Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action for UFC Fight Night 117: “Saint Preux vs. Okami,” which went down on a rare Friday night (Sept. 22, 2017) inside Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The promotion’s latest mixed martial arts (MMA) card was headlined by a Light Heavyweight fight that saw Ovince Saint Preux choke out Yushin Okami in the very first round (see it). Plus, Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade put on a fight for the ages in a bloody war.
Biggest winner: Jessica Andrade
Andrade talked the talk and walked the walk in the lead-up to her not-so “Brazilian vs. Brazilian” showdown against Claudia Gadelha in the co-main event, as she took it to “Claudinha” early and often. Not one to back down, Gadelha stood tough and delivered some of her own shots while absorbing the bloody punishment. Not only did Andrade take home her win bonus, she got an extra $50K for “Fight of the Night.” In the process, she reminded everyone that she’s still a legit title threat for the division title despite coming up short in her first-ever title fight this year against UFC women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Runner Up: Gokhan Saki
He promised a knockout, and boy did he deliver, flattening Henrique da Silva in the very first round with a vicious left hook which put the Brazilian out. He looked a bit rusty, though, as he hadn’t fought in over two years. It’s something Saki addressed in his post-fight speech. But, with his first UFC win under his belt, Saki can go back and work on his conditioning a bit more in preparation for his encore performance. One thing is certain, though, after delivering on his promise, the rest of the division has been put on notice.
Biggest Loser: Takanori Gomi
Where it all went wrong for Gomi is unknown. “The Fireball Kid” has now lost five in a row, including his first-round knockout loss to Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night 117. The loss will now force Gomi to think about his fighting future, which means we could very have seen the last of the former PRIDE FC champion…at least inside the Octagon. It truly is one of the worst runs we’ve seen from a former champion, and if he decided to retire, it probably would be for the best.
For complete UFC Fight Night 117 results and coverage click here.