UFC 144: Round-by-round recaps

Inside Fights Shawn M. Smith
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The team from Inside Fights dissects and discusses UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson immediately after the pay-per-view show.

Main bouts

Lightweight championship bout

Frankie Edgar (c) vs. Benson Henderson

Round 1

Inside leg kick from the champ to start. Edgar catches a leg kick from Henderson and walks him across the cage but Henderson throws a flipping kick over the top that misses. Henderson shoots for a takedown that Edgar stuffs. Inside leg kick from Frankie. Edgar takes an accidental shot to the cup but he continues. Edgar catches the kick again and kicks Henderson in the legs. Body kick by Henderson is caught, as well. Big left from Henderson and right to the body from Frankie. Takedown from Edgar. Spinning backfist misses from Edgar. Edgar goes for a big kick and the round ends.

10-9 Edgar

Round 2

Henderson is pressing forward but Frankie is able to connect. Body kick from Henderson is caught once again. Frankie counters with a leg kick and body kick. Punches land for Henderson. Body kick caught from Frankie, who connects to the body. Big jab from Henderson. Knee by Bendo. Henderson walks Frankie down and knees him to the body against the fence. Spinning backfist Frankie misses. Flying knee to the body from Henderson is blocked. Leg kick from Edgar is blocked. Left hook connects for Frankie, who tries for the takedown, pinning him down by the neck. Leg kick from Henderson. Ben jabs as Frankie comes in with a body kick. Edgar gets hammered with a big upkick that drops him and Henderson swarms for a guillotine. Frankie is able to roll free and the round ends. Edgar is pouring blood now.

10-9 Henderson

Round 3

Body kick lands for Edgar. Right hand from Edgar connects. Left hand connects as Henderson comes in. Three punch combo from Frankie Edgar. Good punch from Frankie out of a takedown attempt. Head kick from Henderson. Power-double from Edgar is stuffed. Knee to the body from Henderson but the champ counters. Right hand by the champ. Frankie slips on a kick and Henderson takes him to the mat. Against the fence, Edgar gets up and eats a kick. Edgar's left eye is almost totally closed now too. Big right from Edgar connects. Jabs connect from Henderson. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Big knee to the face from Edgar. Edgar catches the leg and gets a takedown. Head kick from Henderson glances off the back of Edgar's head Edgar gets a takedown, but Henderson gets up to end the round.

10-9 Henderson

Round 4

Head kick from Edgar is blocked. Kick from Henderson is caught. Jab from Bendo ask Frankie throws a kick. Big right hand lands out of a combo from Edgar. Low kick to the cup on Edgar and the ref is forced to stop for a rest. Back in action, Edgar throws an inside leg kick and solid right hand. Edgar is coming forward now and lands another good right. Big knee as Frankie dives in. Henderson takes a guillotine, but Edgar pops free. Henderson is back to his feet. Side kick misses from Bendo. Judo toss from Edgar and they are back to their feet striking. Body kicks continue to find a home from Bendo.

10-9 Henderson

Round 5

Right from the champ to start. Inside leg kick from Edgar. Edgar takes another kick to the body that he catches and eats a punch for his leg kick effort. Edgar comes in for a takedown but is stuffed, unleashing a big punch in the process. Big right from Edgar. Another big shot from Frankie Edgar and Benson has Edgar on his back. Back in the center of the cage, there’s a huge right from the challenger. Slip from Frankie and he almost gets a takedown. Henderson is dazed by a shot from the champ and Edgar is coming in for a takedown and eats another shot. Head kick from Henderson just misses. Frankie Edgar shoots for another big takedown, but it’s reversed and Henderson end up a guillotine attempt into the mount with strikes to end the bout.

10-9 Henderson and 49-46 for Benson Henderson.

Winner and NEW UFC lightweight champion: Benson Henderson by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46)

Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson vs. Ryan Bader

Round 1

Cage rage

Miss any action from UFC 144 in Japan? We've got you covered with the best action from inside the Octagon.

