Tonight’s card comes to us live from the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Now, on to the action! Remember to keep hitting F5 on your keyboard for the most up-to-date results.
Jared Hamman vs. Magnus Cedenblad
We have one middleweight contest this evening and it opens our card, as Jared Hamman (13-5) looks to snap a two-fight losing streak vs. Magnus Cedenblad (10-4), who was defeated in his Octagon debut last year. The referee will be Al Wichgers.
Once again, we have a late-arriving crowd, as the Bradley Center is partially full – to be nice.
Round 1: Hamman coming right out and testing Cedenblad, knocking him back with power shots. Hamman with a big takedown, but Cedenblad rolls over into a full mount guillotine choke and this one is over. Wow! What an incredible move, and that is going to be tough to top for “Submission of the Night.”
Magnus Cedenblad def. Jared Hamman via submission (guillotine choke) at :57 of Round 1
Ryan Couture vs. Al Iaquinta
What should be an interesting lightweight tilt heads to the Octagon next, as Ryan Couture (6-2) takes on Al Iaquinta (5-2-1). Iaquinta, a former Ultimate Fighter runner-up, returns from a year-plus long absence from the cage, while Couture is the son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy. Yves Lavigne is the referee.
Round 1: Couture with a reach advantage, but Iaquinta gets off the first few strikes. Nice quick left lands by Iaquinta, also known as “Ragin.” Couture fires off a big leg kick, a strength of his game, but is answered by a right from Iaquinta. Left to the body, right overhand combo from Iaquinta connects. Strong start from both, who are each getting off what they want. Iaquinta with an overhand right that drops the hands of Couture, and he goes to the clinch to recover. Big knee just misses by Couture. There’s an “Iaquinta” chant breaking out from the depths of the Bradley Center, as Iaquinta scores a takedown after catching a kick. Flurry from Iaquinta forces Couture to back up, and the Serra-Longo corner is excited, telling him to keep going forward. Flying knee lands by Couture and stuns him for a brief moment, but back comes Iaquinta with a pair of heavy rights. Iaquinta finishes with a takedown and some big fists, pumping up the crowd after doing so.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Iaquinta
Round 2: Matt Serra, working the corner of Iaquinta, instructed him to “avoid the (expletive) flying knee.” Good advice from the ex-champ. Perfectly timed right hand by Iaquinta. Couture takes the back off a leg sweep, works the clinch, but can’t get the takedown. Couture looking more patient this round, he just doesn’t have the same power as Iaquinta. Couture with a kick to the body and Iaquinta answers with a heavy right, almost like a “you hit me, I hit you harder” statement. Couture works for the single-leg takedown, but Iaquinta fights it off and hammers two more rights to the head. Little bit of blood on the face of Couture from the heavy punishment he has been taking to the face. Iaquinta with a nice left-kick combo. Iaquinta finishes the round like the first, scoring another takedown.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Iaquinta
Round 3: The first thing Couture says to his corner is, “I gotta finish him,” and they agree, so at least he knows what he has to do. Uppercut gets through for Iaquinta, and Couture answers with a spinning back kick and ups the pace. Couture gets a good body lock and scores a takedown, but can’t keep him down on the canvas. Serra right in the ear of Iaquinta, keeping him upright and he gets free. Perfect teaching from the ex-champ. Huge overhand right misses, but Iaquinta lands a left to the body to make up for it. Another flying knee by Couture and he has him backing up. Iaquinta sprawls off a takedown attempt, locks in a front choke and lands some nice right hands. He’s not able to get the submission, but he is peppering Couture with heavy shots to the body and face. Perfect elbow connects by Iaquinta, and he continues to hammer away to finish the round and leave Couture bloodied.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Iaquinta
Al Iaquinta def. Ryan Couture via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Soa Palelei vs. Nikita Krylov
We head to the heavyweight division with Soa Palelei (18-3) taking on Nikita Krylov (15-2). Palelei is returning to the UFC after a hiatus, while Krylov is debuting with the promotion. The third man inside the Octagon will be Al Wichgers. Palelei has won eight straight since a 2010 loss to Daniel Cormier, while Krylov has one of the more unique nicknames in the sport with “Al Capone” and is just 21 years old – making him the youngest fighter in the promotion.
And yes, if you were wondering, Palelei held true to his “Hulk” nickname by wearing Incredible Hulk green oversized gloves to the cage. The crowd seems to be energized….maybe it was the uptempo, pulsating entrance music for Palelei.
