The two are yet again fighting in the clinch up against the
cage. The stalemate is ended by a huge slam from Henderson.
Henderson threatens with a choke when Diaz gives up his back, but
settles for laying in some heavy elbows and punches when the
challenger rolls back onto his back. Diaz gets back to his feet but
Henderson is still right on him. Diaz going for a kimura but
Henderson takes him down to rob him of the necessary leverage. Diaz
back to his feet but Henderson still in control. Diaz manages to
get a takedown but Henderson reverses in the scramble. They’re back
standing but the fight is clearly over and a half-hearted kick from
Diaz shows that the challenger knows it. A brilliant performance
from the champion who ruthlessly neutralized Diaz’s offense. Judges
have it 50-43 (don’t get that one), 50-45 and 50-45 for the
champion Benson Henderson. With the exception of the third round
the fight was never close enough to really reach the heights many
of us expected it to but Henderson showed himself to be a worthy
champion of the greatest division in the sport’s history.
Official Result: Benson Henderson defeated Nate
Diaz via unanimous decision (50-43, 50-45, 50-45) to retain the UFC
world lightweight title
Henderson gets the takedown after a tightly contested clinch
battle, quickly moving to take Diaz’s back. Diaz briefly gets back
to his feet only to be taken down again. The challenger again gives
up his back. He eventually gets back to his feet, Diaz threating
with a kimura. Henderson counters with another takedown. Geez
someone from Cesar Gracie’s Camp being outwrestled – who would have
predicted that! Diaz gets back to his feet only to be taken down
again. Henderson able to enjoy his first sustained spell in top
position with Diaz seeming subdued. Diaz goes for a kimura but
Henderson is equal to it. Henderson just totally and utterly
blanketing Diaz who seems to have run out of ideas about how to
deal with the champion’s superior strength and wrestling. Henderson
potshotting a prone Diaz as the round ends. Henderson unsure
whether to enter Diaz’s guard or let him back up. And so the round
peters out. Another Henderson round.
Score: 10-9 Henderson
Score so far: 40-36 Henderson
Henderson lands yet more leg kicks as the fight starts – the
toll they’ve taken on the challenger is becoming clear. Diaz tries
to force the action with his boxing but he merely creates the space
for Henderson to get a big takedown. Diaz is able to prevent
Henderson making the most of the position by aggressively looking
for submissions off his back, so creating the space to get back to
his feet. However he soon ends up back on his back, Henderson
working Diaz over while avoiding going into Diaz’s guard. Henderson
finally moves to side control but his caution was justified when
Diaz counters and comes close to securing a kneebar. Henderson
rolls out, takes Diaz’s back and threatens with a choke. Diaz
counters with another move for a kneebar but Henderson is able to
escape (after a brief period doing the splits!). Henderson then
knocks Diaz down! This fight has really caught fire this round.
Diaz again threatening off his back as the round ends but Henderson
has built a strong advantage on the scorecards.
Score: 10-9 Henderson
Score So Far: 30-27 Henderson
Benson Henderson takes control at the beginning of the round. He
gets a takedown early and hurts Diaz with powerful ground punches.
As Diaz staggers back to his feet he follows up with more offense.
While Diaz is now standing he can’t separate from Henderson, and is
so being made to carry the champion’s weight in the clinch. Diaz
finally able to escape but eats an elbow on the way out. Diaz is a
really struggling against an opponent who won’t fight to his
strengths. Henderson knocks down Diaz with a left hook, champion
swarming all over the challenger who is in serious trouble with
over a minute to go. Diaz gets back to his feet but he has been
busted open. Henderson pushing for a takedown up against the cage.
Diaz reverses into a hip toss but Henderson quickly gets back to
his feet. Henderson lands a leg kick as the round ends.
