Yusaku Kinoshita landed a UFC contract on Tuesday night with a fantastic counter TKO win over Jose Henrique.
The sixth season of Dana White’s Contender series has already produced a string of memorable moments, many of which led to the fighters earning a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Of course, that’s not always the case, but more often than not, the UFC president felt pretty generous after a pretty lackluster first week.
Last night was no different, with all five winners given contracts and a chance to prove themselves in the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world.
After the first four fights of the night, the main event was contested between welterweight prospects Yusaku Kinoshita and Jose Henrique.
Many felt that the first round was a bit tricky with Kinoshita possibly getting ahead of him, while the second was clearly swinging in favor of the Japanese star.
Then, at the start of the third, Henrique was putting a lot of pressure on his opponent – which ended up being his biggest downfall.
Kinoshita ducked under a right hand from his foe before coming back with a left that dropped Jose straight to the canvas.
Bad ground and a pound followed and after more than a dozen shots the referee stepped in and awarded Yusaku the stoppage win.
It was tough, it was serious, and we’re confident enough to say it was everything the boss was looking for.
The next big thing?
The Japanese market has always been an important market in the context of combat sports and will continue to be so for many years to come. However, as Dana White noted in his post-fight press conference, this is not an area where the UFC has had much luck.
“I just said to Laura, the only thing I’ve been missing for years is a big Japanese star. This kid [Kinoshita] certainly can be.
“If this kid keeps growing and doing great things in the UFC, Japan is just going to explode.”
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