By Jaime Feal
In the undercard shown on Fueltv.
Ben “Smooth” Henderson (14-2) vs. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida (29-11)
The two combatants meet in the center of the octagon. Both fighters attempt one-two combinations but neither lands. Guida lands a leg kick and is starting to press the action but gets caught with a counter which briefly drops him. A wild flurry ensues with each fighter throwing left and right hooks in bunches. Henderson lands a big hook and drops Guida again. Guida desperately trying for a single leg as Henderson hammers to the ribs with right hands. Henderson is still sprawling and brawling while Guida attempts to recover. The two men grapple on the cage. The pace slows as Guida fights unsuccessfully for a takedown on the fence. Henderson lands a nice knee to the body in the clinch. Henderson going for a guillotine but lets it go almost immediately. “Smooth” turns Guida against the cage and lands another knee to the body. Guida with a couple decent punches from the clinch to the head of Henderson. Clay goes for another single and it is deep but Henderson shows good balance to stay on his feet. Guida bobbing in the center of the cage full of energy. Guida coming forward again with 1 minute left. Guida tries a flying knee that misses but Henderson has to backpedal. Guida seizes the opportunity and presses with hooks, landing a right hook that drops Henderson. “The Carpenter” tries for a front choke but has to let it go as it is not secured properly. Ben gets back to his feet and works knees to Guida’s legs. Guida still can’t take Henderson down and the round ends with Ben sprawling and landing some strikes on Guida. 10-9 round for Henderson.
Guida comes out again full of energy displaying his incredible cardio. Ben lands a knee to the body. Guida takes down Henderson with a single leg but Henderson quickly gets back up and lands another knee to Guida’s body. Henderson takes “The Carpenter” down with a nice double leg and winds up in half guard. Pace slows again as Henderson controls Guida’s head and lands light shots. The lightweights stand back up and now it is Henderson leaning on Guida against the cage. More knees to the body from Henderson. Guida answers with a couple of his own. Henderson loads up on a left knee to the body and lands. Henderson goes for a single but gives it up to attempt another knee. Clay catches the knee with his arms and takes Henderson down. Guida can’t keep Henderson down and they are back standing. Guida loads up on a huge spinning back fist but just misses. The wild strike has him off balance and on the ground again with Ben on top. Guida going for a standing guillotine and it looks pretty tight. He pulls guard to try and finish the fight but Henderson squirms out. Henderson scrambles and spins and takes Guida’s back. Henderson has a body triangle on Guida ad is looking for a rear-naked choke. Henderson striking with left hands while Guida defend against the choke. Henderson now punching with the right hand as the clock winds down. 10-9 round for Henderson.
Both fighters still appear fresh as they meet in the center. Lots of bobbing and weaving now. Henderson misses a front kick and an axe kick. 4 minutes left in the fight. Henderson presses Guida against the cage. Guida goes for a single leg and has it deep. He drives Henderson all the way to the other side of the cage as Henderson defends the takedown while hopping and backpedaling the entire time. Incredible takedown defense. Henderson then spins and has Guida’s back to the cage again. Henderson goes for a takedown but Guida easily defends it. Ben on his knees resting as the pace slows. Henderson lands a big knee as the fighters rise and then Guida misses with two head kicks. Henderson promptly takes Guida down and gets side control. Henderson trying to mount with knee on belly. Guida defends and Henderson is back in side control then north south then he takes the back. Impressive transitioning by Henderson. “Smooth” is flattening Guida out and has the body triangle and a minute to work with. Guida escapes to his feet and lands on top after Henderson throws a knee. Guida trying for a mounted guillotine and it’s deep but Henderson hanging on. Guida still squeezing and trying different angles to finish but can’t lock it in. With 10 seconds left Henderson escapes and goes all out with punches. 10-9 round for Henderson.
The Judges score the fight 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Ben “Smooth” Henderson.
With the win Henderson is in line for a title shot against lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.
Cain Velasquez (9-0) vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (13-1)
The intro opens with the same music used for FOX NFL Sunday as MMA comes to network television for the first time ever. The viewers are being treated to a heavyweight title fight for free in an unprecedented event. Dana White and Brock Lesnar offer some commentary on the state of the UFC Heavyweight division. Lesnar will be meeting Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 for the right to face the winner of tonight’s heavyweight championship bout.
Both fighters come out cautious for the first 10 seconds as they measure each other up. Velasquez is the first to open up with a strike and lands a right outside leg kick. Junior misses a jab to the body as Cain backs away. Cain tries for a single leg but Dos Santos hops out. Velasquez lands another leg kick. Dos Santos lands a HUGE overhand right that has Velasquez on his back. “Cigano” pounces and starts throwing bombs with the left hand. Cain is hurt and turns on his side and now Dos Santos is unloading with right hands. Referee Big John McCarthy steps in to save Velasquez from further punishment. Shocking and spectacular performance by Dos Santos. The winner by KO at 1:04 of the first round and new UFC Heavyweight champion of the world, Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos.
FOX and the UFC could not have asked for a better fight to showcase MMA. The fight was explosive with a dramatic conclusion. The millions of viewers around the world got a great glimpse of what this growing sport has to offer. Next up for Dos Santos will be the winner of Lesnar vs. Overeem. The heavyweight division in the UFC proves once again to be very exciting and MMA will only rise in popularity after a night like tonight.