Is the UFC sure it wants to show this event on regular television?
UFC on Fox 10 from the United Center in Chicago features a stacked card, but the main event is where things get truly compelling.
Headlining the event is Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson, an intriguing matchup with important implications in a competitive lightweight division. But we also have what should be an evenly fought brawl between heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga and Stipe Miocic that could potentially steal the show.
Throw in Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins and Darren Elkins vs. Jeremy Stephens, and we’ve got ourselves a full slate of thrilling fights.
Let’s get to the results.
After losing three fights in a row in 2011-2012, Jeremy Stephens made the move to featherweight.
It was a good decision.
“Lil’ Heathen” knocked off Darren Elkins on Saturday night via unanimous decision, giving him three straight victories in his new weight class. Elkins was ranked as the No. 10 featherweight coming in, so it’s safe to assume Stephens has earned himself another Top 10 opportunity with the impressive win.
As for Elkins, he has now lost two of his last three fights and no longer appears to be a major player in the division.
This was getting close to “must-win” territory for Donald Cerrone, but he came through with the crucial victory, defeating Adriano Martins via first-round knockout.
Cerrone finished the fight with a textbook head kick in the final minute of the first frame that put Martins on the mat immediately.
“Cowboy” very recently knocked off Evan Dunham at UFC 167 with the Submission of the Night, but that was following a disappointing performance against Rafael dos Anjos. If he would have fallen to the little-known Martins, it would have spelt bad news for the former title contender.
No matter, though. Cerrone came through with a nice victory and proved he’s ready for another top-10 fight.
Since entering the UFC in 2011, Stipe Miocic has now won five of six fights. He slipped up against Stefan Struve in 2012 but responded with victories over Roy Nelson and now Gabriel Gonzaga, who had been on a tear as of late.
Miocic rode crisp stand up in all three rounds to a unanimous decision victory over "Napao."
Ranked No. 8 in the heavyweight division before taking care of Gonzaga, it will be interesting to see where Miocic goes from here. He has been really impressive, and a title shot may not be far away.
Gonzaga, meanwhile, is now 5-2 since coming back from being released in 2010. Despite this loss, he’s still a solid competitor in this division.
Well, it’s safe to say Benson Henderson isn’t going anywhere.
Fresh off a loss to Anthony Pettis in which he gave up the lightweight championship, “Bendo” bounced back on Saturday night, narrowly edging out Josh Thomson via split decision in a bout sure to spark some controversy.
Right now, who knows what to make of this division?
Pettis was supposed to defend his title against Thomson, but a knee injury forced “The Punk” to take on Henderson, instead.
T.J. Grant would be the likely one next in line. He was originally going to battle Henderson for the title, but a concussion in July held him out. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, he still remains sidelined.
So, does Henderson get a third shot at Pettis? Does Thomson still get one after this loss? Or does it go to Gilbert Melendez, who lost to Henderson, or Nate Diaz, who lost to both Henderson and Thomson?
Only time will tell, but for now, Henderson has another solid victory on his resume.