Kester's UFC 144 PPV Results and Review: Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson for the UFC Lightweight Championship, Rampage Jackson vs. Ryan Bader, Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo, and more
By Ryan Kester
UFC 134: Edgar vs. Henderson
Aired live on PPV from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
1. Anthony "Showtime" Pettis (12-2) vs. Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon (20-6) [Lightweight Division]
Round One: Pettis and Lauzon traded combinations back and forth as they tried to find their range when Pettis suddenly scored with a left head kick. Pettis' shin landed flush on Lauzon's chin, and Lauzon was out.
Official Decision: Winner by KO at 1:21 of the very first round, Anthony Pettis
Ryan's Rant: Wow, what a kick. Lauzon seized up instantly and he was out before the even hit the floor. What a way to start the PPV.
2. Hatsu Hioki (24-4-2) vs. Bart "Bartimus" Palaszewski (34-13) [Featherweight Division]
Round One: 10-9 Hioki. Palaszewski went for a guillotine attempt early in the round, but Hioki defended and ended up on top. Hioki transitioned to Palaszewski's back and transitioned from an armbar to an omoplata in an attempt to submit Palaszewski. Palaszewski defended well, but Hioki ended a dominant round on top.
Round Two: 10-9 Hioki. Close round that saw both men stay on their feet and trade strikes, but Hioki managed to score a takedown in the closing moments to tilt the round in his favor.
Round Three: 10-9 Hioki. Hioki took Palaszewski down early and transitioned to take his back. Hioki attempted to apply a rear naked choke several times, but Palaszewski had enough left to defend. Once again, Hioki ended the round in a dominant position.
Official Decision: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Hatsu Hioki.
Ryan's Rant: Hatsu looked like a star tonight. He needed a performance like this after his lackluster debut at UFC 137.
3. Yushin "Thunder" Okami (27-6) vs. Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch (14-4) [Middleweight Division]
Round One: 10-9 Okami. Close round with both men standing and trading strikes. Okami had the edge, however, and he was the more aggressive fighter.
Round Two: 10-9 Okami. Okami scored an early takedown and transitioned into full mount. Okami attempted for a kimura and an arm triangle choke, but was unable to force the tap.
Round Three: Boetsch charged Okami and rocked him with an overhand right. Okami tried to get some distance to recover, but Boetsch pursued him relentlessly. Boetsch caught Okami on the cage and he threw uppercut after uppercut until Okami fell to the floor.
Official Decision: Winner by TKO at 0:54 of the third round, Tim Boetsch
Ryan's Rant: What a comeback. My lord, Boetsch was getting torn apart in the second round, but he went for broke and managed to pull out one hell of a victory. Fantastic end to a very good fight.
4. Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-4, 2 NC) vs. Jake Shields (26-6-1) [Welterweight Division]
Round One: 10-9 Akiyama. Very close rounds with both en scoring takedowns and trading strikes. Akiyama seems to be able to control the fight better despite Shields being the aggressor.
Round Two: 10-9 Shields. Akiyama continued to stuff Shields' takedown attempts and managed to score one of his own, but Shields amped up his aggression and scored enough strikes to take the round.
Round Three: 10-9 Shields. Rinse and repeat of the second round until Shields scored a takedown and took Akiyama's back immediately. Shields fought for a rear naked choke, but the horn blew before he could finish Akiyama
Official Decision: All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Jake Shields.
Ryan's Rant: I really can't fault the judges for giving the first round to Shields. I put more weight in Akiyama's defense than they did in Shields' aggression, but it was a very close round. Past that, it looked like Akiyama was content to win the fight via a score whereas Shields was fighting for a finish. Interesting fight, and a good showing from both men.
5. Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt (7-7) vs. Cheick Kongo (27-6-2) [Heavyweight Division]
Round One: Late in the round, Hunt scored a straight right that rocked Kongo. Hunt pounced on Kongo and kept throwing rights until Herb Dean stopped the fight.
Official Decision: Winner by TKO at 2:11 of the very first round, Mark Hunt
Ryan's Rant: Quick and decisive win for Hunt. A Knockout is always fun to see, but this wasn't the most memorable clash in the history of MMA.
6. Rampage Jackson (32-9) vs. Ryan "Darth" Bader (14-2) [Light Heavyweight Division]
Round One: 10-9 Bader. Very close round, but Bader was the aggressor and managed to keep Jackson clinched against the cage several times.
Round Two: 10-9 Bader. Jacksons cored a monstrous slam in the early round, but Bader managed to take Jackson down and remained in dominant position the entire time. Jackson attempted to stand only to eat another takedown from Bader.
Round Three: 10-9 Bader. Bader took Jackson to the ground again and kept him there. Bader worked Jackson over with ground and pound throughout the round and stuffed Jackson's attempts to return to his feet. Bader ended the fight locking Jackson in a guillotine, but was unable to force the tap.
Official Decision: All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Ryan Bader.
Ryan's Rant: Extremely impressive showing by Bader. Jackson showed a great deal of fire throughout the fight, but Bader kept him out of his comfort zone and never let up in his aggression.
7. Frankie "The Answer" Edgar (14-1-1) vs. Benson "Smooth" Henderson (15-2) for the UFC Lightweight Championship
Round One: 10-9 Edgar. Edgar had the edge in strikes and scored a pair of takedowns. Henderson is showing a good deal of aggression, but Edgar stayed a step or two ahead of him in the first round.
Round Two: 10-9 Edgar. Edgar scored several takedowns and maintained the advantage in the striking. In the closing moments of the round, Henderson scored a vicious up kick from his back that rocked Edgar and may have broken his nose, but that kick was not enough to take the round.
Round Three: 10-9 Edgar. Edgar continues to score the takedowns and has the edge in striking. Although I have given three rounds to Edgar thus far, Henderson has caused a lot more damage. Edgar is winning the fight by points, but Henderson is heading into the fourth as the healthier fighter.
Round Four: 10-9 Henderson. This was as close as the previous rounds, but Henderson is beginning to get the better of Edgar. Henderson is finally maintaining control while continuing his aggression, and he had Edgar locked in a nasty guillotine in the middle of the round.
Round Five:10-9 Henderson. Rinse and repeat. Henderson maintained his aggression without sacrificing octagon control and Henderson ended the round going for another guillotine before transitioning into ground and pound from side control.
Official Decision: 49-46, 48-47, 49-46 for the winner by unanimous decision and new UFC Lightweight Champion of the world, Benson Henderson.
Ryan's Rant: What a fight. What an absolute war of a fight. I can easily understand giving the fight to Henderson considering the damage he accomplished with his strikes. Edgar was technically superior throughout the fight, but Henderson wore him down throughout the rounds. Either way, that was a very entertaining fight.
Overall Show: Solid show from top to bottom. There were plenty of great fights on what I consider to be a loaded card and the final fight could not have been a more fitting main event.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow UFC fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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