UFC on Fox 7 hit San Jose for another night on FOX.
Benson Henderson retain his gold, Daniel Cormier had a successful debut, and Josh Thomson returned to the UFC in style. It was a fun night featuring a lot of finishes along the way.
Benson Henderson defeats Gilbert Melendez by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Daniel Cormier defeats Frank Mir by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Josh Thomson defeats Nate Diaz by TKO at 3:44 of the second round
Matt Brown defeats Jordan Mein by TKO at 1:00 of the second round
Chad Mendes defeats Darren Elkins by TKO at 1:08 of the first round
Francis Carmont defeats Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Myles Jury defeats Ramsey Nijem by TKO at 1:02 of the second round
Joseph Benavidez defeats Darren Uyenoyama by TKO at 4:50 of the second round
Jorge Masvidal defeats Tim Means by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
T.J. Dillashaw defeats Hugo Viana by TKO at 4:22 of the first round
Anthony Njokuani defeats Roger Bowling by knockout at 2:52 of the second round
Yoel Romero defeats Clifford Starks by knockout at 1:32 of the first round
Touch of the gloves, and here we go. Henderson throwing a jab out to gauge the distance. Leg kick from Henderson. Melendez answers with one of his own, but his goes to the inside. Henderson with a straight left. Melendez catches a kick and takes Henderson down. Melendez hits Henderson with a knee on his way up, and they are back to standing. Melendez catches the kick again and walks him to the fence. He throws a flying knee that is blocked by Henderson, and Henderson switches positions against the fence. They separate. Melendez throws a punch-kick combination. Melendez catches another kick and sits Henderson down. He hit him with a knee, but it looked like it went to the shoulder.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Melendez
Melendez starts the round with the punch-low kick combination. Henderson trying to turn the pace up a bit, but Melendez won't allow it. Melendez digs to the body when they get close. Henderson comes up with a knee that barely misses the mark. A second knee lands. Henderson jabs at Melendez's leg. Good combination from Henderson. Melendez fires away with Henderson backing up toward the fence. 90 seconds left in the round, and it's still up for grabs. Henderson goes to the body. Good exchange. Good elbow from Henderson.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Henderson
Chants of El Nino ring out. One minute passes with minimal offense. Nice kick from Henderson. Henderson getting loose with his striking now. Melendez lands a right. Henderson changes levels and tries to take Melendez down, but Melendez is fighting it hard. Melendez gives up his back to stand straight up and then spins around. They separate. An exchange happens with Melendez landing the cleanest punch, Henderson goes for a takedown, but Melendez stuffs it. Henderson clinches, and they grapple along the cage. Melendez breaks free. Good straight from the champion. Both fighters hit the floor off a leg kick from Henderson, and the champion gets on top throwing good ground and pound.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Melendez
Close fight thus far. McCarthy warns them about accidental headbutts. Leg kick by Henderson connects. Melendez catches a kick, but doesn't take him down off of it. A good kick from Henderson, and a good knee from Melendez. Solid takedown defense by the challenger. When the champion moves forward the challenger fires away with a combination. It doesn't connect cleanly. A leg kick briefly puts Melendez down, and Henderson jumps on his back. Melendez gets up and out of the spot quickly. Melendez with a couple body shots, and then connects to the head of Henderson.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Henderson
Henderson tries a jumping switch kick that hits air. Good kick from Henderson. Those are clearly effecting Melendez. Good body shot by Melendez. Melendez is turning up the pace. Leg kick by Henderson. Henderson steps in with an elbow. Melendez catches a kick and pushes him against the fence, but cannot take him down from there. Knee from Melendez lands. One minute and the title is still undecided. Melendez connects. A good left by Melendez. Melendez to the body. Henderson not landing in the final minute, and Melendez pushing the pace. 20 seconds. 10 seconds. To the scorecards we go.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Melendez, and the fight 48-47 Melendez
Henderson defeats Melendez by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
A fantastic lightweight scrap for the gold. Each man had their moments, and each man defended well standing and on the ground. Melendez started strong in the first, and Henderson's leg kicks were more effective as the fight drew on. There were not many true exchanges in the fight, but the respect and danger of each man played a big role in that.
