Rinya Nakamura shines as Road to UFC crowns four tournament winners

Road to UFC crowned four tournament champions.

By: Anton Tabuena | 4 months ago
Rinya Nakamura shines as Road to UFC crowns four tournament winners
Screengrab, Road to UFC

UFC quietly completed four highly entertaining 8-man tournaments late Saturday night, as part of the Lewis vs Spivac undercard. These ‘Road to UFC’ Asian tourneys were originally supposed to be completed in South Korea to much more local fanfare, until Chan Sung Jung bowed out to injury and UFC had to move the entire card to Las Vegas.

The biggest standout among the four Road to UFC tournament winners was Rinya Nakamura, who improved to 7-0 and won the bantamweight tournament final in just 33 seconds. Although known as an accomplished wrestler, he just ran through Toshiomi Kazama with strikes and again showcased his explosiveness and top level athleticism. Nakamura completed his impressive tournament run by finishing all three opponents.

Countries such as South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia and India were all represented in the finals of the four divisions, but only four men from three countries secured official UFC contracts with their tournament wins. Road to UFC also notably produced the UFC’s first fighter born in India, with Anshul Jubli winning the lightweight tournament.

Also officially earning their UFC contracts were featherweight winner “The Korean Tiger” Jeong Yeong Lee, who won a close decision while stating that he had a torn ACL, and flyweight winner Hyun Sung Park, who picked up a quality submission win.

Full ‘Road to UFC’ results and highlights:

Flyweight Finals: Hyun Sung Park (South Korea) def. Seung Guk Choi (South Korea) by Submission (Rear naked choke), R3

Bantamweight Finals: Rinya Nakamura (Japan) def. Toshiomi Kazama (Japan) by KO (Punch), R1

Featherweight Finals: Jeong Yeong Lee (South Korea) def. Yi Zha (China) by Decision (Split)

Lightweight Finals: Anshul Jubli (India) def. Jeka Saragih (Indonesia) by TKO, R2

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Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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