Mind games early as Rampage steps in and goes head to head. Rampage Stalking the young fighter early. Leg kick from Bader. Rampage shoots for a takedown, but Bader takes his neck and almost gets a takedown. Superman from Bader misses. Big right hand from Bader misses. Jab finally connects from Rampage. Leg kick from Bader. Big right over the top from Bader that connects, but Rampage is able to shake it off. Bader clinches and works Rampage against the fence. Elbow in the clinch for Rampage, but they separate and resume fighting in the center of the Octagon. Bader shoots again and gets the clinch on Rampage against the cage. Leg kick from Rampage. Takedown attempt by Rampage is avoided. Rampage barely misses with a big left as the round ends.

10-9 Bader

Round 2

Leg kick connects from Bader. Rampage barely misses with a big hook. Straight from Bader is blocked. Bader gets pressed against the fence by Rampage who is hitting big punches to the body. Rampage picks Bader up and slams him up and Bader tries to adjust in the air and gets SPIKED on his head. Rampage is putting on the heat now. Bader recovers and shoots for a double, taking Rampage to his back. Strong ground and pound from Bader, but Rampage is trying to wall walk against the fence while eating short hooks to the fence and body. Rampage tries to kick Bader off, but Bader ends up on Rampage's back. Big slam from Bader now. Bader pulls the legs back out from under Rampage who is stuck on his back with no answers.

10-9 Bader

Round 3

Rampage with a big jab. Bader gets a hold of Jackson and walks him to the cage. Knees to the thighs of Rampage Jackson who wants to work free and swing. He succeeds. Takedown is stuffed by Rampage. Left connects for Bader. Power double from Bader into side control. Knees to the body from Ryan Bader. Rampage gets back into open guard and Bader is throwing short strikes. Rampage tries to get back to his feet, but Bader takes the legs back from under him again. Bader is in side control with massive hooks to the body and Rampage is taking big, big gasps. Bader begins to work for a kimura, but Rampage gets his arm free. With one last big explosion, Rampage gets free, but gets caught in a guillotine as the horn sounds.

10-9 Bader and 30-27 for Bader.

Winner: Ryan Bader by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27,30-27)

Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo

Round 1

Leg kick from Hunt, but he slips on the way out. Kongo tries to press him against the cage, but Hunt is able to reverse and get free. Front kick to the body from Kongo. Lead left misses from Hunt. Leg kick connects for Hunt. Hunt times a left hand perfectly and drops Kongo, but he lets him up. Another big shot staggers Kongo against the cage and he hits him with two big shots against the fence. One more big shot while Kongo spins away and he is dropped like a bag of sand with his leg flops under him as referee Herb Dean steps in to end the fight.

Winner: Mark Hunt via TKO (Round 1, punches, 2:11)

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields

Round 1

Shields tries to drag Akiyama to the mat early, but he's shrugged off. Jake shoots for a takedown against the fence, but Sexyama fights free. Two body kicks connect from Shields. Right uppercut connects on the chin of Shields, but he's fine. Shields dives for the leg but the two end up against the fence. Shields has his back, but can't finish the position as Akiyama is too strong for him. Akiyama loses his mouthpiece and the fight is restarted. Jabs from Shields are connecting clean. Two trip takedowns from Akiyama, but Shields is able to get back to his feet.

10-9 Shields

Round 2

Akiyama is stuffing takedown attempts and lands a big right. Trip takedown attempt by Akiyama. Spinning back elbow lands on Shields' chin. Body kick lands from Shields. Big takedown attempt by Shields is stuffed by Akiyama. Left body kick from Sexyama is caught by Shields but he cannot get his opponent down. Shields eats a big leg kick. Big judo throw from Sexyama, but Shields is back to his feet. The slam looked great and he's defending every single attempt thus far. As I type that, Shields gets his back and the two spin to take the round to its conclusion.