Score: Henderson 10-9
Score so far: Henderson20-18
For all the talk of the previous two fights changing the guard
consider this; with BJ Penn at welterweight and Frankie Edgar at
featherweight this is the first lightweight title fight to feature
neither man in over six years. Having edged out Edgar over ten
rounds Henderson now have the chance to impose himself on the
division in a way Edgar never could by beginning his dynasty by
clearly defeating Diaz. His key routes to victory are his
tremendous wrestling, kicking and submission defense. Diaz on the
otherhand will be hoping to put the champion under pressure with
his boxing and potentially doing the seemingly impossible –
By the way its worth noting that the main event is starting at
what was the scheduled finish time of the event. Given that most
would bet on this going the distance, this show is going to have an
Henderson opens up with several kicks. He misses with one and
Diaz closes the distance to push Henderson up against the cage.
Diaz attacking the legs of Henderson. Henderson switches the
position, but Diaz still focusing on attacking the legs. Jockeying
for position in the clinch up against the cage. Henderson has
double underhooks but Diaz doing a great job of resisting the
takedown. Henderson working for the takedown but can’t get it. Diaz
lands an elbow on the separation. In the centre of the Octagon,
Henderson gets the takedown but wants no part of Diaz’s guard. Diaz
able to get back to his feet. Henderson again pushing for the
takedown but can’t get it. He does however get a trip, which gives
him the chance to land some punches on the ground. Henderson puts
together a good combination that ends in a knee. Round ends with
them again battling up against the cage.
Score: Henderson 10-9
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua vs Alexander Gustafsson
Shogun tags Gustafsson with a firm left-hand but the Swede is
able to walk through it – he really has answered any questions
about his previously untested chin. A messy exchanges leads to
Shogun giving up his back but Gustafsson is not able to
capitalized.The threat posed by Shogun’s leglocks really has
stopped Gustafsson impose a wrestling-led game in this fight.
Gustafsson hurts Shogun with a liver shot and the veteran has
slowed right down. Gustafsson starts punishing the former UFC and
Pride Champion in much the same way MacDonald did to Penn, just
methodically using his size advantage and more varied offense to
dissect the older man. Like MacDonald he doesn’t take the risks
necessary to finish the fight so Shogun gets to hear the final
bell. The judges all have it to Gustafsson 30-27 (as do I) in what
ended up as one-sided a fight as expected despite a surprisingly
competitive opening round.
Official Result: Alexander Gustafsson defeated
Shogun Rua via uanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Shogun starts the fight aggressively, marching forward and
landing overhand rights on the chin of the larger man. Gustafsson
standing up to the haymakers well. He goes for a takedown but
Shogun does well to resist. Shogun eats another overhand right,
then looks to use it to set up a takedown. However Gustafsson
reverses and ends up in top position. Gustafsson lets the fight go
back to the feet. Shogun makes him pay for that decision by really
tagging him immediately afterwards. Gustafsson fires back with a
takedown but Shogun quickly gets back to his feet. The two jockey
for position with Shogun actually threatening with a takedown.
Gustafsson gets another takedown but can’t keep Shogun down.
Gustafsson mounts his most effective offense of the fight towards
the end with his knees and uppercuts being particularly impressive.
Shogun’s face is starting to tell the story of the fight.
Score: 10-9 Gustafsson
Score so far: 20-18 Gustafsson
Gustafsson just dwarfs Shogun – its incredible to think they are
the same weight class. The fight starts out hot with Gustafsson
knocking down Shogun, threatening to finishing the Brazilian early.
However Shogun is able to counter by grabbing a hold of the leg and
going for a leglock! Gustafsson in real danger of being submitted
but the Swede eventually manages to escape. Shogun still looking to
attack the legs but Gustafsson able to evade. Gustafsson takes
Shogun down, but doesn’t impose himself on the ground. Shogun back
on his feet and knocks Gustafsson down! Gustafsson gets back up and
doing a good using his reach advantage to outpoint Shogun. Looks
for a takedown towards the end but can’t get it. Crazy opening
round – very back and forth action there. However Gustafsson has
the slight advantage to earn the 10-9 on my scorecard.
Score: 10-9 Gustafsson
BJ Penn vs Rory MacDonald
For a man often derided as a front-runner Penn does an admirable
job in digging dip to mount some real offense at the beginning of
the final round. He pushes MacDonald and threatens with a takedown.