Round 1: These two do not get out of the first round, so this might be quick. Palelei catches a kick, lifts Krylov up and slams him hard to the canvas. Krylov looks for a guillotine, but is unable to lock it up on the big head of Palelei, who is attempting to pass the guard. Palelei into half-guard and he lands a pair of big rights. Krylov with some nice punches from the bottom, he even pulls him back in and is working for an arm lock. Krylov has the left arm trapped, but Palelei is able to land several huge rights and mounts. Big lefts and rights allows him to take the back and secure a hook. Krylov is able to get out, though, and he goes on the attack. Big shots from Krylov and Palelei is breathing heavily. Palelei takes the back and brings him to the mat, landing some nice rights. Kimura attempt by Krylov, but he’s unable to secure it and pulls guard. Krylov throws up a triangle with a minute left, but Palelei is too big. Krylov throws on a cruicifix and almost locks it up but is unable to get it.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Palelei
Round 2: Palelei was complaining about his ribs and pointing to them, and almost seemed to be ready to stay on the stool. His corner is telling him there is no way he is quitting, and they even apologize to the camera for foul language. Krylov looks to attack the body, and pulls guard once again right off the bat. Palelei is able to get to full mount and land some nice rights, taking the back again but he gets his right arm trapped. To the back once again for Palelei, but you can tell he is tired and hurt, as he isn’t able to string together combinations. Both men find some energy in the tank, teeing off on one another. Krylov is getting the upper-hand, landing a knee to the body. Palelei is showing extreme signs of fatigue and I honestly don’t think he is going to be able to go in the third. Krylov with a combo, and even throws a spinning kick followed by a knee to the face. Krylov just throwing lefts and rights with no defense as we go under 40 seconds. Huge knee by Krylov but Palelei remains standing.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Krylov
Round 3: Palelei still complaining about his ribs, and his coach tells the medical staff it’s just a strain. Huge right hand by Palelei to start and Krylov clinches to recover and find himself. Both men are exhausted and showing it, and the crowd is booing. Krylov is either looking to sweep a leg or a foot submission, but Palelei just falls on him and is now in mount, hammering down with lefts and rights. No defense by Krylov, who is curling up and Palelei is going off. That’s it, as the ref has seen enough and steps in.
Soa Palelei def. Nikita Krylov via TKO (strikes) at 1:34 of Round 3
Chico Camus vs. Kyung Ho Kang
The only bantamweight bout on the docket begins the FOX Sports 1 prelim card, as Chico Camus (12-4) fights in front of his home crowd against Kyung Ho Kang (11-6). The referee will be Yves Lavgine, and, as you might have guessed, a loud ovation for Camus’ name being mentioned alongside Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Round 1: Camus throwing some heavy, heavy punches, but Kang has an incredible length advantage. It’s going to take some work for Camus to get inside, but he has the crowd behind him as they start a “Camus” chant. Kang winds up on top off a scramble and is looking to pass, but Camus with a solid full-guard. Camus attacking from the bottom and not allowing the pass. Camus goes for a leg and almost gives up his back, but gets back the guard. Kang spreads him out and delivers a nice elbow. Camus attempts to roll out, but is denied. The knees of Camus are giving him breathing room from being beat on, but he still hasn’t been able to spring up.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Kang
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Kang
Round 2: Excellent ground work by both fighters, and the crowd is trying to get behind Camus. Kang, though, has been able to maintain the advantage and keep the bout in his favor. Camus, now on top, looking to advance his position. Nice short elbow from Camus. Camus is able to take the back and is looking to secure a rear-naked choke, but Kang fights it off. Camus back on the attack, doing some nice damage here in the final minute.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Camus
Round 3: Camus with a takedown and a solid right-hand, but Kang answers the bell. Jumping round kick by Kang backs up Camus, who has blood coming down the side of his face. Camus catches him with a left-right combo, forcing Kang’s “boy band” hair to go flying back. Kang shoots and powers Camus to his back. A great show of strength, especially after 10-plus minutes of action. To half-guard with three minutes remaining in the fight and Kang now in control. Camus trying his best to get free, but Kang is just too strong. Kang postures up and connects with a right, coming right back to the guard as Camus looks fatigued. Camus breaks free, as Kang loses his grip. Camus hurts Kang and goes to follow up but gets rolled to his back with a minute left. Camus lands a huge upkick with just seconds left that drops Kang face-first to the ground and finishes with a flurry, maybe stealing this one in the final seconds of action.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Camus
Chico Camus def. Kyung Ho Kang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Pascal Krauss vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
The lone welterweight contest is on deck with Pascal Krauss (11-1) taking on Hyun Gyu Lim (11-3-1), who has won six straight. The referee will be Rob Hinds. Krauss, despite being a German, will be the home-crowd favorite, as he trains at Roufusport in Milwaukee.
