Benson Henderson vs. Jorge Masvidal
I’m really excited for this one. Should be a great fight. With the announcements out of the way, we’re ready to get things started. Benson Henderson vs. Jorge Masivdal. Main event time, here we go!
Both fighters are very technical strikers, and we’re seeing some of that early. Bendo is landing consistently with that sharp one-two, but Jorge is backing him down and landing with some heavy body kicks.
With two minutes left in the round, Bendo countered the body kick with a beautiful hook, dropping Masividal for a moment. Bendo attempted to swarm him, but Masividal recovered quickly and we’re back to the feet. It was a close round, but Bendo seemed to do more in the way of efficiency.
MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Henderson
That’s twice we’ve seen that axe kick from Masivdal, but it hasn’t landed yet. A slip puts Bendo on the mat. Good defensive wrestling from Bendo who avoids bottom position and scrambles to his feet. Masvidal has him pinned against the cage and begins throwing bombs, but Bendo throws right back before angling back to the center of the cage.
Bendo goes high with a head kick. Looks to have been blocked, but as we’ve seen in the past, often those will have an lingering effect. Bendo goes for a takedown, but Masvidal counters by pulling guard for a guillotine attempt. Bendo rolls out of it and finishes the round with some knees from the clinch.
MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Henderson (20-18 overall)
Those Bendo body kicks look to be landing consistently now. He’s begun throwing punches to the body as well. It’ll be interesting to see how this affects Masvidal in the championship rounds, as he was originally preparing for a three round fight against Dong Hyun Kim.
At the midway point of the round, it’s become a grappling match against the cage. They break with some knees from the clinch and one looks to have caught Masivdal below the belt. No matter, we return to action.
Interesting entries from Bendo, who is leaning forward and ducking very low to avoid counters from Masvidal. It’ll be interesting to see if he can adjust and hit Bendo with a uppercut or knee from that position. For now, it’s been all Bendo.
MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Henderson (30-27 overall)
Masvidal is fully capable of finishing this fight, but Bendo is the one winning the striking exchanges. At the four minute mark, Bendo shoots for another takedown against the cage, but is unable to get things to the mat. They break and Masvidal begins throwing leather, but Bendo clinches once again and nearly secures the takedown. Masvidal slips out and returns to the feet with two minutes to go.
Again, Bendo secures a takedown, but Masvidal is immediately back to the feet. As they clinch against the fence, Bendo looks to be attempting a kimura, but it ends with Bendo on his back. With ten seconds left, a monster flying knee from Bendo is met with a smile from Masvidal, but once again, it’s Bendo who seems to have outpointed him once again.
MMA Mad scores the fourth round 10-9 Henderson (40-36 overall)
Masvidal needs a finish here and he knows it. He begins working a high elbow guillotine and it looks tight, but Bendo escapes. Masvidal is looking for any opportunity to end things, throwing a spinning backfist from the clinch. It’s Bendo who’s winning the grappling exchanges however. Impressive performance over a great wrestler in Masvidal. The fifth and final round should go to Bendo as well. Every round was close, but Bendo edged out each and every one.
MMA Mad scores the fifth round 10-9 Henderson (50-45 overall)
Official Result – Benson Henderson def. Jorge Masvidal via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Dominic Waters
Kim wastes no time getting flashy in this one, as he attempts a cartwheel kick early. Things quickly turn to a grappling match against the cage, a strong suit of Kim’s. And just like that, Kim lands a judo throw and ends up in a tight crucifix position, leaving Waters open for some free shots.
Kim has both arms tied up and Waters looks helpless as he continues to eat short elbows and punches. Strange finish, as Waters looked to be okay, but the position appeared inescapable. The ref had no choice but to step in and put an end to things in the first.
Big TKO victory for the hometown fighter in Dong Hyun Kim. Disappointing result for the American.
Official Results – Dong Hyun Kim def. Dominic Waters via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 3:11
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alberto Mina
An exchange of leg kicks from both men to establish distance in the opening minute. Mina is the one darting in with combinations so far, but hasn’t landed with much success quite yet. Still, I have him ahead in the round so far, as he is clearly the aggressor.
With less than a minute in the round, Mina shoots for a takedown, but it’s stuffed. Things open up a bit in the closing moments, and Mina succeeds with a takedown, but the bell sounds. Not the most effective round from either fighter, but I give Mina the advantage for aggression.
MMA Mad scores the first round 10-9 Mina
Akiyama looks like a different fighter in the second. He’s continuing to land heavy with those leg kicks and looks to have possibly wobbled Mina with some shots against the cage. A huge uppercut lands with 3:30 left that gets a rise from the crowd and another stumble from Mina!
Mina looks to have recovered, but he’s getting outclassed in this round. We’ve seen Mina go for that takedown attempt a couple times now, but Akiyama is stuffing it with ease. Mina sells out for another takedown attempt, and this one is stuffed with authority, getting another pop out of the crowd. Mina lands a great combination, moving forward.
We have a brief break in the action as Mina landed a low-blow front kick to the groin of Akiyama. And we’re back.
Mina comes out aggressively in the closing minute of the round dropping Akiyama with a series of looping hooks! Mina poured it on for the rest of the round, dropping him again against the fence! Time runs out and Akiyama survives, but as K-Flo said… I think that flurry stole the round for Mina.
MMA Mad scores the second round 10-9 Mina (20-18 Mina)
It’s amazing these guys are still standing! Both seem to be exhausted, and that’s evident by Mina’s attempt to pull guard. Akiyama refuses to play that game, continuously allowing Mina to get back to his feet and going back to work in the stand-up game. These guys are slugging it out, but Akiyama is the fighter who’s getting the best of the exchanges.
Mina gets things to the ground for a moment, with about 30 seconds to work. Akiyama implements some heavy ground-and-pound to finish the fight, and takes the third. The first two rounds were close though. We may see some whacky scores in this one.
MMA Mad scores the third round 10-9 Akiyama (29-28 Mina)
Official Result – Alberto Mina def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Doo Ho Choi vs. Sam Sicilia
The crowd is heavily in favor of the Korean Super Boy, Doo Ho Choi, as we’re set to kick things off on the main card. This was a slug fest from the opening bell. Sicilia came in aggressively, leaving himself open for a counter punch and that’s exactly what he ate. Choi dropped him early in the round but Sicilia survived by grabbing onto his opponent and recovering quickly.
Back to the feet we go and more of the same. Sicilia is starting to connect with some of these looping hooks now, but when he misses, he misses big. And Choi connects with another counter, dropping Sicilia for the second time in the round! This time, Choi pours it on, and the ref has no choice but to step in.
Big knockout win for one of the top prospects in the division.
Official Results Doo Ho Choi def. Sam Sicilia via TKO (Rd.1, 1:33)Check out our latest podcast episode featuring a conversation with Cortney Casey.