This was a razor thin fight. Melendez did enough to win, but so did Henderson.
Mir throwing out some kicks early to keep a distance from Cormier. Cormier gets him against the fence, and closes the distance. Cormier clinches. Cormier lands a couple solid punches from the position. Cormier throws a knee. Cormier is able to fire away combinations with Mir pressed against the fence, but thus far Mir's defense is on point. Nice body shots from Cormier. A knee to the body on Mir. Cormier is working the body over. Back to striking distance. Cormier clinches again, and walks Mir to the cage. Cormier slips on a kick attempt, but Mir cannot capitalize. Nice leg kick from Cormier.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Cormier
Mir opens up with a low leg kick. Cormier clinches and puts Mir back against the fence. Cormier backs away and lets Mir off. Good straight right from Cormier, and puts Mir back against the fence. Complete control by Cormier. Cormier backs away again. Cormier moves Mir right back. The San Jose crowd boos, but these are two dangerous heavyweights trying to not make a vital error. Cormier goes for a guillotine, but lets it go and hits Mir with an uppercut. Mir comes forward with strikes, but they miss the target. Cormier digs one to the body. Herb Dean breaks them from the clinch for no good reason.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Cormier
Mir throws a kick, and Cormier catches it and sits him down briefly. Mir has Cormier against the fence for about 2 seconds before Cormier switches positions. Cormier with another right. Body kick from Mir lands. Good dirty boxing from Cormier. Herb Dean separates them. Good kick by Mir. Mir clinches, and Cormier reverses. Mir is tired. Cormier grabs a single and sits Mir down, but Cormier backs away. They clinch. Dean separates them again. Body kick from Cormier.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Cormier, and the fight 30-27 Cormier
Cormier defeats MIr by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
This was a tactical performance from Cormier. He knew he could chose where this fight took place, and Mir's leg kicks meant he was not going to be able to get inside and strike. So, he used his greatest asset and forced Mir to fight with his back off the cage. From there Cormier was able to dirty box when he wanted, and control Mir for 15 minutes. That's how a pro does it.
Diaz taunts Thomson immediately. Thomson throwing a lot of leg kicks early. Diaz walking Thomson down, but Thomson circling away. Head kick lands from Thomson, and Diaz just eats it. Diaz fires a long jab at Thomson. Another head kick lands, but wasn't full force. Diaz continues to come forward. Diaz clinches and moves Thomson to the cage. Thomson lands a couple punches as he evades Diaz. Good right from Diaz. Thomson takes Diaz down. Nice elbow from Diaz from bottom, and Thomson answers with one from top.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Thomson
Diaz immediately comes forward and clinches. Thomson catches a low blow. Back to work. Thomson clinches. Nice inside elbow from Thomson. Good exchange from both men as they exit. Diaz takes Thomson down. Good punches as Thomson stands, and narrowly misses a guillotine. Thomson clinches and moves Diaz to the fence. Head kick and Thomson jumps for the finish, punches in bunches and Mike Beltran stops the fight!
Thomson defeats Diaz by TKO at 3:44 of the second round
Thomson was not going to play in to Diaz's game, and took the first with good leg kicks and forcing Diaz to chase. The finish was phenomenal. That is a huge feather in the cap of Thomson and Strikeforce lightweights.
Mein comes out and takes the center of the cage. Standing elbow lands. Brown starts to come forward. Brown lands a hook and is chasing Mein. Uppercut from Brown. Straight left from Mein. Brown doing well with his pressure. Mein whiffs on a combination. Good left from Mein that is answered with a right from Brown. Body shot hurt Brown! Mein tries and choke, but misses it and is on top of Brown. Brown throws up a triangle. He gets it, but Mein slips his head out. Mein gets out of there and forces Brown to stand back up. Brown with a knee. Elbow from Brown! What a round!
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Brown
Brown tags Mein with a right to start off the second. Another right connects. Brown is pouring it on. Brown on top of Mein. Elbow on Mein hurts him, and this is over!
Brown defeats Mein by TKO at 1:00 of the second round
Matt Brown! I have no words. What a performance. Technical brawl, indeed!
