February 05, 2011
The UFC's newest acquisitions are finding it tough tonight in their new promotion. Michihiro Omigawa dropped his left hand throughout his fight against Chad Mendes and was pounded repeatedly by overhand rights. Mendes controlled the fight both on the feet and ground to roll to a unanimous decision victory, 30-27 on all three cards, in the first Spike fight at UFC 126.
Mendes, fighting out of Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, showed big improvement with his striking and stamina. A former two-time NCAA wrestling All-American at Cal Poly and the NCAA tournament runner-up at 141 pounds in 2008, Mendes sent the message early that he was more than willing to duke it out with Omigawa. Once he softened up the Japanese star in the standup game, the fight was simple.
Walking straight forward, Omigawa (12-9, 0-3 UFC) looked stiff from the start and made for an easy target. The Japanese fighter was also shaking his arms out throughout the fight. He ate an overhand right early in the second and hit the deck. Mendes beat him up on the ground for the next minute. The end of the round spelled doom for Omigawa, who again found himself on his back. He absorbed a huge right elbow to the face. The blow immediately split Omigawa's left eyebrow. He was a beaten fighter in the final round.
Omigawa tried to press forward, but got whacked by several big shots. Mendes scored another takedown. He found himself underneath Mendes for the next two minutes and any shot of pulling off a big comeback went bye-bye.
Omigawa remained winless in the UFC. He fought at UFC 76 and Ultimate Fight Night 12, but at 155 pounds. He had great success back home in Japan at 145 and was brought on board as a possible title contender with a few wins. Instead, it's Mendes, who adds another nice win to his resume. The 25-year-old is now a perfect 10-0 after winning his UFC debut.
Earlier tonight, another Japanese legend Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto lost his debut to Demetrious Johnson.
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