But MacDonald was more than equal to the task. A slight slip does
not derail MacDonald’s momentum. Penn’s second wind seems to have
passed with MacDonald now able to easily keep things ticking over
while striking from distance. What he is not doing is putting
together the sustained offense to put Penn in danger of being
stopped, like he did in the second. It would seem that MacDonald
has settled for a decision victory and so the fight is somewhat
petering out. MacDonald taunting Penn as the fight ends with Penn
having been totally outfought. What was most impressive was the way
MacDonald’s striking has matured – the gaps in his technique that
were still evident against Che Mills were long gone.
Interesting interview with Rory MacDonald; he challenges Carlos
Condit and engages in some low-level swearing.
Official Result: Rory MacDonald defeated BJ Penn
via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
MacDonald lands the first major blow of the second round with
another standing elbow. The fight is becoming a more brutal replay
of the Penn vs. Diaz with the veteran being backed up against the
cage by the pulverizing offense of the younger fighter. Penn does
fire back with a right hand but MacDonald is just on another level
tonight. MacDonald corners him against the cage and just starts
destroying the former champion. Liver punches, kicks to the body,
short punches to the head, high kicks are all deployed in a
blistering one-side exchange that has the fight on the brink of
being stopped. MacDonald starts showboating before taking Penn down
with authority. The fight ends with Penn all but beaten. This is
promising to be an even more emphatic defeat than the Diaz
Score: 20-18, MacDonald
BJ Penn starts out as the aggressor. Tries to repeat his tactics
against Jon Fitch where he tried to catch the wrestler off guard by
going for a takedown – MacDonald able to block easily. MacDonald
attempts a takedown but can’t get it. MacDonald doing a good job of
striking against Penn from range – landing jabs and kicks from a
safe distance. Penn not wilting under pressure however, doing a
good job in threatening with overhand punches. Rogan makes the good
point that Penn is looking to punish MacDonald for dropping his
hands. Penn backs MacDonald up and briefly gets him off his feet.
Penn has MacDonald tied up against the cage but MacDonald reverses
the positions. MacDonald lands a nice elbow on the separation.
MacDonald lands a good body shot. MacDonald goes for a takedown and
Penn just manages to stay on his feet. Penn not looking good here.
MacDonald starting to hurt Penn here – the Prodigy is bleeding from
the mouth. The Canadian is really pouring it on as the round ends –
Penn is going to do well to make it to the final bell let alone
Score: 10-9 to MacDonald
Mike Swick vs Matt Brown
They exchange on the feet as we begin with Brown backing Swick
up with a standing elbow. They’re up against the cage but quickly
separate. And then quickly end back up against the cage. Swick
lands an elbow on the separation. Swick again pushes Brown up
against the cage as he struggles unsuccessfully for a takedown.
They separate again and Swick does not comfortable standing against
Brown. Swick misses with a lunging shot and is put on the defensive
by a jab from Brown. Swick drops his hands and is made to pay for
it – thunderous left hook followed by a right hand by Brown. Swick
is done! Tremendous knockout that brought a fight back to life that
after a slightly lethargic start to the second round.
Official Result: Matt Brown defeated Mike Swick
via knockout at 2:31 of the second round
Here we go! Mike Swick for obvious reasons looks very slender
compared to Matt Brown. Feeling out process to start, with both
fighters threatening with offense but not connecting. Brown gets
the takedown and starts working the submission. Working for a
D’Arce choke, gets it locked in. Swick doing well to mitigate the
pressure and manages to survive. With Swick’s head now free he gets
to push the action from top position. However, before he can get
his ground and pound going, Brown starts working for a triangle.
Great work off the back from Brown. Swick again showing very
intelligent defensive grappling but he’s in a bad position. Brown
looking to add an armbar to the triangle. Swick manages to roll out
and briefly threatens with a choke. But Brown manages to get back
to his feet. What a terrific five minutes of grappling. Superb
Score: 10-9 Brown
Yves Edwards vs Jeremy Stephens
Both guys come out fairly tentative, not throwing a lot. Leg
kick from Stephens is caught and Edwards goes for the takedown,
Stephens defends well and back to their feet. Stephens is throwing
straight down the middle and Edwards moving backwards as soon as he
sees him throw any punches. Edwards with a big strike and Stephens
goes down, Edwards pours it on and Stephens is out at 1:55 of the
Official Result: Yves Edwards wins via TKO at 1:55
of the first round.
