Coming into UFC 164 on Saturday Anthony Pettis had all the confidence in the world. He had defeated the current champion once before and was looking to take Benson Henderson’s lightweight title. He did so and did it in highlight reel fashion. All without having to use the “Showtime Kick” for the second time.
Pettis is known as a dynamic striker but use his submission game to finish off Henderson with an arm bar in the waning minutes of the first round.
The fight started out with both competitors exchanging on the feet. Pettis landed the most significant shots with four body kicks that backed Henderson up across the cage.
Benson caught Pettis going for a cartwheel kick and landed in the challenger’s guard. While trying to soften him up with blows from the mount, Henderson found his arm in an arm bar that turned bad very quickly. Pettis went to belly down which forced Benson to verbally tap out.
Anthony celebrated in the cage after calling out current featherweight champion Jose Aldo in an anticipated bout that was supposed to happen earlier this year.
Controversy came in the co-main event as Josh Barnett stopped Frank Mir in the first round of their heavyweight tilt.
Barnett and Mir came out swinging as “The Warmaster” used the clinch and knees to try to weaken Frank as he answered with punches over top. Barnett pushed Mir up against the cage and pulled Mir down for a vicious knee that dropped his opponent’s limp body. However, before Barnett could land any more shots the bout was stopped and Mir bounced right back to his feet in protest.
Chad Mendes is considered by many to be the best fighter without a championship on the UFC roster and he took another step forward to change that as he became the first man to ever knockout Clay Guida.
Clay came out with his classic movement and rapid action but Mendes stayed patient from start to finish. Mendes used counter striking to offset Guida’s advances. Whenever Clay attempted a takedown he was punished with Mendes’s sprawl and pound tactics which increased as the bout went on.
In the third round Mendes dropped Clay with a right hand which caused his opponent to scramble against the cage. When Guida got back to his feet Mendes landed two back to back hooks, the right hand snapped Guida’s head to the right and sent him down. Mendes followed up with a few finishing shots but the bout was already over.
This gave Mendes his fourth straight knockout win and firmly places him as one of the top two fighters to receive a featherweight title shot in the near future.
Brandon Vera returned to the heavyweight division and was met by former IFL competitor Ben Rothwell.
From the very start Rothwell and Vera showed no plans of taking the fight to the floor as they exchanged volumes worth of shots. Vera’s counter striking was in full employ as he caught Ben with multiple shots to the face and body kicks. Rothwell continued to hunt for the big shot but was unable to find it through two rounds.
That would all change in the third round when one of Rothwell’s punches would cut through Vera’s defense and land on his opponent’s chin. Rothwell would follow up with knees and uppercuts that dropped Brandon who tried to scramble on the mat but Rothwell continued to pound away, forcing Herb Dean to call for the stoppage.
Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier were paired to kick off the Pay per View portion of the show and these two individuals were expected to steal the show. The fight that they put on did just that as the featherweights brought the house down with action that saw Dustin walk away with the unanimous decision.
Koch looked to finish the fight very quickly as a triangle choke had “The Diamond” nearly losing consciousness. Dustin found a way to fight out of the hold and immediately began to pour it on once he could get back to his feet; dropping Koch with a vicious shot to the jaw. He maintained that dominance through the second round as he overpowered and mounted Koch for much of the 5 minute stanza.
Koch would come back in the third round to get on top and use his grappling to improve position. With ten seconds left he worked for a rear naked choke but was unable to get the hold in well enough to really threaten to end the fight.
UFC 164 was a strong showing from start to finish. Great bouts and finishes up and down both the main and preliminary bouts to keep spectators entertained. A new champion in Anthony Pettis opens up a world of potential match ups in what is considered by many to be the toughest division in the sport.
Full Fight Results
Anthony Pettis defeated Benson Henderson via first round submission.
Josh Barnett defeated Frank Mir via first round TKO.
Chad Mendes defeated Clay Guida via TKO in the third round.
Ben Rothwell defeated Brandon Vera via TKO in the third round.
Dustin Poirier defeated Erik Koch via unanimous decision.
Glesion Tibau defeated Jamie Varner via split decision.
Tim Elliot defeated Louis Gadinot via unanimous decision.
Hyun Gyu Lim defeated Pascal Krauss via first round TKO.
Chico Camus defeated Kyung Ho Kang via unanimous decision.
Soa Palelei defeated Nikita Krylov via third round TKO.
Al Iaquinta defeated Ryan Couture via unanimous decision.
Magnus Cedenblad defeated Jared Hamman via first round submission.