Round 1: We’ve got two guys looking to stand and bang, as they exchange big lefts and rights. No backing down still, just taking the best the other can give. Lim with a left hook that lands perfectly, and Krauss answers with a straight right. Lim drops him with a right, but doesn’t want the fight on the ground and allows Krauss to stand back up freely. Krauss’ jab has been on-point, but Lim’s hitting him with bigger shots. There’s a power shot by Krauss that slips through the defense, as Joe Rogan goes into his preaching about how Jon Jones uses his reach better than anybody in the world….just another Rogan Rant! Lim with a left-hook over the top, and a right from him drops Krauss once again. Krauss gets back to his feet, backs up and wobbles, but Lim isn’t able to finish yet. Knee to the body and Krauss has a long time to survive. Krauss answers and lands a shot, shooting for a takedown. Lim with another right hook, followed by a knee right to the face that knocks Krauss down and out for the count. That right there will be tough to top for “Knockout of the Night.”
Hyun Gyu Lim def. Pascal Krauss via KO (knee to face) at 3:58 of Round 1
Louis Gaudinot vs. Tim Elliot
Two flyweights looking to get into title-contention will try to light up the Octagon, as Louis Gaudinot (6-2) returns for the first time since early in 2012 against Tim Elliot (9-3-1). Keeping things in line will be referee Herb Dean. Both fighters are inside the Top-10, so a convincing win could vault them to the Top-5.
Round 1: Good, fast-paced action to start, but one of Elliot’s strikes lands to the eye of Gaudinot, forcing a stop in the action. Gaudinot gets a little too close and Elliot scores a takedown, working quickly for a guillotine while in half-guard. Gaudinot trying to flip him over, but Elliot gives up the choke and goes to work on the body. Elliot with a stiff kick-strike to the body combo, and a flying knee lands, creating a gasp from the crowd. Gaudinot, the man with green hair, goes to work on the lead leg and is doing some damage to it. He clinches against the cage and lands a knee to the body. Elliot drops for an ankle pick, misses, lands a left and gets a bow from Gaudinot for his efforts. Unique little exchange there that you don’t see in MMA. Elliot with several knees and drops Gaudinot to the canvas with a takedown. He moves to a more dominate position and is connecting. Hammer-fists to the face by Elliot, and more of them as his corner yells out for it. Constant pressure and Elliot is in complete control with a minute remaining. Elliot with more effective strikes and another takedown.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Elliot
Round 2: Elliot back to the flying attacks, but his knee attempt misses. Another flying knee is unsuccessful, but it allows him to close the gap and clinch, landing strikes from inside, including an elbow that bloodies Gaudinot. Spinning back kick by Gaudinot misses, as Elliot continues to pressure and cut off the cage. Elliot strings together another combo that lands, and Gaudinot goes back to work with his feet, firing off a stiff kick. Gaudinot’s nose is likely broken, as its bleeding and he’s breathing out of his mouth more now. Elliot with a takedown and into half-guard, doing more than enough damage. Uppercuts getting through and just constant attacking by Elliot as we go under a minute.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Elliot
Round 3: We start the round where we left the second, as Elliot’s on top after another takedown. Elbows from the top getting through and doing damage, as Gaudinot is trying to sweep his way out. Elliot hammering away from mount, works for a submission and moves back to full mount. Gaudinot hip escapes to half-guard, but is still unable to get any offense going. Nasty elbows to the face connect, and Elliot is looking like a future challenger. Elliot continues to pound on Gaudinot, going over the 160-mark in strikes landed. Under a minute, and just vicious elbows from in close to the head.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Elliot
Tim Elliot def. Louis Gaudinot via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau
Our final prelim bout takes place in the lightweight division, as Benson Henderson’s MMA Lab teammate Jamie Varner (21-7-1) looks to start the night off right for the team against Gleison Tibau (27-9). The third man inside the Octagon will be Yves Lavigne.
