Ten fights filled the Denver event, which took place from the Pepsi Center.
In addition to the headlining bout, fellow lightweights Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard battled in the co-main event for their place in the 155-pound pecking order.
Here’s a look at the most memorable moments and photos from the card.
All quotes proved to B/R via the UFC.
Nik Lentz celebrates his victory
In his 145-pound debut, featherweight Nik Lentz made quite the statement by finishing Japanese veteran Eiji Mitsuoka in less than a round.
Lentz’s grappling and top control proved to the be the difference as the former lightweight scored an impressive TKO win.
“I went out there and did what I knew I was going to do. I’ve been training so hard with Mike Dolce and American Top Team. With them on my side I knew the move to 145 would be successful. It’s crazy but it was actually easier for me to make 145 than it was to make 155 with Dolce’s help the weight just fell off. This was by far my most impressive win and it wouldn’t have mattered if it was a featherweight or a middleweight in there with me tonight. Regardless, I would’ve won this fight.”
Debuting bantamweight Chico Camus survived a number of submission attempts from TUF veteran Dustin Pague on his a way to a unanimous decision win.
Pague threatened to end the fight in the first and third stanzas, but Camus' top control proved the difference as he finished strong in each round.
“Dreams come true and I started off with a bang at 1-0 in the UFC. I almost finished him with that strike but then I was able to dominate on the ground and score points at the close of the fight. I want to come back and fight again as soon as possible. We are always in shape and ready to go back to back here at Roufusport.”
Erik Perez celebrates
Seventeen seconds. That’s all bantamweight Erik Perez needed to finish off Ken Stone in their undercard bout.
Perez connected with a right hand that sent Stone crashing to the mat face first and after a few followup shots, referee Herb Dean stopped the bout.
“I think when I first hit him he was out. When he got up after he didn’t know what was going on. After getting a decisive win I think I will have a lot more opportunities here in the UFC so I’m very excited. So much is going through my head and my heart right now it’s an incredible feeling. I expected a crazy three rounds back and forth so I’m ready to jump back in there whenever the UFC wants me. My first fight I had two weeks notice and this one I had four weeks so I’m ready to show what I can do on a full camp.”
Dutch middleweight Michael Kuiper picked up his first Octagon win by finishing Jared Hamman in the second round.
Kuiper hurt Hamman’s left leg badly in the opening frame with a kick and dropped him on multiple occasions. Finally in the second frame, the referee had seen enough and halted the bout.
“I didn’t see any problem with the stoppage because he was still fighting and defending himself intelligently out there. The altitude here can be very hard because in Holland we are right at sea level but I trained very hard for this fight and was ready to perform. Feels great to go out there and get a win after losing my last fight but I didn’t feel any added pressure because I knew what I was going to do.”
Dennis Bermudez (L) slams Tommy Hayden
Featherweight Dennis Bermudez has been on a mission since falling short in his bid to become The Ultimate Fighter.
The New Yorker’s latest victim came in the form of Tommy Hayden. The two battled back and forth, but Bermudez latched onto a guillotine choke along the fence to force a tap.
“I had a feeling I was going to get hit a lot coming into this fight. I think fighters are afraid to go in there and get hit but I say come on in and hit me and I’ll still win. Tommy is a tough guy and my team did a little research on him coming in so we knew what to expect. He was tapping when I locked up the choke but the referee was on the opposite side and couldn’t see. I wasn’t going to risk letting him go and missing the finish so I would’ve put him to sleep if the ref didn’t step in. I think I’ve finally got the weight cut down to a science an I’m working on my strength and explosiveness with the best guys in the world. Very happy with the win and I’m ready to climb the ladder in the division.”
Max Holloway (L)
Hawaiian Max Holloway earned a second straight UFC win by finishing off Ultimate Fighter: Live veteran Justin Lawrence.
The two strikers felt each other out in the opening frame, but the 20-year-old Holloway picked up the pace in the second stanza. A flurry in the closing seconds of the round dropped Lawrence, and Holloway forced referee Josh Rosenthal to waive off the action.
“That was my best fight to date by far and I was able to go in there and get the finish. I don’t have too many finishes on my record so that’s always a bonus. We’re both strong strikers and a lot of times when two strikers get in there it can turn into a wrestling match. I’m glad Justin went in there and banged with me and I’m even happier that I came out on top. I saw the first knee and the body shot and he went down so I knew he didn’t want to fight anymore. I jumped in there and got the finish as quickly as I could.”
Yushin Okami (top)
Japanese middleweight Yushin Okami brought the “Thunder” with him to Denver and along the way he stopped a two-fight skid.
Late replacement Buddy Roberts gave Okami a wild pace to start the fight, but once Okami got the fight to the ground, it was clear that Roberts was in over his head. The bell saved Roberts in the opening round, but he would not have the same luxury in Round 2 as Okami earned the TKO stoppage.
“I was away from victory but with this I feel like I’m on the path back. I came to Denver early so that I would be in the best condition possible for this fight. I was able to use my ground and pound which is my best weapon.”
Jake Shields (top)
Former Strikeforce champion and UFC title challenger Jake Shields had a successful return to the middleweight division by grinding out a decision over Ed Herman.
Shields scored with takedowns in every round and prevented Herman from mounting offense throughout the 15-minute affair. The performance prompted a serenade of boos from the Denver crowd.
“Ed Herman is a tough underrated guy and I’m really happy to go in there and get the win. To be honest I was getting a little tired in there from the altitude so I had to slow my pace down and I couldn’t fight the way I had planned to. In hind sight I needed to get here earlier to acclimate but that’s how you learn.”
Former training partners locked horns as lightweights Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Melvin Guillard met in the co-main event.
Guillard rocked Cerrone with a left hook immediately, but Cerrone recovered. Once he had his wits about him, Cerrone connected with a head kick and a followup right hand that sent Guillard crashing to the mat face first.
“Man… Just walking out there I got teary eyed. Fighting at home in Denver is what I’ve been dreaming of all these years. When I got clipped right away in the first I was just thinking ‘oh sh-t I better figure this out pretty quick here.’ Coach Mike, Greg Jackson, and I all game planned for this and it turned out well. When the time came to go in for the kill I was ready to go for a choke if the ref didn’t stop it. That was my next move but I didn’t have to go there. I’m going to the lake tomorrow and drinking some beers. As far as what’s next… If Pettis is ready then there’s no need to call me out on twitter before my fight. Just sign on the dotted line and train for a few weeks and let’s go!”
Benson Henderson (top)
The UFC lightweight division has been filled with controversy for the past two years and unfortunately after UFC 150, it’s not any better.
In a fight that was even closer than their first meeting, Benson Henderson again beat Frankie Edgar on the scorecards and retained the lightweight championship.