Flashback Friday: UFC 25: Ultimate Japan 3 Full Coverage

Today, we take a look at UFC’s third trip to Japan. Most of the card is Japan versus USA, including appearances from Minowaman, Ron Waterman and Murilo Bustamante. 

Frank Shamrock was the previously middleweight (light heavyweight now) champion, however he retired from MMA (for the time being) after defending the belt four times. Looking to find a new champion, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva fought in the main event. From the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan, here’s a full report of UFC 25.

Quick Results:

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Laverne Clark def. Koji Oishi via Decision, Majority

Bout 2: Ikuhisa Minowa def. Joe Slick via TKO, Cut (RD 3, 2:02)

Main Card

Bout 3: Ron Waterman def. Satoshi Honma via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 4: Sanae Kikuta def. Eugene Jackson via Submission, Armbar (RD 1, 4:38)

Bout 5: Murilo Mustamante def. Submission, Arm Triangle Choke (RD 2, 0:31)

Bout 6: Tito Ortiz def. Wanderlei Silva via Decision, Unanimous (UFC Middleweight Championship) (199 lbs)

Full Coverage

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Laverne Clark (9-4) vs. Koji Oishi (0-0) (Welterweight)

In the first of two preliminary fights, Laverne Clark fought against debuting Koji Oishi. Clark’s three appearances in the UFC before were wins via stoppage. It was said on commentary that Oishi was a short notice replacement for this fight. Oishi shot for a takedown right off the bat, with Clark stopping it. Clark stopped many more takedowns. They went against the cage in a clinch, where Clark landed short punches to the body. With two minutes left, Clark started to throw punches. Oishi put Clark against the cage again. Clark flipped the position with just under 30 seconds left in the round.

In the first minute of the second round, Oishi got a takedown. Oishi almost got on the back of Clark on the ground. Clark was able to escape the ground game, bringing it back to the feet. Both fighters were clearly tired, with nothing happening on the feet for a good 30 seconds. Oishi got another takedown with half of the round left. Oishi went into full mount where they traded punches. Clark was able to flip into top position with a minute left. They stayed in this position until the round ended.

Oishi got another takedown a minute into the final round. There was a little time where Clark had the opportunity to do his striking, however he didn’t. Clark was able to flip into top position a few seconds later. Clark landed some punches to the side of Oishi while on top. He kept with the punches to the side for numerous minutes. They stayed on the ground until the fight ended. Going to decision, it was Laverne Clark who got the majority decision win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Clark 9 9 10 28
Oishi 10 10 9 29

Bout 2: Ikuhisa Minowa (12-11) vs. Joe Slick (14-2) (Catchweight 199-lbs)

In the next fight, Ikuhisa Minowa (better known as Minowaman) made his UFC debut against Joe Slick. Slick made his debut in his fight before, winning after injuring his fighter with a slam. Minowa shot for a takedown in the first few seconds. Minowa tried for an odd back arch thing (or maybe it just happened by accident). Slick pulled guard, putting Minowa in a guillotine choke. Minowa escaped, with Slick getting top position after. They stood up with three minutes to go. On the feet, Slick put in a guillotine choke again. Minowa escaped and got a takedown from the clinch. Minowa kept top position until the round ended.

They traded punches to start. Minowa shot for a takedown, not getting it. Slick pulled guard again, trying for a guillotine choke. They got back up in the clinch after the choke wasn’t really secure on Minowa. Minowa got a takedown from the clinch again. They got back up, where Minowa hoisted Slick above his head, throwing him down. While it was flashy, Slick wasn’t really taken down well. Slick got on his back, putting in a guillotine choke again. Minowa escaped the choke, keeping top position until the round ended.

To start the final round, Minowa landed some good punches on the feet. He shot for a takedown, although Slick stuffed it and took top position on the ground in half guard. Slick postured up and landed some punches. He went into side mount before they got up. Slick landed a knee when exiting clinch. Minowa landed a kick to the head. It looked like something, could have been the kick, made Slick start to bleed heavily. Minowa got a takedown, although the fight was pause due to the cut. The cut was severe enough to stop the fight, giving Minowa the win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Minowa 10 9
Slick 9 10

Main Card

Bout 3: Ron Waterman (4-1) vs. Satoshi Honma (5-5) (Heavyweight)

Starting off the main card, Japan’s Satoshi Honma fought Ron Waterman. Waterman had a 1-1-1 record in the UFC before this fight. Waterman opened the fight by getting a takedown. He quickly got into side control. Waterman landed some punches and hammerfist strikes on top. Honma started to bleed around the left eye in the second minute. Waterman got on Honma’s back, continuing with lots of strikes. Waterman landed many knees to the head of Honma before they got up in a clinch. They separated from the clinch as the round ended.

