Benson Henderson (left) took all five rounds from Nate Diaz. |
Ezra Shaw/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Henderson was nothing short of masterful.
Henderson (18-2, 6-0 UFC) retained the Ultimate Fighting
Championship lightweight crown with a one-sided unanimous decision
over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner Nate Diaz in
UFC on Fox 5 headliner on Saturday at the Key Arena in Seattle.
All three cageside judges scored it for the champion: 50-43, 50-45
Searing leg kicks, energy-sapping clinches, takedowns and heavy
ground-and-pound were all part of the Henderson game plan, and he
executed it with remarkable precision.
Henderson secured takedowns in all five rounds, totaling eight of
them by the time the 25-minute fight was over. The 29-year-old
Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt neutralized Diaz’s prodigious boxing
skills by attacking his legs, smothering him with clinches and
grounding him repeatedly. Moreover, Henderson twice sent the
Gracie protégé reeling with punches -- an overhand left in the
second round and a right hook in the third.
Perhaps sensing his situation was dire, Diaz (16-8, 11-6 UFC)
turned to leg locks midway through the fight. None of them were
successful. Henderson simply scrambled out of danger, assumed top
position and cut loose with punches, elbows and hammerfists.
According to FightMetric.com figures, the MMA Lab representative
out-landed Diaz 124-30 in terms of significant strikes.
Henderson has won 16 of his past 17 bouts, clearly establishing
himself as the alpha male at 155 pounds.
“It’s just a matter of being well-prepared,” Henderson said, “and
being in the gym as much as possible.”
Gustafsson Dismisses ‘Shogun’ Rua
In the co-main event, Alexander
Gustafsson staked his claim as the No. 1 contender at 205
pounds, as he struck and wrestled his way to a unanimous decision
over former champion Mauricio
“Shogun” Rua. Gustafsson (15-1, 7-1 UFC) swept the scorecards
with 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26 marks from the judges.
Gustafsson (right) outworked Shogun.
Known more for his standup, the Swede delivered takedowns in all
three rounds and kept Rua (21-7, 5-5 UFC) guessing throughout their
15-minute battle. Gustafsson was effective on the feet, as well,
scoring with straight punches, uppercuts and knees in close
Rua’s one legitimate shot at victory came and went in the first
round, when he caught the 25-year-old in a heel hook but failed to
“Shogun” faded down the stretch. Gustafsson punctuated the most
significant win of his career in round three, where he
short-circuited the notoriously durable Brazilian with a wicked
liver kick. He closed with a flourish, mixing in a front kick to
the face, a jumping knee to the head and one last takedown for good
measure. Gustafsson has won his last six fights.
Surging MacDonald Routs Penn
Fast-rising Canadian contender Rory
MacDonald made former two-division champion and future hall of
Penn look like an amateur, as he cruised to a unanimous
decision in a featured welterweight matchup. All three judges
scored it for MacDonald (14-1, 5-1 UFC): 30-26, 30-26 and
McDonald (left) made Penn look old.
It was, for all intents and purposes, a blowout. MacDonald brought
all his firepower to bear against the beloved Hawaiian, ripping
into him with blistering combinations to the head, body and
He wobbled Penn with a left elbow shiver late in the first round
and sent him to his corner with a look of visible concern across
Round two went even worse for Penn (16-9-2, 12-8-2), whose 22
career Octagon appearances rank fifth all-time behind Tito Ortiz
(27), Matt Hughes
Couture (24) and Chuck
Liddell (23). MacDonald nearly finished him with a crippling
body kick and follow-up blows. Perhaps only referee Herb Dean’s
respect for Penn saved him from a stoppage. By the time the third
round rolled around, MacDonald was comfortable enough to taunt his
fading foe while he continued to batter him mercilessly with
punches, kicks and standing elbows.
“Every fight is the most important,” said MacDonald, who afterward
called for a rematch with Carlos
Condit, the only man to defeat him. “I was just staying calm,
cool and collected, picking my shots. B.J. is dangerous at all
Brown Levels AKA’s Swick
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum Matt Brown
American Kickboxing Academy’s Mike Swick
with a blistering two-punch combination in the second round of
their welterweight showcase. Brown (16-11, 9-5 UFC) closed the deal
2:31 into round two.
Brown (top) put Swick down and out.
Swick was never a factor in the fight. Brown struck for a takedown
a little more than a minute into the first round and later
threatened the Houston, Texas, native with brabo and triangle
chokes. Swick (15-5, 10-4 UFC) freed himself but remained on the
In the second round, Brown clipped him with short standing elbows
in the clinch. Once the two men separated, the Ohioan cracked Swick
with a left hook-straight right combination that sent him crashing
to the base of the cage. Brown followed with a pair of
standing-to-ground punches for the finish. Swick had not been
knocked out in nearly nine years.More UFC on Fox 5 »
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