This week I go back and review the first ever UFC fight I watched. Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama vs Alan “The Talent” Belcher at UFC 100. It won Fight of the Night, but the winner of the fight is up for debate. Judge 1 scored the fight 30-27 for Akiyama, Judge 2 scored it 29-28 Belcher, and Judge 3 scored it 29-28 in favor of Akiyama. I believed, at the time, that Belcher did enough to win, but now seven years later I am going review and see how right or wrong I really was.
They touch gloves and Belcher takes the center. Belcher lands a couple nice leg kicks, but Akiyama is landing some nice counter jabs and crosses. About a minute in Belcher lands a low blow but then the fight resumes shortly. Belcher being the aggressor and landing some nice kicks but getting counter punched just as much. Akiyama gets popped and dropped by a nice left hand but gets up immediately then Belcher clinches him against the cage. Akiyama lands a couple of very nice combos causing Belcher to clinch up. Akiyama gets Belcher to the ground as the round is almost over but lands some nice ground and pound.
Round 1 winner: Yoshihiro Akiyama 10-9 Even though he got dropped halfway through the round, he had the crisper strikes and seemed to be doing the most damage.
Quick takedown by Akiyama to start off the round. Belcher reverses then goes for a leg locked but Akiyama escapes and winds up on top again. Akiyama lands some decent ground and pound but the pace of the fight seems to have slowed down. Belcher finally gets back to his feet three minutes into the round. Belcher gets the better of the striking exchanges landing nice leg kicks one of which seemed to make Akiyama’s leg buckle. Akiyama landed some nice strikes but is looking fatigued.
Round 2 winner: Yoshihiro Akiyama 10-9. While Belcher ended the round fighting well it was not enough to negate the first 3 minutes of the round. Akiyama was clearly in control while all Becher could do was try to get back to his feet. More time was spent grappling than striking so grappling must be weighed first, so that’s why I awarded Akiyama this round.
Belcher immediately starts to target the hurt leg of Akiyama. Akiyama’s eye is beginning to swell completely shut but that doesn’t stop him from landing a nice combo. Belcher is now getting the better of these exchanges mixing up punches and leg kicks nicely. Akiyama then drops Belcher but Belcher rolls and gets back to his feet. After getting a little separation Belcher lands an awesome superman punch using the cage to give him a little extra power. Belcher goes for a spinning backfist and is taken down but pops right back up a few seconds later. They end the round swinging for the fences.
Round 3 winner: Alan Belcher10-9. Tough round to score it was pretty even, I think the knockdown by Akiyama and the Superman punch by Belcher cancel each other out. I thought Belcher landed the better strikes and controlled the cage more so I gave him the last round.
Yoshihiro Akiyama 29-28. Akiyama did enough in the first two rounds and almost has an argument for getting the third round. Belcher looked better towards the end of the fight, but it was too little too late.
Upon further review… the judges go it right.
(Abe Ruvalcaba is a new MMATorch contributor who authors the “Upon Further Review” column. He has been an MMA for over six years and it’s become far and away his favorite sport. He is current studying for his Broadcast/Journalism degree and works as an assistant producer at a radio station in Oklahoma City. His passion includes breaking down fights and trying to get into the heads of the fighters and judges to find out their thought process.)