UFC 144 Results: Vaughan Lee Impressive in Victory over Norifumi Yamamoto

Andrew Barr@@andrewbarr8Correspondent IFebruary 26, 2012

Yamamoto and Lee at the weigh-ins. Photo by Esther Lin, MMA fighting.
Yamamoto and Lee at the weigh-ins. Photo by Esther Lin, MMA fighting.

Vaughan Lee made big waves in the UFC's bantamweight division at UFC 144, becoming the first man to submit Norifumi Yamamoto.

Yamamoto, who is famously heavy-handed, rocked Lee early with a big right hand. Lee showed great composure, however, covering up and avoiding more damage.

Once he had recovered, Lee fired back with a knee that wobbled Yamaoto and followed up with a heavy combination. In a moment of desperation, Yamamoto decided to take the fight to the ground.

It was the right move to make, given his predicament on his feet, but the change in position failed to improve Yamamoto's fortune any. Once on the ground, Lee quickly went for a triangle choke, transitioning to an armbar and finishing the fight.

It was an impressive performance from Lee, as he was able to overcome adversity, out-strike his opponent, and then finish the fight from his back.

The win tonight was unquestionably the biggest of Lee's career and one that should give him a boost up the bantamweight rankings.

Giving merit to the idea that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the biggest win of Lee's career is also the biggest loss of Yamamoto's career. Yamamoto is now 1-5 in his past six fights and 0-3 in the UFC.

Once considered one of the premier bantamweight fighters on the planet, it is looking more and more like it might be time for Yamamoto to walk away from the sport.

Whether Yamamoto fights again remains to be seen, but it's a safe bet that his next fight will not be in the UFC.

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

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