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Brad's Friday Fight Bodega - Ueda vs. Tazawa 1

Author : Brad Taschuk

Friday, 24 July 2009 01:00

We took a few weeks off, but the Bodega has returned for you on this Friday with some new inventory.  Since Shooto has just begun their newest series of fights entitled 'Revolutionary Exchanges', we have decided to feature the headliner of the first card on that series, Masakatsu Ueda.

For those of you who haven't heard of Ueda (or those who think that the WEC invented the 135 pound division), pay attention, because Ueda (not Brian Bowles) is the #2 Bantamweight in the world right now, and just continues to improve while posting quality victories.  He trains out of Paraestra Tokyo, the same gym that has produced Shinya Aoki, so you know that he's got some grappling skills.

Anyways, on to the fight.  It is Ueda's first fight against So Tazawa from back in 2007.  This is certainly one of Ueda's most exciting fights, as it features some fantastic grappling, transitions, even a little bit of stand up, and a beautiful submission finish.  Enjoy!


For those who know me, it is no secret that I harbour a very deep and certainly quite requited love for Japanese MMA, and to me this fight is one of the perfect indications of why.  Very rarely in North American MMA do we see fighters disregarding dominant position in lieu of a possible submission, something that is commonplace in Japan.  This one tiny change in mindset results in a vastly different approach to the fight, and often creates much more exciting fights, especially in the grappling areas.  This also lends much more creative license to the fighters during their bouts, as you can see from some of the crazy transitions and awkward positions these two end up in during the course of this fight.

It is not really my goal to get into the deeper issues of MMA when simply trying to show you an entertaining fight, but I think that the much more liberal use of the 10-10 round in Shooto allows fighters to take more risks in regards to dominant position without being punished.  In North America we can almost be assured that when the fight hits the ground the guy on top is winning, unless a submission happens.  In Japan this is just not so, and as such, fighters are more willing to forego that position to attempt to finish the fight, something I think we can all appreciate.

Upcoming this week there are some old school legends like Dan Severn and Pat Smith in action, so perhaps next Friday you'll have the opportunity to see an old classic, perhaps Severn/Shamrock 2 or Severn/Kimo if I'm in a bad mood... but I'm never in a bad mood, so I'll find something fun for all of you.