Raphael Assuncao vs Mike Easton
Easton comes out aggressive again as he’s fighting like
he’s down on the scorecards. Raphael is looking for counters
and has found his range against him. Easton is throwing
aggressively but not connecting as Raphael is countering him well.
He goes for a takedown and gets deep on a single but Easton is
defending it wonderfully. He tries to spin him down but Easton
defends it and is back on his feet at the end of the spin. Circles
away and Raphael again with the takedown, goes for a double and
then lets it go for a body lock against the cage. Spin away from
the cage as Easton is throwing wild with everything he has; Raphael
with another takedown attempt but Easton is defending it
wonderfully. Raphael is using the cage but backs out after being
unable to finish the takedown. Raphael’s counters are really
good at this point as Easton goes for a double leg out of
desperation that doesn’t finish. Round ends with some light
Score: 10-9 Assuncao
Score So Far: 29-28 Assuncao
Official Result: 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 Raphael Assuncao
Easton starts out a bit more aggressive in his movements in the
second as Raphael is countering well. Easton is a bit cautious in
throwing, though, as Raphael is countering much more effectively
this round. Wheel kick looks pretty from Raphael but doesn’t
hit. Easton backs him against the cage with movement and the two
throw wildly, not missing much, as Raphael lands a knee south of
the border. Time to take a break as Easton recovers.
Easton lands a nice combination to start; apparently getting
kicked in the nuts charged him up a bit. Raphael is being more
aggressive with his movements as Easton is moving backwards more
often than in the round. Raphael is landing more leg kicks and
Easton goes for the double, sprawl by Raphael and he gets away.
Spinning back fist and Easton can’t connect with a
Score: 10-9 Assuncao
Score So Far: 19-19, even
Raphael opens with a nice spin kick, Easton moves out with
footwork and goes for one of his own that doesn’t hit.
He’s look for the counter against Raphael, answering a kick
with a beautiful combination. He’s hitting some nice
combinations here, everything’s nice and crisp. Raphael has
found his timing because Easton is pressing forward relentlessly;
Easton is being more aggressive because Raphael isn’t
throwing off his back foot like he was earlier in the round. Head
kick from Raphael misses and Easton misses the counter hook.
Raphael is moving out of the way as Easton’s aggression is
being countered for fairly well by Raphael. After a strike or two
he moves out of the way; Easton isn’t getting wild though.
Raphael goes for a double with a minute left but Easton works his
way out of it wonderfully. Raphael cage dances with Easton to
finish the round, a break in the action with a handful of seconds
Score: Easton 10-9
Ramsey Nijem vs Joe Proctor
Nijem with a nice body shot followed by a nice overhand right to
start the round. Some light brawling and Ramsey with a takedown
attempt, Proctor goes for an armbar off his back and looks for a
kimura but can’t finish that either. Proctor wall walks but
Nijem holds him against the cage as he goes for a mount. He’s
working the body but he’s looking for a guillotine of his
own. Ramsey takes back and Proctor explodes up to his feet, Proctor
goes for another guillotine but slips out and lands in full guard.
Ramsey is using light ground and pound and Proctor back to his feet
and grabs the back as he goes for an armbar. Ramsey stacks him up
and loses it as Nijem tees off on him with nothing of real power.
He’s not quite gassed but getting there. Proctor gets back as
Nijem loses position; both to their feet and round ends as
they’re throwing with no regard.
Score: Nijem 10-9
Score So Far: Nijem 30-28
Official Result: Nijem by unanimous decision
(30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Both guys come out throwing but not connecting with a lot of
powerful shots. Ramsey is connecting with low leg kicks more as
Proctor is defending up top much more than checking kicks. Ramsey
is throwing some nice inside leg kicks; not connecting with a lot
of punches but some nice strikes with his feet. His hand siIjem
stands up out of it immediately, scramble and Proctor goes for a
front choke, Nijem pressed against the cage. Proctor is cranking
this but can’t finish; he loses it as he goes for mount but
keeps the front headlock. Ramsey fights out of it and grabs a
double but Proctor works it for a good chunk of time. Proctor with
a kimura from bottom that can’t connect, round ends with
Nijem landing some slight strikes from top.