Round 1: Tibau is just a huge lightweight. The amount of weight he cuts, and adds back on, is insane and makes him look like a middleweight. Varner getting off a little quicker, but everything Tibau connects with has a crazy amount of power to it. Tibau connects and goes for a flying knee, but misses. Tibau with a step-in kick to the head, but misses just short. Varner looking for that right hand, but Tibau is circling away from it. The Milwaukee crowd is restless, or maybe they just wanna boo Varner because of his Henderson ties. Tibau grabs a leg and slams Varner to the canvas hard, just brute strength from the Brazilian, who is trying to isolate the arm. Varner’s corner doing a nice job of instructing him, but Tibau lands a big left and takes the back in the process.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Tibau
Round 2: Lots of circling, and Tibau goes for a takedown. Varner grabs the neck and gets slammed hard, but is unable to secure the choke. Tibau now back on top with plenty of time to do damage. Hammer-fists from Tibau, who has a hold of his arm and head, trapping him. Varner tries to get up and gives up his back. Back to mount with a hip escape, but Tibau continues to do damage. Varner, again, rolls and gives up his back, but quickly rolls again and is in the mount of Tibau. Varner gets flattened and beaten, as Tibau is in complete control and dominating this match.
FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Tibau
Round 3: Varner, knowing his back is against the wall, storms out of the gates quickly. Quick left gets through for Varner, and Tibau is backing up constantly now. Body shot lands and Varner is definitely the fresher fighter. Tibau, though, times a takedown perfectly and scores. Varner back to his feet right away this time and gets out. Three minutes left. Uppercut to the body lands and it is win or go home time for Varner. He’s attacking the body and Tibau is moving back, looking only for the takedown. Varner appears to have injured his hand, and Tibau scores with a left, while also defending a takedown attempt. Varner with an uppercut and Tibau wobbles. Varner scores a takedown and is attacking, hammering away with elbows to the face. Tibau has just under two minutes to survive, but is doing so by tying him up. Varner firing away, but he just can’t find that one money shot. Elbow gets through for Varner, who has 40 seconds left to finish.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Varner
Gleison Tibau def. Jamie Varner via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier
Two featherweights who were on the cusp of title-contention look to get back there, as Erik Koch (13-2) represents Milwaukee’s own Roufusport against Dustin Poirier (13-3). Rob Hinds is the referee in charge. Koch’s reception is great, but likely nothing compared to what Anthony Pettis is going to receive here in a few short hours.
On a side note, the Octagon girls are wearing leather bikini’s tonight…very nice touch, very nice.
Round 1: Poirier pressing the action, taking advantage of a slip by Koch and pouncing. He lands some nice punches, but Koch throws up a triangle and secures it. Poirier tries to slam him down to break it, but Koch has it locked up and is tightening the grip. Poirier gets rolled over and free from the submission, but still caught in the guard. Koch attempting another triangle, as Poirier’s face is beat red; he was close to getting choked out right there. Poirier breaks free and gets to his feet. Koch has to feel confident after that exchange, but could also be a little gassed based on the use of his skills for the choke attempt and the energy he had coming into the fight in his hometown. Nice knee to the body by Koch inside the clinch, and another. Left from Poirier connects and he drops Koch with another. Koch is in trouble, as Poirier postures up and is hammering down with rights to the face. Elbow from Poirier, who postures up again and fires down more hammer-fists. Koch survives and gets to his feet, but is quickly taken back down. Poirier going for the D’arce choke as we approach 10 seconds. He’s trying to secure it, Koch hears the sound of the 10-second warning and survives.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Poirier