Mendes rocks Elkins with a right. And this is over. Wow. Chad Mendes, everybody.
Mendes defeats Elkins by TKO at 1:08 of the first round
Mendes got Elkins out of here in a hurry. Hurt him, finished him. Ball game. Someone get that man a title shot.
Carmont is pressuring right away, and Larkin circles away. Carmont's kicks are coming very fast. Solid leg kick from Larkin. Carmont goes for a takedown, and Larkin defends well. Carmont going hard for the single, and Carmont briefly has him down before Larkin jumps right back up. Good elbows while defending by Larkin. Larkin with fantastic takedown defense! Carmont staying in the clinch, but they eventually break. Tight round.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Carmont
Good inside leg kick from Larkin, but it appears to have ridden upwards to the cup region. Carmont says it's OK and they continue right away. Larkin lands a jab. Kick from Larkin connects with the knee of Carmont. Uppercut from Larkin lands as Carmont lowers his head. Carmont going for the takedown. Carmont picks his ankle to sit him down, but he cannot keep him there. Elbows to the side of the head from Larkin. Back at a distance. Carmont snaps off a jab. Spinning kick to the leg by Larkin. Carmont going for another takedown that Larkin defends. Carmont picks the ankle again, and Larkin is on his butt until the bell.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Larkin
Carmont's pressure forces Larkin to fight backing up. Carmont going for another high single, and briefly takes him down. Carmont takes his back as he gets back to his feet. Carmont tried to hurry and get the rear-naked, but it was not close. They separate and get back to striking distance. Carmont finally takes him down. Carmont passes to side control. Larkin goes for a gogoplata, but he didn't have the proper positioning to finish. Larkin goes for a Kimura! He sweeps Carmont! Larkin goes for the back, but Carmont stands. Extremely interesting to see how judges score this fight.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Larkin, and the fight 29-28 Larkin
Carmont defeats Larkin by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Larkin was immensely impressive with his takedown defense, kicks, and the sweep in the third round. The problem is he let Carmont press forward the entire fight, and even had a few takedowns. In the eyes of the judges that is very dangerous to do. Carmont couldn't muster up much offense. Larkin looks more impressive in his UFC debut.
They waste no time getting to work. Each fighter is throwing, but neither are being effective. Jury takes Nijem down, and Jury goes to work on the mat. Nijem works well to force Jury to stand. Jury drops back down for a takedown. He puts Nijem on his butt against the fence, and gets his back. Nijem shakes Jury around him, but then Jury goes for an armbar. Nijem gets out. Nijem moves behind Jury and drags him down. Jury spins around and moves to side control. Excellent grappling exchanges. Nijem and Jury both working, and now Jury works around his back. Nijem gets his back and drags him down. Razor thin round.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Jury
Nijem takes a poke in the eye, and Jury begins to throw a high kick but stops himself. Back to action. Jumping knee from Jury just misses. Nijem lands a left. Jury shuts his lights out. Boom. Fight over.
Jury defeats Nijem by KO at 1:02 of the second round.
A fun first round, and then Jury puts him away with a counter right hand. Devastating punch. Another good performance from Jury as he starts to make his case as one of the better prospects at 155 pounds. It's a shame we couldn't get more of the first round action.
Benavidez takes control of the center of the Octagon. Uyenoyama throws a kick, and Benavidez takes him down off it. Benavidez is hesitant to play on the ground, and he lets him up. Nice jab from Uyenoyama. Low blow to Uyenoyama, but it doesn't halt the action long. Good kick from Uyenoyama. Benavidez knocks Uyenoyama down, but it seemed like Uyenoyama was simply off-balance. Head kick drops Uyenoyama! Uyenoyama survives by clinching and working to his feet. Benavidez takes Uyenoyama down. Benavidez lets him back to his feet.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Benavidez
Benavidez continues to control the center of the Octagon, and Uyenoyama is finding little to no success. Benavidez storms forward with a wild combination that misses, and it allows Uyenoyama to clinch with him. Uyenoyama drops for a leglock, but it is nowhere close and Benavidez gets on top. Back to the feet they go. Straight left from Benavidez. Benavidez is not being threatened in this fight. Body kick hurts Uyenoyama. Benavidez notices that and fires a body shot that drops him and the referee has seen enough.
