On Saturday, March 2, the UFC held UFC on Fuel TV 8 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

The event featured former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva, who faced U.S. Marine Brian Stann in the event’s headlining bout.

In addition to the main event, the main card also featured a pivotal heavyweight clash between hard-hitting Samoan Mark Hunt and towering submission ace Stefan Struve, former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi welcomed Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez back to 155 pounds, top-10 middleweights Hector Lombard and Yushin Okami went to battle, former Deep and Sengoku kingpin Mizuto Hirota faced Brazilian Rani Yahya and Afghan-born slugger Siyar Bahadurzada took on Korean Dong Hyun Kim.

The event featured a total of 11 bouts. A three-hour, six-fight showcase aired on Fuel TV and an additional five bouts streamed via the promotion’s YouTube page.

The main card aired live on Fuel TV starting at 10 p.m. ET. The preliminary card kicked off at 7:30 p.m ET on YouTube.

Silva finishes Stann in second round

In the main event, “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva returned to where his career took off in Japan’s Saitama Super Arena to face off against “All-American” Brian Stann.

The two men opened up in a slug fest to begin the fight, and swung for the fences each time they exchanged. An accidental groin shot by Stann caused a stop in the action, but they went back to work quickly. A wild flurry came a minute remaining in the round, which caused both men to inflict damage, including a large cut on the nose of Stann.

The pace slowed much more in the second round as the light heavyweights looked to pick their spots. Stann found a familiar spot, below the belt of Silva again, which forced another break. Silva stayed aggressive with strikes, and finally landed a right straigh, left hook combo that rocked Stann. From there, “The Axe Murderer” finished him with a couple ground and pound shots.

The official stoppage time was 4:08 of the second round as Silva earned the win via knockout.

Hunt knocks out Struve in round three

Heavyweights met in the co-main event as Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve took on Mark Hunt, who had a 12-inch height disadvantage.

Hunt took the center of the cage and began to feel out the much taller Struve. Struve pulled guard in hopes of locking up an early submission, but instead shifted his hips to mount Hunt. “Skyscraper” threw punches from the top, switched to an arm lock, but Hunt escaped and found himself on top. Hunt passed the guard of Struve to move to side control, but time was called to end round one.

The former kickboxer Hunt landed a big shot to begin the second round, and slowed down Struve with jabs. Surprisingly, Hunt put Struve on the mat and worked in his guard. Hunt then moved back into side control. Struve was able to return to his feet, then immediately dumped Hunt on his back to mount his opponent for the second time. Struve got aggressive by going for an armbar, but Hunt slipped away as time expired.

Hunt opened with another bomb to start round three, then opened up more to the chin of Struve. Struve slowed down and dropped his hands, which allowed Hunt to deliver with a big left hand to drop “The Skyscraper”. Hunt walked away after the punch, but the official call was a TKO due to the referee stoppage.

Sanchez claims controversial split decision win over Gomi

Former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi returned to where Pride began in his home country of Japan to square off with Diego “The Dream” Sanchez in a lightweight scrap.

Gomi began the fight looking to land his big right hand that has made him famous. After landing it a couple times, Sanchez responded with a takedown attempt and mixed in some strikes of his own. Sanchez took Gomi down after a knee was thrown, worked for a kneebar, but Gomi escaped trouble. The two exchanged until the horn sounded an end to the round.

“The Fireball Kid” worked his jab to begin round two, which threw Sanchez off a bit. Sanchez appeared cautious to come forward and exchange, but did so as the round wore on. Gomi won the striking exchanges, ducked under the shots of Sanchez, and even taunted Sanchez to come forward.

The Saitama Super Arena was behind Gomi as the third round began, but Sanchez came out more aggressive as well. “The Dream” needed to come out and score points, but the style of Gomi continued to give Sanchez problems. Gomi controlled the striking once again until Sanchez sent a late flurry at the end of the fight.

In the end, a split decision was awarded to Sanchez. One judge scored the fight for Gomi 29-28, while the other two saw the bout 29-28 for Sanchez.

Okami edges out Lombard by split decision

In a match-up of top-10 middleweights, “Lightning” met “Thunder” as Hector Lombard took on Yushin Okami.

Lombard came in with his right hand locked and loaded, but Okami took the fight to the ground for a moment after catching a kick. After striking for a bit, Okami utilized the same technique to once again take “Lightning” out of his comfort zone. Lombard was able to get back to his feet, but could not do damage in the opening round.