10-9 Akiyama

Round 3

High kick from Akiyama misses. Right hands connect from both fighters. Left leg kick, then a body kick from Shields. Outside leg kick from Shields. Left hand connects as Jake Shields comes forward. Shields continues to find a home for his leg kicks. Big right uppercut in the clinch from Akiyama. Shields shoots in hard for a takedown and Akiyama spins out of it and presses him against the fence. The two separate and are back in the center of the cage. Shields presses forward for a takedown and Akiyama is finally taken down for a moment. Two minutes to go and Shields is leaning hard into him against the cage. The referee separates them with just over a minute to go. Shields finally gets Akiyama down to the mat, but Akiyama grabs the fence. Shields' corner goes nuts as he grabs it again to control his position. Shields takes Sexyama's back and has his hooks in deep. Shields tries for a choke as the horn sounds.

10-9 Shields and 29-28 for Shields for the win.

Winner: Jake Shields by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch

Round 1

Right hand lands for Tim Boetsch. Straight left from Okami. Right jab from Okami lands right on the left eye of Boetsch. Boetsch is getting clipped. Okami's jab continues to find a home on Boetsch's face. Boetsch goes for a leg, but Okami shrugs him off. Combination from Okami connects. He's just having his way tonight and he's really improved since his loss to Anderson Silva. Great striking thus far. Big high kick lands on Boetsch's left eye. Boetsch gets two kicks to the body. Inside leg kick from Boetsch. Head kick from Okami is blocked. Boetsch ducks some punches and lands a short hook. Boetsch eats a body kick.

10-9 Okami

Round 2

Okami gets his hands all over Boetsch. Big knee to the body from Okami. Okami pulls Boetsch in and presses him against the cage. Okami works to take him to the mat but Boetsch takes his neck. Boetsch has to let go as his arms are spent and Okami begins working to get side control. Okami works for an arm triangle, but Boetsch does a good job of keeping him in half guard. Okami tries for a kimura and gets to full mount and rains blows. Boetsch is able to fend off the offense of Okami, who takes the round.

10-9 Okami

Round 3

Jab from Okami as Boestch comes forward. Boetsch is on the prowl. He is chasing forward after Okami and clips him. Boetsch grabs a half Thai clinch and levels four uppercuts on Okami's chin. Okami tries to get free, but Boetsch pursues and lands another three uppercuts that drop him. It's academic as he dives on Okami for the finish. Big, big comeback.

Winner: Tim Boetsch by TKO (R3, punches, 0:54)

Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski

Round 1

WHO'S NO. 1?

Toughness is key in UFC ... check out who's tougher than the rest.

Big left from Hioki puts Palaszewski down momentarily. Hioki is catching Bart coming backwards. Leg kick from Palaszewski. Palaszewski tries to grab a guillotine as he is dragged to the mat. Hioki pops free and gets into side control easily. Hioki is working for a mounted crucifix, but Bart is doing enough to steer clear of that position. Palaszewski gives up his back to get free and is locked into his armbar. Palaszewski pushes free and stands up, almost getting caught in an omoplata. Hioki ends up back in Palaszewski's guard and is postured up and hitting Bart hard. Palaszewski will need to find a new plan in Round 2. He got owned.

Hioki 10-9

Round 2

Head kick from Hioki is blocked. Punch to the body from Hioki after a switch kick to high kick from Bart. Good combination lands for Palaszewski. Leg kick from Palaszewski is checked. Head kick from Hioki goes over the top of Palaszewski's head. Hioki is landing his jab at will. Leg kick from Palaszewski into a jab. Hioki goes over the top with a head kick again. Double jab from Bart. An accidental groin kick on Palaszewski is walked straight through by Bart. He returns the favor but neither fighter wants to stop. Two front kicks to the body from Hioki. Hioki shoots for a double to end the round and works to grab Bart's back as the horn sounds.

