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  • Writer's pictureChris Presnell

Road to UFC: Opening Round Day 2 results: Choi upsets Jiniushiyue, Angad Bisht rallies for India

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Road to UFC's opening round for the third season has come and gone.

The brackets are set for the semi-finals, which are likely to take place in China at the end of the summer. Thirty-six fighters competed over eighteen fights over the past two days- catch the recap from the first day here.

For day two of the Road to UFC opening round, here's how it went down:

Non-Tournament lightweight: Tatsuya Saika vs. Ki Won Bin

Starting off day two hot, Tatsuya Saika came at Ki Won Bin hot from the opening bell. Repeatedly tagging Ki with straight punches that hit the mark, the Korean looked to be in trouble early. As the fight hit the halfway point of round one, Ki Won Bin found success slowing down the fight and dragging Saika to his back.

At the end of the round, both Saika and Ki stood in the pocket and traded until the final bell.

Beginning the second round, Ki Won Bin appeared to be man more ready to scrap, and from the bell was landing at a high clip. With Saika quickly wearing down and his back against the cage, the heavy punches kept flowing, and the referee stopped the fight at :51 of R2. Ki Won Bin wins in Road to UFC for the second time in four appearances.

Flyweight Quarterfinal: Choi Dong Hoon vs. Jiniushiyue

In a fight many said could be in the finals of the flyweight tournament, Choi Dong Hoon scored an upset of season two’s finalist with a split decision over Jiniushiyue.

The first round between Jiniushiyue and Choi Dong Hoon was mostly competitive and lacking of dramatic moments, but Jiniushiyue was able to land at range and with a higher frequency. In particular, the body shots were landing well for the Enbo Fight representative.

Round two started with more of the same, however, it did look as though Choi may be finding his range a little bit more. A failed lateral drop from Jiniushiyue was capitalized on by Choi, who took top position on the mat.

To start round three, Choi immediately looked to press Jiniushiyue against the cage and get the fight to the ground. However, the Yi fighter was able to circle out and reset at the center of the cage. From there, Jiniushiyue went back to what he does best- sniping his opponents at range, and commanding the distance.

Two judges ultimately scored the fight 29-28 for Choi, while one dissenting judge scored it 29-28 for Jiniushiyue.

He’ll fight the winner of Anand Bisht and John Almanza in the semi-finals!

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Shohei Nose vs. Yoo Soo Young

In a battle of grapplers, Yoo Soo Young of South Korea fought Shohei Nose of Japan in the first bantamweight tournament fight. 

Right off the bat, Nose, drove in for the takedown and took the back of Yoo, working for the choke early. However, Yoo was able to roll and take the back of Nose in a stunning transition. A furious scramble ultimately went in favor of Yoo, who kept the top position to the end of a twisting and turning round one.

Round two continued to see Yoo Soo Young as the heavier and more dominant fighter, escaping a guillotine and pounding away at Nose from half guard. As Nose attempted to stand, Yoo found the back of his Japanese opponent and rolled forward to take the fight back to the mat. At the end of the round, Nose, from his back, attempted an omoplata and toe hold combination that ultimately didn’t have the steam for the finish.

Shohei Nose pressed the fight to the cage to start round three, intent to dictate the action of the ground fighting in the final frame. However, a low blow to Yoo paused the momentum and took away the advantage from Nose.

He get right back to action, however; and with a fire lit underneath of him, threw heavy punches and briefly took Yoo down with a strong double-leg.

With ninety seconds left, Yoo had brought Nose back to the mat where he remained for the rest of the fight. The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 in favor of Korea’s Yoo Soo Young.

He’ll fight Daermisi Zhawupasi in the semifinals.

Flyweight Quarterfinal: John Almanza vs. Angad Bisht

In a battle between India and the Philippines and contrasting styles, Angad Bisht fought John Almanza in a flyweight tournament fight. Setting up the takedown with the overhand right, Bisht was able to get Almanza down ninety seconds into the contest.

From there, rather than work for the submission, Bisht started punching away from full guard. The damage kept coming until it was too much for referee Steve Perceval, stopping the fight at 3:39 and getting India‘s first win in Road to UFC since season one.

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Ren Ozaki vs. Daermisi Zhawupasi

While Zhawupasi was likely the big favorite in this bantamweight tournament fight, Ren Ozaki's smooth striking at range got his attention from the opening second. Zhawupasi adjusted by pushing Ozaki against the cage, looking the drag his opponent to the mat. Ozaki was wise to it, however, and was able to keep his range and strike with Daermisi to the end of the round. 

Round two saw Daermisi find a lot more urgency to get the fight where he felt comfortable. Shooting takedown after takedown, Ozaki was forced to defend but able to rise to his feet over and over. With ninety seconds left, Daermisi looked to have a tight rear naked choke locked into his opponent, but Ozaki slipped out and the two rose back to their feet.

Zhawupasi started round three strong, completing a double leg takedown. While unable to keep Ozaki down to find the finish, Zhawupasi kept dragging his opponent down over and over again trying to set up some kind of submission finish. Time ran out and the judges scored the fight 29-28 for Daermisi Zhawupasi.

He’ll fight Yoo Soo Young in the semifinal round.

Flyweight Non-Tournament: Yan Qihui vs. Lisa Kyricou

The story of round one was Yan‘s wrestling. Setting up the shot with hooks, she was able to get Kyriacou down to the ground on multiple occasions with the double leg and blasted away with hooks when Kyriacou rose to her feet. 