Benavidez defeats Uyenoyama by TKO at 4:50 of the second round
Uyenoyama had nothing for Benavidez. A terrible stylistic matchup for him. Benavidez controlled the fight and finished. He is the second best flyweight in the world, but when will fans want to see him fight Demetrious Johnson again?
Tentative start to the fight. Means moving forward, and Masvidal poised to counter. Means with a solid straight left. Each fighter landing single shots here and there, but no combinations or consistent offense yet. Quick jab from Masvidal. Masvidal shoots in and takes Mean down, but he pops up quickly. Masvidal staying attached to his back and he'll try to take it. Means turns in to him and avoids having his back taken. They separate. Means tries to take Masvidal down, but fails. Masvidal lands a left.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Masvidal
Not much action in the first minute. Masvidal goes for a takedown, and he gets it. Means utilizing full guard. Good upkick from Means. Back to the feet they go. Masvidal puts him back down and Masvidal landing some good ground and pound. Means gives up his back. Means to his feet. Means back down. Masvidal staying active, but not doing much damage. Masvidal is cut from an elbow by Means.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Masvidal
Good left hand counter from Means. Masvidal tries for a takedown, and Means throwing a knee. Masvidal stays vigilant and takes Means down. Means gets back to his feet. Means with a good elbow standing, but Masvidal takes him down. Good elbow from Means on the bottom. Elbows from Masvidal are blocked from top. Masvidal isn't landing much, but his pressure has stopped Means from throwing elbows from the bottom. Means sweeps Masvidal! Good ground and pound to finish the round.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Means, and the fight 29-28 Masvidal
Masvidal defeats Means by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
This was a quality lightweight bout. Masvidal won the first two rounds by being the smarter fighter. Means picked up the third with good elbows and the sweep late in the round. Means will walk away with the loss, but he showed his worth in this fight and won't take a big step back. Masvidal needed to avoid the elbows a bit better, but he did what he needed to do in order to win. These are two solid lightweights.
Dillashaw opens the fight with a jab. Left hook from Viana knocks Dillashaw off balance. Dillashaw takes Viana down, and takes his back in a scramble. Viana gets up to his feet. Dillashaw is busted open from an inside elbow by Viana. Good left from Dillashaw. Fighting at a distance now, and neither man is finding much success. Dillashaw rocks Viana with a right! Dillashaw hurts him again, and it's over.
Dillashaw defeats Viana by TKO at 4:22 of the first round
Dillashaw has good tools for this weight class: very good wrestling, solid striking, and good power. When DIllashaw hurt Viana he kept the pressure up and poured it on. Two wins in five weeks will move him up the bantamweight ladder.
A bit of a feeling out process in the opening minute. Njokuani is weary of letting Bowling inside with his power. Bowing tries to throw to the body, but Njokuani is away. Njokuani countering well, and Bowling is still searching for the homerun punch. Nice low leg kick followed up with a punch from Bowling. Bowling shoots in and takes Njokuani down. Njokuani working back to his feet, and lands several strikes when they break. Good stuff from Njokuani on the break. Good round.
Bleacher Report scores the round 10-9 Njokuani
Njokuani catches a kick and trips Bowling, but doesn't follow up with it. Pace slows down with each trying to find their range to land strikes. Njokuani lands. Bowing goes to the body. Njokuani flattens Bowing with a monster left hook!
Njokuani defeats Bowling by knockout at 2:52 of the first round
Njokuani fought a near-perfect fight. He stayed out of Bowling's range, and got comfortable with his striking. Bowling comes forward and eats a counter-left hook. Beautiful stuff.
Starks controlling the distance, and is not being too aggressive. Romero throwing side and hook kicks. Flying knee puts Starks down, and Romero finishes him on the mat. Wow!
Romero defeats Starks by knockout (flying knee & punches) at 1:32 of the first round
Romero's wrestling was talked about heading in to the bout, but he was loose with his kicks and the striking. It paid off. Big knockout performance.