10-9 Palaszewski

Round 3

Hioki shoots for a takedown, but Bart keeps it standing. After tussling against the cage, Palaszewski is tripped to the mat. Hioki is now in side control and tries for the mount, but Palaszewski gets a leg back in. Hioki with the mounted crucifix and Bart eats a ton of short elbows and punches. Palaszewski gives up his back to get free and Hioki rides him back to the fence. Bart is fighting to get back to his feet, but Hioki is riding him to get him flattened out. Body triangle on tight. Hioki lands short elbows after a failed neck crank and shifts to take an arm as the fight ends.

10-9 Hioki and 29-28 on the Inside Fights scorecard for Hatsu Hioki.

Winner: Hatsu Hioki by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon

Round 1

High kick from Pettis is blocked by Lauzon. Pettis snaps back some fast punches after Lauzon lets go some of his own. Left high kick from Anthony Pettis connects HARD and puts Joe Lauzon on his back. It's fundamental as Pettis dives in with two hammerfists for the KO.

Winner: Anthony Pettis via knockout (Roud 1, headkick, 1:21)

Preliminary bouts

Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka

Round 1

Right uppercut lands for Mitsuoka. Gomi begins to get loose and is throwing his jab out there. Gomi is clipped by a right from Mitsuoka. Mitsuoka shoots in and Gomi connects with three knees to the body to get free from the cage. Big right from Gomi misses the body of Mitsuoka. Right hand connects from both fighters. Uppercut from Mitsuoka connects again, but he eats a hook for his effort. Inside leg kick from Gomi. Body kick and jabs land for Gomi. Gomi comes forward and eats a big punch that puts him on the mat. Gomi is locked into a mounted triangle from the back with 30 seconds to go but is barely able to make it through to the second frame. He gets up and shakes his head as he walks to his corner.

10-9 Mitsuoka

Round 2

Body kick from Gomi who comes out with purpose. Gomi lands a slew of headshots and Mitsuoka looks gassed. Gomi is trying to avoid a takedown from Mitsuoka who has been rocked from the abuse. Gomi takes the back of Mitsuoka and begins raining blows to his head. Mitsuoka gets his left side against the fence but isn't able to intelligently defend the strikes of "The Fireball Kid" and the fight is stopped.

Winner: Takanori Gomi by TKO (Round 2, strikes, 2:21)

Norifumi 'Kid' Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee

Round 1

Vaughan Lee immediately trying to close the distance but Yamamoto moves away. Big right hand connects by Yamamoto. Big left from Lee finds a home before a body kick from Yamamoto. Another right hand from Yamamoto stings Lee and Vaughan Lee is stagged. Yamamoto smells blood and he charges in and levels big shots to the arms of Lee. Lee rides it out and lands a big knee that hurts Yamamoto. Yamamoto takes two big shots to the chin and his right ankle buckles. Yamamoto gets Lee to his back, but Lee is trying for a triangle choke. Yamamoto is fighting to avoid the submission and Vaughan Lee moves to an armbar. It's deep and Yamamoto is forced to tap.

Winner: Vaughan Lee by submission (Round 1, armbar, 4:29)

Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell

Round 1

Cantwell comes out with an early head kick that is countered by a takedown from Fukuda. Ground and pound from Fukuda as Cantwell works for submissions from the bottom. Cantwell avoids strikes on his back and scrambles his way back to his feet. Cantwell hits a knee as he gets off the cage. Leg kick connects from Cantwell. Big right hand from Cantwell. Fukuda comes in for a takedown, but it's stuffed by Cantwell. Another takedown is blocked by Fukuda. Leg kick from Fukuda connects with the inside of Cantwell's leg. Right hand from Fukuda finds a home. Superman punch from Cantwell doesn't connect. Punch to the body lands on Fukuda. Inside leg kicks from Fukuda. Head kicks from Cantwell and a flying knee misses from him as well to end the round.