Round 2: I’ve gotta agree with Joe Rogan, who said he is glad the fight didn’t end late in the first because we get to see more of it. Good exchange from the start by both, as Poirier lands a left, hits a right and forces Koch to move. Straight right lands by Koch, who could be looking to counter as Koch continues to come in hard and fast. They clinch, Koch goes for a trip takedown and Poirier reverses it with his own, landing on top. Poirier takes the back, looking to lock in his hooks with three minutes left in the round. Poirier gets a little too high for a neck crank, but remains in full mount and has an arm triangle in. He’s against the fence, though, and doesn’t have a lot of room to work with. Solid left hands from the top by Poirier, who remains in full mount. Koch’s face is definitely taking a beating and it shows, but he gets to his feet by cage-walking. Inside the clinch, Poirier with an elbow that causes more swelling. Another huge elbow and Poirier just misses with a wild right.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Poirier
Round 3: Koch, likely feeling he is behind, comes out strong, throwing some nice rights. Poirier, though, answers with a left that snaps his head back. Poirier pushes him against the fence and is working for a takedown, landing body shots and elbows to the head while doing so. Koch on top, trapped in the full-guard and looking to advance. Koch has two minutes to do something, still looking to pass into a more workable position. Nice elbow gets through but Poirier is doing a good enough job of staying close and not allowing the power shot to get through. Koch takes the back, gets a hook in and rolls under, looking for a choke as we approach a minute left. He has book hooks in, cranks the neck, but gives it up. He’s working to get in deeper and Poirier stands up. Koch remains in control as they go back to the canvas and he works for another choke with 20 seconds left. The body triangle is secured, but Poirier is defending the choke. He goes for it and Poirier shakes his finger in the air.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Koch
Dustin Poirier def. Erik Koch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell
“The Truth” returns to the heavyweight division, as Brandon Vera (12-6) takes on Ben Rothwell (32-9). Rothwell is a Wisconsin-native and the overwhelming crowd favorite. The third man inside the Octagon will be Herb Dean, the best referee to save a heavyweight from a further beatdown.
Round 1: Big leg kick from Vera, but Rothwell lands a hammer in return. Vera takes the leg out from Rothwell, dropping him, but he quickly gets to his feet before Vera can pounce. Rothwell lands a right that knocks Vera against the fence, but he is still in this thing. Somehow! That was a nasty right. Vera going back to the kicks, trying to keep Rothwell at bay. Exchange of lefts stop each man for a brief moment before they come right back to keep fighting. Big kick to the body from Vera, and Rothwell lands a counter. This has been a very efficient striking, counter-striking contest. Vera tries to get Rothwell to chase, and he’ll have none of it, stopping and waving him to the center. Rothwell is slowly stalking Vera around the cage, saving some energy in the process. Just before the round ends, Vera gets kicked flush in the junk. He is in obvious pain and the crowd reacts to the replays.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Rothwell
Round 2: Vera going back to work with his kicks, as Rogan and Goldberg reflect on his nasty kick delivered to Randy Couture. Rothwell catches him and lands a nice knee to the body, show he is more than just hands. Holy cow, Rothwell throws a head kick that lands, but Vera doesn’t even flinch. Rothwell clinches and is looking to do some damage. Vera gets out and lands a nice left, but Rothwell responds with an uppercut. Rothwell lands a kick that nearly sweeps Vera off his feet. Vera shoots for a single-leg and gets brushed to the side. He’s a great wrestler, but didn’t set it up at all, so it had no chance. Rothwell to the body and clinches again with a minute left. Rothwell has him caught and unloads with a pair of shots.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Vera
Round 3: Rothwell’s been called out for his cardio before, but he looks great here. Rothwell hurts him with a kick to the body and clinches. Vera seemed hurt from the kick, as he started to double-over before being tied up. Rothwell snaps off another kick, but it’s low and just hits the arm. Rothwell doing some taunting, looking like Clay Guida moving his head and he lands a nice combo, followed by a left uppercut. He has Vera hurt, teeing off with rights, lefts and a knee. Vera gets dropped, Rothwell pounces and he curls up. The Bradley Center explodes for “Big Ben.”
Ben Rothwell def. Brandon Vera via TKO (strikes) at 1:54 of Round 3
Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida
Former No. 1 featherweight contender Chad Mendes (14-1) seeks his fourth straight first round finish when he faces Clay Guida (30-13). Mendes is ranked No. 1 in the division, falling to Jose Aldo last year for the title. Yves Lavigne is the referee.
