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UFC 144: Riki Fukuda Vs. Steve Cantwell

The following is from our live coverage of UFC 144. To access our full coverage, click here.

Round 1: No glove touch from these middleweights, these two are on a mission. Cantwell clips Fukuda with a head kick as he goes for a takedown. Fukuda eats the kick and hits the takedown. Fukuda raining down shots from the top; Cantwell remaining composed and avoiding many of them. Cantwell trying to attack from his back, but it opens him up to get hit some. Cantwell makes space and stands, but Fukuda stays all over him, bulling him into the fence. Cantwell lands a knee before breaking from the clinch. Good leg kick by Cantwell. Cantwell lands two cracking rights, Fukuda shows no ill-effect. Cantwell stuffs a takedown and comes back at Fukuda. Fukuda with a good leg kick of his own. Cantwell is finding a home for his right hand. Cantwell sprawls hard out of a takedown. Fukuda touches Cantwell with a left and is starting to turn up the aggression now. Fukuda repeatedly landing an inside leg kick. Cantwell comes back at him firing off a series of kicks that find their mark.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Cantwell

Round 2: Fukuda immediately lands the inside leg kick multiple times. Cantwell fires back and stings Fukuda. Fukuda putting on the pressure, hits a takedown. Catnwell snatches up a guillotine. A tense battle ensues and Fukuda eventually breaks free, landing several strikes as Cantwell gets to his feet. Fukuda tagging Cantwell with dirty boxing from the clinch while Cantwell throws knees. Cantwell eats a few more shots before defending a takedown. Fukuda putting it on Cantwell now, landing kicks and punches that are backing Cantwell up. Cantwell trying to fight from the clinch, but Fukuda is tagging him up. Cantwell fires back with some elbows and a few good punches before they reset in the center. Fukuda wading forward, landing hard punches and repeated inside leg kicks. Cantwell looks to be withering, but he’s still Fukuda nailing Cantwell; Cantwell just doing his best to answer. Cantwell gets clipped right to the cup as Fukuda slips throwing the kick. They take a break from the action. They restart with about thirty left. Cantwell hits a slick takedown and works to take Fukuda’s back. Fukuda avoids and ends the round wading toward Cantwell.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Fukuda

Round 3: Fukuda gets off the first shot with a straight right that he follows up with repeated kicks to Cantwell’s left leg. Fukuda tenderizing Cantwell’s legs with kick after kick. Fukuda backing Cantwell up with punches, but Cantwell is still coming after him. Cantwell lands a roundhouse kick, but Fukuda is still landing more shots. Fukuda shoots a deep double and plants Cantwell on the mat. Cantwell attacking from his back, looking for an armbar. Fukuda defending well. Cantwell tries for a gogoplata, but Fukuda avoids and manages to briefly take Cantwell’s back as he turtles. Cantwell rolls out, but Fukuda is all over him. Cantwell manages to fight to his feet despite Fukuda’s pressure. A minute and a half left in the round. Fukuda frustrating and tiring Cantwell with his voluminous attack. Cantwell is wilting, doing little more than eating shots and returning with perfunctory counters. Cantwell gets hurt with a body kick. Fukuda is pouring it on Cantwell, leaving him battered on the wall. Cantwell eyes the clock. The round ends after Fukuda sneaks in two more solid body kicks.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Fukuda

Riki Fukuda defeated Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)