For combat sports fans, 2012 is (almost) in the books.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) went out with a bang on Saturday night in Las Vegas with "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2" (see all the gory details here) while across the globe, the rest of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community rang in the new year with DREAM 18 and GLORY 4 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
And not since Godzilla belched on the Asahi Beer Hall has there been so much wanton destruction in the "Land of the Rising Sun."
Shinya Aoki did what he does best by securing a tap from former UFC lightweight Antonio McKee, though last night's submission came from a right hook, not exactly the "Tobikan Judan's" bread and butter. The win marked Aoki's second straight and twenty-first by way of surrender.
Not too shabby.
Also flashing his jits was bantamweight badass Bibiano Fernandes, who locked up a triangle choke when Yoshiro Maeda tried to get loud early in the opening frame. It was an impressive win for the Brazilian, but paled in comparison to Denis Kang's near-death experience in his fight against Melvin Manhoef.
From our live play-by-play:
Kang presses forward, only to get his stomach turned inside-out by a thermonuclear knee. Kang drops immediately and the ref stops it just 50 seconds in. Wow.
See video of Manhoef's knockout right here.
Former Strikeforce attractions Tatsuya Kawajiri and Phil Baroni were also in action; however, their results were polar opposites. "Crusher" outworked Michihiro Omigawa for the unanimous decision win while the "New York Badass" went down on points against Hayato Sakurai.
In addition to all the MMA action, which included Marloes Coenen's first-round armbar over Fiona Muxlow, the "Special NYE 2012" also gave us the best the kickboxing world had to offer in a heavyweight grand slam tournament won by Semmy Schilt, along with a handful of "super fights."
Here are the complete DREAM 18/GLORY 4 results:
DREAM MMA Fights:
155 lbs.: Shinya Aoki def. Antonio Mckee via submission (punch)
135 lbs.: Bibiano Fernandes def. Yoshiro Maeda via submission (triangle choke)
185 lbs.: Melvin Manhoef def. Denis Kang via knockout (knee)
170 lbs.: Hayato Sakurai def. Phil Baroni via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Michihiro Omigawa via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Georgi Karakhanyan def. Hiroyuki Takaya via split decision
155 lbs.: Will Brooks def. Satoru Kitaoka via technical knockout (punches)
GLORY Kickboxing Heavyweight Grand Slam Opening Round:
265 lbs.: Semmy Schilt def. Brice Guidon via technical knockout
265 lbs.: Rico Verhoeven def. Sergei Kharitonov via decision
265 lbs.: Saki def. Raomoru via technical knockout
265 lbs.: Anderson "Braddock" Silva def. Igor Jurkovic via technical knockout
265 lbs.: Remy Bonjasky def. Filip Verlinden via decision
265 lbs.: Jamal Ben Saddick def. Errol Zimmerman via decision
265 lbs.: Mourad Bouzidi def. Peter Aerts via technical knockout (injury)
265 lbs.: Daniel Ghita def. Jhonata Diniz via decision
GLORY Kickboxing Heavyweight Grand Slam Quarterfinals:
265 lbs.: Semmy Schilt def. Rico Verhoeven via decision
265 lbs.: Gokhan Saki def. Anderson Silva via technical knockout (punch)
265 lbs.: Ben Saddik def. Remy Bonjasky via decision
265 lbs.: Daniel Ghita def. Mourad Bouzidi via technical knockout (injury)
GLORY Kickboxing Heavyweight Grand Slam Semifinals:
265 lbs.: Semmy Schilt def. Saki via decision
265 lbs.: Daniel Ghita def. Ben Saddik via knockout (liver kick)
GLORY Kickboxing Heavyweight Grand Slam Final:
265 lbs.: Semmy Schilt def. Daniel Ghita via technical knockout (head kick)
GLORY Kickboxing Super Fights:
185 lbs.: Jason Wilnis def. Toshio Matsumoto via decision
265 lbs.: Jerome Le Banner def. Koichi Pettas via knockout (punch)
115 lbs.: Mutsuki Ebata def. Sang-Jae Kim via decision
155 lbs.: Robin van Roosmalen def. Yuichiro Nagashima via decision
For our DREAM 18/GLORY 4 live results thread and real-time play-by-play click here.