Score: Nijem 10-9
Score So Far: Nijem 20-19
Wild brawling to start and Ramsey goes for a takedown, Proctor
grabs a guillotine and holds it against the cage. Proctor with a
couple of nice knees as Ramsey is clinging to that single. Lets it
go and they start throwing down. Ramsey is really using distance
well against Proctor, who’s a good chunk taller. Jumping push
kick to the body and Ramsey is pouring it on, circles around and
gets back. Ramsey is pouring on the strikes with his left while
working for the RNC with his right. Ramsey pulls him to the ground
and then turns it into mount, hip escape by Proctor and back to
their feet as Ramsey pushes him to the cage with a double. Proctor
is going for the guillotine and is taken to the ground, Ramsey
transitioning to the back again and gets rolled to his feet. Ramsey
is pouring it on and Proctor catches him with a big strike and
Ramsey is down on the counter. Proctor gets on top and into
Ramsey’s half guard. Round ends as Proctor looks for the
guillotine but can’t quite sink it from a front headlock.
Daron Cruickshank vs Henry Martinez
Martinez comes out and goes for the takedown again, in deep on a
single but against the cage. Cruickshank defends it well, circles
away and lights up Martinez again. How is this kid standing right
now? Cruickshank has landed a ton and the pace has slowed down
considerably. Cruickshank is throwing a lot of nuanced kicks here;
lots of variety to them. And then a head kick at 2:56 knocks
Official Result: Cruickshank wins by KO at 2:56 of
the second round
Round 1: Martinez comes out going for a takedown
and grabs a singl eafter eating some body shots from Cruickshank.
Nothing much happens as it stalls out and a break from the ref;
they both come out just winging strikes at one another and Martinez
goes for the takedown again against the cage, Cruickshank defending
well while going for a kimura. He lets go and another wild exchange
from the two. Martinez eats a big knee and then an uppercut, misses
a wheel kick as his face is bloodied up. Big body shot and Martinez
is hurt and Cruickshank pours it on, just teeing off on him.
Martinez roars back with another flurry and we’re back to the
middle of the cage. Some light feeling out moments for some time as
Cruickshank with a wheel kick to the body. Another combination
followed by a flurry from Cruickshank, flying knee and Martinez
responds in kind. Wild finish to the round.
Score: 10-9 Cruickshank
Marcus LeVesseur vs Abel Trujillo
Interesting change as LeVesseur comes out throwing. Trujillo
throws a kick that gets caught, wild scramble and LeVesseur with a
guillotine that turns into a north south choke. Trujillo rolls out
and another scramble, Trujillo with some wild strikes, LeVesseur
with a monster uppercut that drops Trujillo. Trujillo is dropped
and LeVesseur dives into his guard and lands some big strikes.
Trujillo rolls to his stomach and on his knees, Levesseur grabs his
back and lands some strikes. Trujillo back to his feet and cage
dance for a bit. LeVesseur backs off and back to the middle of the
cage. LeVesseur with a single and Trujillo fights him off and then
pulls his leg off, then goes to back. Trujillo is landing some
MASSIVE knees to the body as Trujillo isn’t doing anything to
defend. Fight is stopped at 3:57.
Official Result: Abel Trujillo wins via TKO at
3:57 of the second round.
LeVesseur comes out and gets the takedown right out the gate and
is on Trujillo like white on rice. Trujillo back on his feet but
LeVesseur will not quit on the takedown as Trujillo fights off with
downward elbows. He’s fighting it off well and they play the
cage dance game. Broken up quickly by the ref and back to the
middle so LeVesseur can go for the takedown some more. Trujillo
lands a big uppercut and LeVesseur back to the takedown and gets
it, Trujillo on his feet as LeVesseur has back for a moment and
back to the cage for some more cage dancing. Trujillo makes
LeVesseuer eat a big knee to the head and some elbows as he’s
like a dog with a bone on that leg. He’s just getting lit up
on strikes while he goes for that takedown; ref breaks it up again.
