UFC 144: Land of the New Rising Son

Victor ChenContributor IIMarch 3, 2012

For those who enjoy my sporadic articles, I apologize for the lapse in recent articles. But instead of digressing on that sour note, let me jump into a quick recap of UFC 144.


Finally arriving back in Japan, the place where MMA roots reigned supreme for almost a decade, UFC 144 showcased a variety of action that pleased many MMA fans.


Now I'm pretty sure that almost everyone who tuned in last weekend focused on the main event fight between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson. But before those two warriors collided, a handful of preliminary fights were simply amazing.


One that stands out in particular is British bantamweight Vaughan Lee who displayed outstanding textbook jiu-jitsu with his armbar win over Japan's own Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto. Vaughan Lee may not be a household name like Kid Yamamoto but with the sport of MMA, no one should ever count out an opponent based just on records or training videos.


Personally, I have not heard much about Vaughan Lee. His record does not seem to be the best in MMA (12-7-1). And going up against Yamamoto in his own backyard in Japan, it appeared to be a long night for the relatively unknown fighter.


But for some reason, I was excited and mesmerized watching both of these athletes inside the Octagon exchanging blows and trying to see who would get the better end of the deal. Yamamoto seemed to be on point, landing 21 strikes vs Lee's 14 according to UFC's strike card. However none of the strikes Yamamoto unleashed seemed to injure Lee at all.


Then almost out of left field, Lee catches Yamamoto with a punch to the temple and Yamamoto goes for the takedown. Lee works from the closed guard into a perfect setup for the triangle.


Yamamoto tries to defend, but leaves his arm in perfect position for Lee to secure a vice grip armbar, submitting Yamamoto in Round 1. This would be the first time Yamamoto has been submitted in MMA.


With three losses in a row, it might be time for Yamamoto to hang up his gloves and make way for a new young breed of fighters like Vaughan Lee.