10-9 Cantwell

Round 2

Jabs from Cantwell to start Round 2. Two leg kicks connect for Fukuda, who answers with one of his own. Fukuda shoots for a single-leg takedown, but Cantwell grabs the guillotine choke. Steve Cantwell can't get the finish and lets the hold go. In the half clinch, Fukuda begins to land short hooks and uppercuts. Cantwell lands a big punch. Cantwell is backing up and not moving his head at all. Fukuda is just teeing off on Cantwell, but a missed spinning elbow gets him free again. Both fighters are tired now, but Fukuda looks to finish with big shots. Cantwell counters with big punches of his own and eats a big kick to the groin. Big right from Cantwell misses on the restart. Cantwell shoots for a takedown late in the round and gets it. Cantwell tries to grab Fukuda's back but is shaken off as the round ends.

10-9 Fukuda

Round 3

Cantwell eats three big leg kicks to start the round. Correction: make that four. Five. Six. That's six unchecked leg kicks and all Cantwell has had to offer is a front kick and missed straight. Left roundhouse kick from Cantwell connects with little power. Fukuda gets a big takedown against the fence. Cantwell tries for a gogoplata against the fence, but Fukuda gets free. Fukuda can't keep Cantwell down from side control. Three more leg kicks have landed for Fukuda and Cantwell's left leg looks awfully red now. Body kicks and punches against the fence from Fukuda who is just destroying Cantwell now. Great finish from Fukuda who dominated in this round.

10-9 Fukuda and 29-28 Fukuda on our scorecard.

Winner: Riki Fukuda by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso

Round 1

The bantamweights start the night off here with our live coverage. Early head kick from Cariaso is blocked as Mizugaki comes in for a jab. Both fighters come in and clash with the same sequence. Left-right combo lands for Cariaso. Mizugaki misses a takedown and eats a right on the way out. Punch to the body lands for Mizugaki. Both fighters clinch against the fence and Mizugaki gets the takedown into open guard. Cariaso goes for an omoplata but cannot tie up the waist of Mizugaki, who stands up and gets free. Mizugaki gets back into the guard of Cariaso. Ground and pound is scoring pounds for Mizugaki as Cariaso controls the wrists to set up submissions. The round concludes with one solid minute of defensive guard work by Cariaso.

10-9 Mizugaki

Round 2

Mizugaki misses a right hand to begin the round. Moving forward now, Mizugaki once again uses his striking to force Cariaso near the fence. Head kick lands under the armpit of Mizugaki; Cariaso throws another shortly thereafter. Left hand connects from Cariaso after both men miss several combinations. Mizugaki comes in and presses Cariaso to the fence, eating several uppercuts in the clinch from Cariaso. Cariaso and Mizugaki each take turns in control against the cage before Mizugaki gets a trip takedown. Shots from the top are landing for Mizugaki and Cariaso lands two hammerfists to the side of his opponent. Cariaso executes the "100 percent" sweep and gets Mizugaki onto his back, but Mizugaki rolls free. Both fighters end up against the fence to end the round.

10-9 Mizugaki

Round 3

Head kick lands for Chris Cariaso and Mizugaki walks through it. Short knees from the clinch from both Cariaso and Mizugaki. Cariaso tries for a takedown from the corner, but Mizugaki defends with short elbows. Good one-two from Cariaso as the two fighters exit from the fence. In the clinch, Cariaso lands several knees to the body before a good short elbow. Head kick from Chris Cariaso leads to a slip that puts Cariaso on his back with Mizugaki in his guard. Mizugaki gets into half guard momentarily before Cariaso adjusts his hips with 10 seconds to go. Both fighters stand back up on their feet and Cariaso chases for a finish before the round ends.

10-9 Mizugaki. Inside Fights has it 30-27 for Mizugaki.

Winner: Chris Cariaso by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Zhang Tiequan vs. Issei Tamura

Issei Tamura defeats Tiequan Zhang (Round 2, punch, 0:32)

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