Trujillo with a big flying knee and LeVesseur goes for a
desperation takedown, rides out the round as the cobwebs are
probably still there.
Score: Trujillo 10-9
Dennis Siver vs Nam Phan
Siver comes out and we start similar to the first two rounds as
Siver uses his leg kicks to keep him at bay. 30 seconds in Siver
grabs another double and Phan is in half guard, playing defense.
Siver is looking for a head arm triangle as Siver is throwing some
leather onto Phan’s face. Siver goes for mount and Phan tries
to scramble, winds up in deep half guard again. Siver is unloading
on him as Phan is not doing a whole lot besides get hit in the
face. Phan is holding on in a sloppy 50/50 guard from bottom as
Siver lands some big elbows. Credit to Phan for surviving this;
Siver is mauling him like Jimmy Hettes mauled him two fights ago.
Pham spends the final minute hanging on for dear life as he’s
eating punishment for the final two minutes on his back.
Score: 10-9 Siver
Score So Far: 30-27 Siver
Official Result: 30-24,30-25,30-26 Siver
Siver comes out and doing the same thing but Phan is a bit more
active in throwing strikes. He’s aiming for the body but
he’s eating some punishment; he hits a nice combination but
gets dropped by a big right hook for his efforts. So far this is a
repeat of the first round but with Phan being a bit more active;
Siver is dictating the pace and making Phan pay whenever he wants
to engage. Phan is taking a lot of punishment at the midway point
of the round. Halfway through the round a sloppy double leg from
Siver works and lands in half guard. Phan is defending well as Phan
is looking for a sweep but he’s eating some elbows for his
efforts. Sive ris using position and is trying for a crucifix but
Phan is using half guard to defend it. He’s eating a lot of
strikes though as Siver is teeing off with rights as he moves into
side control. Phan tries to roll out with a hip escape but nearly
gives up back, then gives up mount as Siver is grinding him out.
Round ends as Phan is holding on for dear life.
Score: 10-9 Siver
Score So Far: 20-18, Siver
Siver comes out gauging distance with kicks early and is
throwing hands when Phan steps forward. Early on he’s timing
Phan’s aggressiveness right now; as soon as Phan comes within
distance he’s hitting him with good shots. He’s
following leg kicks with punches from the same side, and then
combinations; Phan is not getting into a rhythm early because Siver
is really working him over. Phan is getting eaten up here; Siver is
shell-shocked right now as Siver is just taking him apart now.
He’s moving forward but not throwing much because the German
is throwing early and often. He’s doing a kick-boxing version
of the slap boxing style that the Diaz boys do; he drops Phan with
90 seconds left, who quickly recovers. Siver with a beautiful
single leg but can’t quite finish, scramble on the TDD and
Phan eats a straight for his effort. Round ends with Siver taking
him apart some more.
Score: 10-9 Siver
Scott Jorgensen vs John Albert
Jorgensen and Albert are kicking things off for UFC on FOX from
Seattle! After a quick 20 seconds Albert start a scuffle jumping in
for what could have been an early submission. Jorgensen defends and
ends up on top in full guard. After about 1 minute Albert makes an
amazing sweep, taking Jorgensen’s back. He sinks both hooks
in and starts prying at the arms. Jorgensen somehow escapes quickly
and starts delivering short elbows to Albert exacting sweet
revenge. Albert isn’t happy at all though and catches
Jorgensen in an arm triangle. As the pressure tightens, Jorgensen
twists and writhes to escape and after 60 seconds of agony he
escapes! This is an amazingly exhausting round! Jorgensen moves
into side position, but Albert twists on his back leaving Jorgensen
in full guard. At the end of the round Jorgensen sinks in a choke!
The clock counts down the final ten seconds and with .000001 on the
clock, Albert TAPS! The rear-naked choke strikes again!
Official result: Jorgensen wins via submission
(rear-naked choke) at 4:59 at Round 1