Round 1: Guida is coming right after Mendes, like the old “Carpenter” and not the one that fought Gray Maynard. Mendes said earlier this week he was prepared for any kind of Guida and appears to be correct. Both miss big shots, ducking out of the way with ease. Mendes lands a short, compact strike, stopping Guida for a brief moment. Good exchange by both, as Mendes sprawls off a takedown and goes to lock in a guillotine. He almost has it, rolling to a front mount, but can’t hold on. High kick by Guida is checked, and he misses with a wild overhand right. Mendes catches him with a right on the chin, shoots, but misses on the takedown attempt. Straight right lands from Mendes, and Guida has a cut from it under his eye. They come together and Mendes takes Guida to his back with a minute left. Mendes isn’t able to do a whole lot, but likely enough to secure the round.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Mendes
Round 2: Lots of movement from both, as Guida may have found his match in terms of quickness in Mendes. Nice left from The Carpenter, but Mendes barely flinches. Guida connects with a low kick and tries to apologize twice as the ref tries to separate the two. Guida apologizes again, and we are back to action. Guida shoots and Mendes sprawls, fending it off and taking the back in the process. Mendes waits for him to get up and delivers a perfectly-timed knee to the head. Mendes shoots and Guida defends it this time. Another takedown attempt by Guida gets denied, as the wrestling has been neutralized for both. Just as I write that, Mendes gets a takedown and swiftly moves to the back. Mendes has his right arm chicken winged and moves to secure a potential choke, followed by a knee to the body. Guida goes for a wild takedown, misses and eats several rights and another knee to the body.
FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Mendes
Round 3: Mendes drops him and attacks, landing heavy lefts and a right that floors Guida. You could hear the impact through the TV speakers and Guida curls, sending the ref flying in to save him. Mendes definitely deserves Aldo next after that one.
Chad Mendes def. Clay Guida via TKO (strikes) at :30 of Round 3
Frank Mir vs. Josh Barnett
Two former UFC heavyweight champions square off in our co-main event, as Josh Barnett (32-6) returns to the Octagon for the first time since 2002 to meet Frank Mir (16-7). Serving up the rules will be Rob Hinds. Combined, these two hold 28 submission victories, including 19 from Barnett.
As always, Mir’s father is with him in his corner, but seeing them kiss on the lips is still so weird. His wife and daughter are also in attendance, and I have to question if Mir might announce his retirement with a loss. Just a thought……
Round 1: An intense staredown and no touch of gloves. These guys respect each other, but they won’t show it right now. Barnett comes right out and is attacking Mir, tying him up and unloading several lefts. Mir’s firing back inside the clinch. They tie up, Barnett tries a toss and gets denied, landing some solid uppercuts instead. Big right uppercut gets through and Mir spins out. Another uppercut and a knee to the body by Barnett, who is vicious with his shots. Barnett unloads with a knee followed by a straight left. Barnett lands a knee to the head that floors Mir straight to the ground and the ref steps in. Mir is protesting, but he was knocked out by the shot. Barnett tied his head with his left and delivered the knee directly. Mir looked out but he bounced right back up when the ref stepped in.
Josh Barnett def. Frank Mir via KO (knee to the head) at 1:56 of Round 1
Benson Henderson (c) vs. Anthony Pettis for the UFC lightweight title
It’s main event – and rematch – time, as Benson Henderson (19-2) seeks redemption, while also trying to defend his UFC lightweight title, against Anthony Pettis (16-2). “Showtime” won the first encounter via decision in the WEC. The referee will be Herb Dean.
I am very, very, very excited for this rematch years in the making. And yes, the Bradley Center was rocking for Pettis’ entrance, and very vocal against “Smooth.”
Also, the referee outside checking over the mouth pieces and such double-checked Henderson’s mouth for any toothpicks after he had one following a recent victory.
Round 1: No touch of gloves and we are off. Henderson comes out, putting pressure on and driving for a takedown after eating a right. Henderson working the double, switches to a single amid a round of “let’s go Pettis” chants while a few “Henderson” fans peep up. Henderson is working the takedown and kicking out the other leg at the same time, but breaks free and they square off. Again, Henderson pushes through and goes for another takedown. Stiff kick to the lead leg by Henderson and Pettis answers with a right. A lot of jockeying inside the clinch by both fighters, as Henderson continues to wear on him with takedown attempts. Henderson is tying him up and kicking at the calf; that’s totally new to me. Always improving is the champion, as he says, “one-percent better each day.” Pettis with a nasty knee to the body, and another kick to the body, followed by another and he has Henderson running. Pettis’ kicks are just incredible, but he gets taken down for his efforts on his latest attempt. Pettis catches an arm, turns it and this one is over, as Henderson is forced to tap.
Henderson is extremely disappointed and just walks off. Pettis comes over and congratulates him, but that was a shocking end to the match.
Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson via submission (armbar) at 4:31 of Round 1