Waterman shot for a takedown early in the second round. Honma walked back avoiding it, landing a kick in the process. They went into a clinch against the cage. A pause came for a moment as Honma’s right glove was slipping off. They resumed in stand-up despite being in a clinch. Waterman got a takedown seconds later. Honma tried for an armbar from the bottom. Waterman escaped, going into side control. Waterman kept top position, landing strikes for the majority of the round.

The final round started with some pretty inactive striking from both fighters. Waterman got a takedown with three minutes left in the fight. Waterman continued to land punches from top position until the round ran out of time. As expected, Ron Waterman got the unanimous decision win. Neither fighter appeared in UFC after this fight. Waterman will be seen in Pride sometime later.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Waterman 10 10 10 30
Honma 9 9 9 27

Bout 4: Sanae Kikuta (12-3) vs. Eugene Jackson (11-3) (Catchweight 199 lbs)

In the next fight, Sanae Kikuta fought Eugene Jackson. It was mentioned before the fight that Jackson was fighting a flu during this fight week. Kikuta walked out in a gi, however he didn’t wear it during the fight. Both fighters wore shoes for this fight. KIkuta was charging forward a minute into the fight. Jackson was throwing punches and backed up, but was taken down as Kikuta was too much to handle. Jackson tried for a guillotine from the bottom. Kikuta escaped, trying for an arm triangle choke for a moment. Kikuta went into full mount, throwing lots of punches and elbows. He went back to the arm triangle, hopping into side control while holding it. Kikuta transitioned into an armbar that made Jackson tap out immediately. Being very dominant on the ground, Sanae Kikuta got a quick win. Kikuta was never seen again in UFC, however he will get booked in Pride FC in the future.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Yoji Anjo (0-2) vs. Murilo Bustamante (5-0) (Catchweight 199 lbs)

In the co-main event, lossless Murilo Bustamante made his UFC debut against winless Yoji Anjo. Bustamante got a takedown quite early in the fight. They got up against the cage a minute later. Bustamante got another takedown with three minutes to go. Bustamante got into full mount, starting to let punches go. Anjo was able to flip the position at take top for a moment before they got on the feet again. Bustamante put Anjo against the cage again. Bustamante got a takedown with under a minute left. Bustamante started to let his fists fly as the round ended.

Bustamante got a takedown early in the second round. He put in an arm triangle choke which made Anjo tap out quick. Murilo Bustamante remained undefeated with an explosive second round.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Anjo 9
Bustamante 10

Bout 6: Tito Ortiz vs. Wanderlei Silva (UFC Middleweight Championship) (199 lbs)


After Frank Shamrock dropped his UFC Middleweight Championship in retirement, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva fought Tito Ortiz. Ortiz tried for a takedown in the first minute, with Silva backing up and landing some punches while evading it. Ortiz got a takedown a few seconds after. Ortiz scored with some punches while in top position. Ortiz was able to hold position for the entire round, keeping with strikes throughout.

Silva dropped early in the second round due to a strike it seemed. Silva shot for a takedown, although it was Ortiz getting top position. He did strikes from top position. Ortiz kept with punches from the top until the round expired.

The second round started slow with neither fighter throwing much in the first minute. Ortiz was landing good strikes. Silva caught a leg kick. Silva landed many punches that had Ortiz hurt. Trying to recover from the punches, Ortiz got a takedown. Ortiz was able to keep full guard on top until the third round ended.

Just like the third round, the fourth round started with a minute of nothing. Ortiz got a takedown with three minutes to go in the round. Ortiz held the position again until the round ended.

After Silva threw a two-punch combination in the first minute of the final round, Ortiz scored a double leg takedown. Ortiz smothered Silva on the ground. Silva tried to escape in the final minute, failing to get out. Going to the judges, all three judges chose Tito Ortiz as the winner, making him the new UFC Middleweight Champion.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Ortiz 10 10 9 10 10 49
Silva 9 9 10 9 9 46

UFC returned two months after this show with UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams. The card from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, featured two title fights. However, before we look at that show, there’s two Pride FC shows to look at. In May, Pride FC held the final rounds of their 2000 GP, looking to find their first ever grand prix champion.

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