It was a great night of fights at UFC 144 in Tokyo, Japan this weekend. The main event was an astounding match up between two truly top competitors in the lightweight division. Other notable match ups were also very exciting with some great knock outs and excellent displays of skill.
We caught the fight at Buffalo Wild Wings, in Beaverton, Oregon, where we got the chance to meet up with Mike Pierce following his controversial decision loss to Josh Koshcheck at UFC 143. Mike Pierce was as friendly a guy as I’ve ever met, signing autographs and taking photos with local Buffalo Wild Wings patrons. The UFC promoted event handed out prizes between the fights and truly made it an enjoyable event for everyone in attendance. Without further delay here are the results of UFC 144:
Tiequan Zhang (15-3) vs. Issei Tamura (7-2)
This fight was dominated by Tamura’s striking, and ended up being a decisive factor for Tamura, as he laid out Zhang with a powerful right hand in just :32 seconds of the second round.
Takeya Mizugaki (15-7-2) vs. Chris Cariaso (13-3)
This was a well paced fight, in the bantamweight class, in which Chris Cariaso squeaked out the unanimous decision 29-28
Riki Fukuda (18-5) vs. Steve Cantwell (7-6)
The Japanese combatant proved to be the more dominant fighter, in a three round bout that gave Fukuda the unanimous decision in an unquesionably dominant performance.
Norifumi“Kid” Yamamoto (18-6-1) vs. Vaughan Lee (12-7-1)
This fight was a serious competition of two men looking for a stoppage. It was Lee, however, who proved to have a dominant Jiu Jitsu game and submitted Yamamoto by arm bar with less than a minute left in the first round.
Takanori Gomi (33-8-1) vs. Eiji Mitsuoka (18-8-2)
A great fight was put on by both these contestants as the first round is decidedly Mitsuoka. The second round, however, was a different story as it looked like Mitsuoka is going to put on a repeat performance, early in the round. Gomi began to pick up the pace though and started to land a lot of leather as Mitsuoka began to look fatigued. The round eventually ended as Gomi delivered a number of right hands to Mitsuoka who eventually gets saved by Herb Dean, resulting in a TKO win for Gomi.
Anthony Pettis (15-2) vs. Joe Lauzon (21-7)
A quick fight, that started and ended with an impressive showing from the former WEC champion Anthony Pettis, made short work of Lauzon when a Pettis shin met with Lauzon jaw and sent the fighter dazed and confused as Pettis followed up with punches that effectively turned out the lights for Joe Lauzon in just over a minute of the first round.
Hatsu Hioki (26-4-2) vs. Bart Palaszewski (36-15)
Another impressive victory for our Japanese friends came by way of decision for Hioki, as he turned in a dominate first round and continued to do enough to win the judges unanimous decision.
Yushin Okami (26-7) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)
Another impressive showing by a Japanese fighter comes from Yushin Okami, who decisively outworks his opponent Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch for two rounds. It was “The Barbarian”, however, who despite being overwhelmed by Okami, came back with a barrage of his own, earning the nickname, and ending the night for Okami with a series of upper cuts from the clinch, securing a TKO over the would be victor in under a minute of the third round.
Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5-2) vs. Jake Shields (27-6-1)
This was a great match up between two very game opponents. Jake Shields seemed to struggle with getting a take down during the fight and any success he had doing so was short-lived, as Akiyama would immediate regain his footing. Shields managed to impress judges, nonetheless, using a much more active striking game and out landing his opponent giving him a unanimous victory.
Mark Hunt (8-7) vs.Cheick Kongo (17-7-2)
Right hands spelled an early night for Cheick Kongo, as his opponent dropped Kongo with a counter punch and allowed Cheick to get back to his feet before cornering him against the cage and turning on a barrage of right hands, the fourth of which resulted in Herb Dean stepping in. These well placed punches resulted in a third straight win for Hunt and a TKO for the night.
Quinton“Rampage” Jackson (32-10) vs. Ryan Bader (14-2)
Ryan Bader managed to end his two fight losing streak. It was an unexpected game plan watching Bader manage to stand toe to toe with “Rampage” giving better than he got in most exchanges. Ryan proved to have a much better game plan when it came to mat work against Jackson as the majority of the third round kept Rampage on his back resulting in a unanimous decision for the younger fighter, Ryan Bader.
Frankie Edgar (14-2-1) vs. Benson Henderson (16-2)
It was an excellent main event as both fighter left nothing to be desired. The striking exchanges were the story of this match as any takedowns didn’t last very long. Edgar managed to catch quite a few of the kicks from Benson, but he was unable to do much with them as Benson made him pay for not keeping his guard up, landing punches on the much shorter opponent. The fight continued leaving Edgar’s face a gnarled mess as Henderson looks ready to pose for many pictures at his after party. All three judges scored the fight in favor of the new UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson.