Road to UFC: Japan semis set – Hirota vs DJ, Wicky vs Yashabo


Road to UFC: Japan Episode 7 saw the semifinal matches made between Hirota vs DJ and Wicky vs Yashabo.

Hirota and Wicky went with Nelson and DJ and Yashabo went with Barnatt for the final week of training for the semis.

The four had a trip to see Mir vs Belfort and predictably Wicky and Yashabo were thrilled while Hirota was composed.

Team Nelson went to Red Rock. Nelson talked about wanting to fight in PRIDE and said “Barnett has a following in Japan, but I want to be bigger than Bob Sapp.”

They showed old footage of Hirota sumo as a kid. Then they segued to Nelson’s family and child and Wicky’s twin 9-month olds.

After Red Rock, they went to Syndicate, Nelson’s gym, and the two contestants engaged in some light sparring. They used a some of the physical equipment also.

Nelson advised Hiroto to be cleaner and know where to go wants it hits the ground. He said DJ could be put in danger easily. Nelson told Wicky to slow down Yashabo’s craziness, and that he gets frustrated easily.

Barnett took his team to LA. He took them out driving and then to his gym where he wrestled with Yashabo, then DJ.

DJ was his normal moody self, but became animated when talking about his forthcoming match and that this really was his only goal. DJ taught everyone his Yukinari chant and it lightened the mood.

Barnett took his guys to his house and shared his history in fighting with Yashabo and DJ. DJ said he wants to meet Yukinari, and Yashabo said he wants to prove Japanese MMA.

Nelson also asked Hirota, and he shared his love of snorkeling.


The semifinal fights will start next week, and the finals will be at UFC Fight Night Japan on September 27, 2015.