TONIGHT! The Octagon will make its second stop in just three days, this time it will be UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson looking to avenge an early loss while defending his strap for the fourth time against the acrobatic Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, who’s also the last man to claim victory over the current champion.
Also on the main card will be former titleholders Frank Mir and Josh Barnett. There haven’t been any pre-fight handshakes leading up to this co-main event clash, and they seem to have a singular focus on knock each others blocks off, or break bones if someone gets ahold of a submission on the ground.
That’s not all.
In addition to the main card on Pay-Per-View, there are also three free preliminary bouts that will begin @ 6:30 ET/3:30 PT on Facebook/Youtube. After that, the remainder of the prelims will shift to the UFC’s brand new network for four more free fights, starting @ 8:00 ET/5:00 PT on Fox Sports 1.
Main Card (Pay-Per-View):
Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis:
BIG reception from his home crowd as the challenger gets set to try to take the lightweight title. Henderson comes out and immediately closes the distance but he eats some big Pettis punches in the process. Benson begins to work some knees in close, but Pettis doesn’t seem too concerned, and he’s not wasting any energy trying to fight Henderson off of him. They break briefly before Beenson ties him up again and continues the mauling against the fence. Not much action going on as Henderson is mostly just trying to stifle his offense. They break and Pettis looks eager to trade. Benson is willing and he eats a big kick to the body. Pettis follows up with three more hard ones that the champ absorbs well. Pettis goes for a crazy roundhouse kick that Henderson was waiting for and he lands in Pettis’ guard. Pettis adjusts to a high guard and doesn’t stop working until Henderson’s arm is trapped. It looks like he’s almost out before Pettis lets go of it and that’s the fight! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION AT 155!
Pettis defeats Henderson via armbar @4:31 seconds into Round One to become the NEW UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION!
Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir:
Round One: Barnet storms out the gate and pushes Mir into the fence. They break and collide again in close. They trade uppercuts and Mir looks to have stunned Barnett. Barnett gains his whits and keeps moving forward with power strikes. Barnett has Mir along the fence and starts landing big knees to Mir’s abdomen. Barnett gets like a half thai clinch and uses it to click Mir’s jaw with a nice knee. He’s unable to get any good follow up shots to seal the deal as the ref has stopped the bout already. More of those were well on their way, though. Flash knockout….
Barnett beats Mir by TKO @ 1:56 of Round One
Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida:
Round One: They both come out to trade some leather early. Mendes hauls a right hand over the top and Guida counters nicely with a left. Guida looks to shoot bu Mendes shrugs it off and starts working for a guillotine choke that Guida escapes. Mendes gets Guida down and lands some grazing elbows. Guida grabs on to Mendes and gets his back taken in the process. Round ends.
Round Two: They start the second the same as the first – both using footwork and quick movement to setup their shots. A kick by Guida lands low and the fight continues on. Guida lands on Mendes and goes for a takedown that is stuffed by Mendes and he serves the carpenter a knee for his troubles. Mendes attempts a takedown that doesn’t work, Guida does the same. Mendes finally gets the takedown he’s been looking for and works to get Guida’s back again. Guida finds his way to his feet and wings some punches and kicks before the round ends.
Round Three: Mendes looked winded between rounds as he has not been out of the first frame in his past four fights. He still charges forward and blasts Guida along the fence. Guida looks hurt and Mendes keeps the shots coming. Big right uppercut by Mendes puts Guida down and the follow up shots are academic! First man to KO Clay Guida!
Mendes via TKO @ :30 seconds into Round Three
Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell
Round One: Rothwell comes forward and puts Vera on the defense right away. Vera snaps off some kicks to the leg of Rothwell. They trade kicks and punches and Vera continues moving backward to try to counter Rothwell’s attack. Vera lands a nice left hand that seemed to have stunned Rothwell for a moment, but Big Ben is still coming straight at him. A clean kick to the nads from Rothwell lands clean as the round comes to an end.
Round Two: Vera begins with kicks to the leg and Rothwell ignores them all and presses forward. They briefly work against the fence before they break apart. Vera thinks about a takedown and it looks like he’s slowing down. He’s gonna have to keep up this pace if he wants to last all three round. Ben blasts Vera with more punches and Vera again goes on the defense and moves backward. Rothwell needs to keep the pressure on and follow up on his landed power strikes. The round ends as Rothwell presses him back some more.
Round Three: Big Ben lands again and this time it has Vera hurt. Rothwell begins to move around anxiously and Vera is looking bewildered at this point as he puts his own back on the fence. Rothwell closes the distance and lands a clean uppercut followed by a knee and Vera goes down. More punches land and the referee rescues Vera from any further punishment.
Rothwell by TKO @ 3:15 of Round Three
Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier:
Round One: Poirier pushes forward and Koch circles around before a big shot from Poirier floors Koch. Poirier pounces on him and Koch immediately goes for a triangle. It’s tight! Poirier tries to fight out of it, but Koch is all over it. Koch almost flips to mount and Poirier prevents it. Koch locks it in even tighter and Poirier gets out! Koch tries it again but Poirier is too high. They’re up and Poirier presses him against the fence to work some knees. Big left from Poirier plants the home town kid on his ass! Poirier continues to put the hurt on him and nearly gets a d’arce choke before the round ends.
Round Two: Both fighters come out more hesitant after that quick first round. Poirier plodding forward and he lands a nice takedown and starts working some ground-and-pound from top position. Poirier looks to advance and Koch makes his way to his feet. They break and Poirier is still pushing forward and leading with the harder punches. Koch lands a nice left before Poirier looks to take him back down. He doesn’t get it and the round comes to an end.
Round Three: Poirier again pushes Koch back and starts where he left off in round two. Poirier goes for a poorly timed takedown and Koch defends nicely and ends up on top. Poirier begins to work from guard and Koch is having none of it. Koch raises above him and thinks about dropping bombs on Poirier, but instead he looks to pass guard. Poirier tries to make his way up and Koch gets his back in the final minute of the fight. A rear naked choke looks locked in, but it’s way too late in this high-paced fight to keep a decent lock in to force the tap out. The round ends!
Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1):
Kyung Ho Kang vs. Chico Camus
Camus defeats Kang by unanimous decision
Pascal Krauss vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Lim defeats Krauss via TKO @ 3:58 of round one
Louis Gaudinot vs. Tim Elliott
Elliott by unanimous decision
Jamie Varner vs. Gleison Tibau
Tibau wins by split decision
Jared Hamman vs. Magnus Cedenblad:
Cedenblad wins by guillotine choke @ :57 seconds into round one
Ryan Couture vs. Al Iaquinta
Iaquinta defeats Couture via unanimous decision
Soa Palelei vs Nikita Krylov
Palelei by TKO @ 1:34 of round three