Round two saw the two fighters commence a striking fight. Kyriacou was able to start working her jab and stay out of range of Yan’s power hooks. With a little over a minute to go, Yan once again took Kyriacou the ground, but was unable to land very much offense until the end of the round.

Opening round three, Kyriacou and Yan traded combinations on the feet, with Kyriacou seemingly getting the better of the exchanges. Yan responded in kind with another double leg. bringing Kyriacou into side control. 

Kyriacou worked her way back up to her feet where she attempted to leave a mark on the fight and beat up Yan at range. With 90 seconds left Yan once again scored a double leg and was right back into side control.

Kyriacou stood once again only to be taken down at the very last second. The judges were divided on this one, with two scoring the fight 30-27 for Yan, and the other scoring the fight 29-28 for Kyriacou.

Bantamweight Tournament: Tokitaka Nakanishi vs. Kim Kyu Sung

Round one was mostly a feeling out process between Tokitaka Nakanishi and Kim Kyu Sung. Kim was using his low kicks and feints to try and get reads, with Nakanishi sneaking in strikes where he could. The takedown from Nakanishi came late in the round, but was unable to keep him down for long.

Round two saw more of the same from Kim dictating the pace on the feet and Nakanishi scoring a takedown at sixty seconds in. For the near remainder of the round, Nakanishi pressured from half guard with Kim immobilized on his back.

Kim briefly went for the takedown to start round three, but Nakanishi stuffed it and responded with his own takedown that landed him on the back of Kim Kyu Sung. The Japanese bantamweight Nakanishi hunted for the rear naked choke, but Kim successfully fought the hands for the remainder of the round.

The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, and 29-27 unanimously for Tokitaka Nakanishi, who’ll fight Baergeng Jieleyisi in the semifinals.

Flyweight Tournament: Yin Shuai vs. Kiru Singh Sahota

Yin Shuai look to strike with heavy blows from the start, with Kiru Singh Sahota trying to slow down the momentum of Yin by clinching against the cage. When the two finally did break, they exchanged heavy punches in a phone booth with Singh Sahota landing the heavier punches. Yin responded with a big takedown on Singh Sahota with two minutes left in round one.

The range of Singh Sahota gave Yin Shuai problems at the start of round two, and the Chinese flyweight leaned on his wrestling to eventually get his British opponent to the ground. After a clinch battle. The two separated, with Yin Shuai repeatedly pushing towards the takedown.

Yin Shuai and Kiru Singh Sahota battled in the clinch to begin round three, until separating and fighting at range. A nasty body kick got in Yin Shuai’s attention, prompting him to clinch immediately. Yin Shuai again found the double leg- over and over- looking to make an impression against the damage from Singh Sahota.

The judges scored the fight 29-28, 27-30, and 29-28 for Kiru Singh Sahota, who'll fight Ruel Pañales in the semifinals of Road to UFC.

Bantamweight Quarterfinal: Baergeng Jieleyisi vs. Li Yunfeng

The final fight of the opening round for Road to UFC was a China vs. China affair pitting Baergeng Jieleyisi against Li Yunfeng. 

Baergeng started the fight with a hasty takedown which was defended by Li. Li looked to strike as Baergeng looked for an opening for the takedown once again. However, to Li’s credit, he was able to stuff to takedown once again. The third time for Baergeng was a charm, securing the double leg from close range. Li immediately looked to lock in a triangle choke which Baergeng evaded. The round saw Baergeng on top, pounding away until the bell. 

The powerful, accurate striking of Li was on display to start round two, throwing combinations and a spin kick until seceding to the takedown forty-five seconds in. With Li desperately trying to escape and get back to his feet, Baergeng eventually found his way to the back of Li halfway through the round. The ground and pound started flowing from Jieleyisi as well as the rear naked choke attempts. 

With forty seconds to go in the round, the rear naked choke looked tight on Li Yunfeng, he and going out at 4:25 on round two. Baergeng Jieleyisi will fight Tokitaka Nakanishi in the Road to UFC semi finals, ideally taking place later this summer.

Catch all the results and a full recap at the conclusion of the event:


     UFC Fight Pass (6am EST / 3am PST)

Daermisi Zhawupasi def. Ren Ozaki via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Angad Bisht def. John Almanza via TKO (Ground and Pound) at 3:39 of R1

Yoo Soo Young def. Shohei Nose via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Choi Dong Hoon def. Jiniushiyue via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Ki Won Bin def. Tatsuya Saika via TKO (Punches) at :51 of R2


     UFC Fight Pass (8am EST / 5am PST)

Baergeng Jieleyisi def. Li Yunfeng via Submission (Technical- Rear Naked Choke) at 4:25 of R2

Kiru Singh Sahota def. Yin Shuai via Split Decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)

Tokitaka Nakanishi def. Kim Kyu Sung via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-27)

Yan Qihui def. Lisa Kyriacou via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Toki Matsui was scheduled to fight Ruel Pañales in a flyweight tournament fight, but the fight was cancelled after Matsui missed weight. Pañales advances to the semifinals and will fight the winner of Kiru Singh Sahota-Yin Shuai.

Road to UFC: Opening Round day two takes place on May 19th, 2024, at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai, China.


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