Okami worked his jab nicely to open the second round, and circled away to keep Lombard at bay. “Lightning” connected on a few punches, but was taken down by Okami for the third time. But this time, Okami managed to mount Lombard, and claim another round on the judges’ scorecards.

Lombard came out guns-blazing to begin the final round in hopes of stealing the win. After landing some solid shots, Lombard ended up on top of Okami after “Thunder” allowed him to do so. Lombard controlled the entire round while on top of Okami, but would it be enough to earn a decision nod?

One judge scored the fight for Lombard 29-28, while the other two had Okami winning. Okami improves to 3-0 in his last three fights inside the Octagon.

Yahya out-grapples Hirota to win decision

Featherweights were up next on the card as Japanese fighter Mizuto Hirota made his UFC debut against Brazilian submission specialist Rani Yahya.

Yahya put Hirota on the mat from the start of the fight, and did not allow Hirota to return to his feet. The Brazilian showcased how well his transitions are by moving from side control to the back of his opponent in a one-sided round.

Hirota tried to separate from Yahya to begin the second round, but the grappler would not allow it. Yahya took Hirota down and pressed him against the side of the cage, and locked up an arm-triangle choke. Hirota stayed tough by not tapping, but still found himself on his back with no offense shown in the fight.

Hirota needed to do something spectacular in the third round to win the fight, and almost did just that. Hirota found himself in position to take the arm of Yahya, and was close to locking up an armbar. Yahya escaped, but Hirota was still able to control him on the ground and open up with strikes on a fatigued Brazilian. In the end, Hirota ran of time to halt his comeback.

All three judges scored the bout 29-28, giving Yahya his third win in the UFC.

Kim dominates Bahadurzada

In the opening main card bout on Fuel TV, Afghan striker Siyar Bahadurzada went toe to toe with Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim in a welterweight clash.

Both men came out quickly looking to connect. Bahadurzada landed a counter strike to Kim, but the Korean fighter came back to land a couple headkicks and solid jabs. “Stun Gun” capitalized on an opportunity to take the fight to the ground, and mounted Bahadurzada. Kim worked on his opponent with elbows, then took the back as Bahadurzada returned to his feet.

Bahadurzada continued to throw his overhand right, but when it didn’t connect, allowed Kim to take the fight back to the mat in the second round. Kim smothered Bahadurzada by staying in side control for a good amount of time before transitioning to full mount once again. Bahadurzada had no answer as Kim easily earned the second round.

All Kim needed to do was avoid the shots from Bahadurzada, and did so by landing his third takedown of the fight. Once again, Bahadurzada allowed Kim to mount him as the Korean worked for a choke attempt. Kim could not get the choke, but opened up with punches and elbows on top until the bout ended.

The judges scored the bout 30-27 on all cards, giving Kim the unanimous decision victory.

Preliminary Card Summary

The final prelim bout of the night featured Hawaiian middleweight Brad Tavares taking on Tokyo’s Riki Fukuda. In a unanimous decision verdict, Tavares would earn the win by out-pointing Fukuda on the scorecards.

Takeya Mizugaki returned to his home country of Japan to take on Bryan Caraway. After three close rounds of action, Mizugaki would pull out a split decision win to improve his UFC record to 4-2.

Japanese lightweight Kazuki Tokudome made his first appearance inside the Octagon on Saturday, and earned a victory over Cristiano Marcello by winning all three rounds en route to a unanimous decision.

Bantamweights squared off next in a close fight that would be determined by the judges. In a back-and-forth battle on the mat, Alex Caceres would edge out newcomer Kyung Ho Kang by split decision.

In the opening fight of the night on Facebook and Youtube, Japanese welterweight Hyun Gyu Lim was victorious in his UFC debut by knocking out Marcelo Guimaraes with a knee in the second round.

Wanderlei Silva def. Brian Stann by knockout (strikes). Round 2, 4:08
Mark Hunt def. Stefan Struve by TKO (punch). Round 3, 1:44
Diego Sanchez def. Takanori Gomi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Yushin Okami def. Hector Lombard by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Rani Yahya def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dong Hyun Kim def. Siyar Bahadurzada by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Brad Tavares def. Riki Fukuda by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Takeya Mizugaki def. Bryan Caraway by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Kazuki Tokudome def. Cristiano Marcello by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alex Caceres def. Kyung Ho Kang by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Hyun Gyu Lim def. Marcelo Guimaraes by knockout (knee). Round 2, 4:00

Photo: Wanderlei Silva (Taro Irei/Sherdog)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.