite a size disadvantage, Frankie Edgar was successful in executing a number of creative and interesting takedowns.
Henderson, in return, escaped any disadvantageous positions immediately, and even latched onto a particularly threatening guillotine choke—his specialty.