Stay tuned to fightofthenight.com this evening for all the results live as they happen from UFC 144 in Japan.
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Ben Henderson defeats Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision (49-46 x2, 48-47)
Ryan Bader defeats Quinton Jackson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Mark Hunt defeats Cheick Kongo by TKO at 2.11mins of Rd1
Jake Shields defeats Yoshihiro Akiyama by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Tim Boetsch defeats Yushin Okami by TKO at 0.54mins of Rd3
Hatsu Hioki defeats Bart Palaszewski by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Anthony Pettis defeats Joe Lauzon by KO at 1.21mins of Rd1
Takanori Gomi defeats Eiji Mitsuoka by TKO at 2.21mins of Rd2
Gomi rebounded from a poor start to get a big victory over Mitsuoka tonight. Gomi’s sloppy technique cost him in the first round as Mitsuoka was able to land a number of strikes through his non-existant defense. He really paid the price though when he flung himself head first into a punch and was met by Mitsuoka’s fist which dropped him. Mitsuoka then managed to get on Gomi’s back and went for a mouted triangle. It looked tight and Gomi was close to tapping, but just hung on long enough to hear the end of round bell. Gomi came out with more urgency in the second round and the sheer volume of strikes he was throwing backed Mitsuoka down. More punches and some knees followed and Mitsuoka eventually went to ground after a half-hearted takedown attempt and turtled up as Gomi continued to rain down blows until the referee stepped in to end the fight.
Vaughan Lee defeats Norifumi Yamamoto by submission (armbar) at 4.29mins of Rd1
An action-packed round of action from both fighters here ended with an exciting submission. Yamamoto looked bright in the early stages and he dropped Lee briefly with a leaping right hook to the jaw. Yamamoto smelled blood and continued swinging as Lee rose back up again and unleashed a barrage of strikes against the cage, but Lee covered up well and looked to have regained his bearings as he finally managed to break free. Then he began to turn the screw, appearing to daze Yamamoto with a knee to the head. That slowed the Japanese fighter down and soon after Lee caught him again with a right hook that turned Yamamoto’s legs to jelly. Credit to him though as he immediately switched to a takedown as Lee swooped in for the kill. It was only a momentary relief for ‘Kid’ though as from his back Lee quickly looked for an arm triangle choke. He couldn’t get it, but cleverly switched to an armbar and produced the tap with just over 30 seconds of the round left.
Riki Fukuda defeats Steve Cantwell by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)
This was a gruelling stand-up battle over three rounds. The first round was highly competitive with both men getting their licks in as punches and kicks flew. Early in the second Fukuda went for a takedown only to find himself caught in a tight gullotine attempt from Cantwell. He couldn’t force the tap though and eventually let go and the action returned to the feet. Cantwell looked to have burned a fair amount of energy during that submission attempt and his striking output slowed while Fukuda’s increased. Fuckudo started to find a home for his uppercuts and landed them on multiple occasions further taking the wind out of Cantwell’s sales. By the third round Cantwell looked exhausted and Fukuda kept coming at him, landing heavy kicks to his legs and body all round long mixed in with some punches for good measure, while little came back in return. Good fght for Fukuda, disappointing for Cantwell.
Chris Cariaso defeats Takeya Mizugaki by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Not too much action to speak of in this fight with the main talking point being the suprising decision. The stand-up exchanges were fairly even and uneventful, but Cariaso was landing more often. The real difference between the two however was Mizugaki takedowns spread throughout the three rounds, though he appeared content to just grind away from inside Cariaso’s full guard and never really attempted to finish the fight. Nevertheless it still looked as if Mizugaki had done enough, but unexpectedly Cariaso was given the nod by two of the three judges. Strange, but on reflection Mizugaki will surely rue his decision to not show more urgency and endeavour when he had Cariaso on his back.
Issei Tamura defeats Tiequan Zhang by KO at 0.32mins of Rd2
Fun fight to start of tonight’s card. Tamura controlled much of the first round on the canvas, but the most exciting moments came during their stand-up exchanges in the initial stages where Tamura almost immediately was finding a home for some solid looking punches before eating one of Zhang’s which momentarily dropped him. He got back to his feet and Zhang pressed forward looking for a big finish, but missed with a haymaker and fell. Tamura tagged him with a short punch and then as he rose landed two right hands which dropped him again. Early in the second they again went back to trading blows and Tamura came out on top in emphatic fashion, landing a huge right hook that had Zhang knocked out before he crashed awkwardly onto the canvas.