COUGHLIN: UFC on FOX LIVE COVERAGE! From the arena. By the cage. To you!



**UFC on FOX: Henderson v. Thomson**

By: Mike Coughlin
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January 25, 2014
United Center, Chicago, Illinois


Ladies. Germs. Welcome to your LIVE AND ON SITE coverage of the UFC's latest offering on free tv. I'm your host for the night. I will be doing that thing where I watch what happens and then write here what I saw and then you will sit where you sit and you will read what I wrote instead of just watching it for yourself. As is always the case when I do these, at the bottom of this here report will be the quick and dirty results; the "Fighter X d. Fighter Y via Punch Z." This helps you learn what happened instead of slogging through all my brilliance.

Do see the disclaimer at the bottom regarding my "conflict of interest" for tonight.


PRELIM FIGHT - UFC Fight Pass

Yay! Fights are here. With heavyweights. Then more fights after that, with non-heavyweights. Except for that one other fight with the heavyweights.

(1)FIGHT ONE

Walt Harris vs. Nikita Krylov
Round 1

Headkick by Krylov drops Harris in about five seconds. That was quite fast and brutal and fun and YAY FOR BEING DONE!

OFFICIAL RESULT: Nikita Krylov d. Walt Harris, R1, KO (headkick)

PRELIM CARD - Fox Sports 1, 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT

(2)FIGHT TWO
Mike "Biggie" Rhodes vs. George Sullivan

*Rhodes is a RoufuSport fighter.
Round 1
Ok Round.  Both traded punches and kicks to set up takedowns.  I typed a lot more but it didn't save.  Because I'm a moron, you see. 
Mike Score: Biggie, 10-9

Round 2

Biggie with a flying knee.  Sullivan catches it and tries a takedown.  Rhodes defends.  Biggie, as in the fist round, walking Sullivan down.  Biggie with a nice right hook that landed flush.  Sullivan reaching a bit with his punches, and the distance that Biggie has found seems to be the difference.  Biggie with a nice combo.  In general, it is Rhodes finding his distance just a little better and Sullivan reaching and chasing.  Sullivan is also breathing harder at the moment.  Sullivan lunges for a punch, misses, and Biggie counters with a nice uppercut.  Another uppercut lands and I think the combination of distance and stamina is the big difference now.  Sullivan with a sloppy takedown attempt.  Sullivan tried real hard for a takedown at the end of the round and failed.
Mike Score: Biggie, 10-9

Round 3

Someone yelled that Rhodes was "trying to steal Sullivan's coffee" which is up there with the weirdest forms of motivation I've ever heard.  Sullivan still looking tired but he's also been more aggressive this round.  Rhodes seems to be looking for the right hand almost exclusively.  Good kick to the body by Biggie leads to a failed takedown attempt by Sullivan.  With 2:30 left, Biggie is leaning on Sullivan and wearing on him.  They separate.  Big spinning kick to the body by Rhodes.  Nice leg kick by Sullivan leaves a resonating thud.  Biggie goes behind and is looking for a takedown but with no success.  Sullivan turns the tables and almost gets a takedown of his own off a single leg.  Close round, like the first. 
Mike Score: Biggie, 10-9, but it could go either way.  Biggie won the fight, because his second round was the most decisive but the first and third were close.
OFFICIAL RESULT: George Sullivan d. Mike "Biggie" Rhodes, decision

(3) FIGHT THREE

Daron Cruickshank vs. Mike Rio

Round One
Not much early but Daron lands a bit.  Daron's stance started low but he's gradually becoming more upright .  Rio with a good right that lands.  Right hand that is.  Not his entire side of the body.  This has been three crappy minutes, if we're being honest.  Daron with a quick lead kick to the head.  But it was blocked.  Rio swarms for a bit; Rio uses a push kick to separate them both.  Daron lands a big right hand; best shot of the round, by far.  Then: Daron with a beautiful combo that ended with a flying kick that almost ended Rio.  Daron looking for the kill but Rio survives. 
Mike Score: Daron, 10-9

Round Two
Punching combo lands for Daron to open things up with this here round number two.  Daron using his kick to keep Rio away, as it appears Rio is looking and thinking and feeling and praying and hoping for his hands to land. Rio wants to box.  A spin kick out of Street Fighter 2 from Daron lands on the chin, but not perfectly enough to finish Rio.  Daron ducks out of the way of an aggressive series of punches by Rio and lands a takedown but Rio is now countering with a heel hook.  He misses at first but still has Daron tied up.  Daron escapes to side control, now has Rio turtled up.  They're up.  Daron explodes.  Lands a big shot.  Amazing flurry.  Time is running out.  Can Rio survive?  NO!  Herb Dean steps in and stop the bout with like one second left.  Fantastic finish.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Daron Cruickshank d. Mike Rio, R2, TKO

(4) FIGHT FOUR
Ramiro (Sabretooth?) Hernandez vs. Hugo "WOLVERINE" Viana
I'm going with a comic book nerd theme for this fight.

Round One
Sabretooth, naturally, looking bigger but Wolverine drops him early.  They're up.  Wolverine throwing wild.  One might even say going into a ... berzerker barrage.  Wolverine seems content to simply load up and throw wild combination of hooks with little care for whether they land or not.  But when they land, they hurt. 
Mike Score: Viana, 10-9

Round Two
More of the same for the second stanza through two minutes.  Wolverine loading up on haymakers; Sabretooh kind of following him but not doing much.  If Wolverine would vary his punches a bit, it could help.  As it stands, he's very predictable as far as always throwing the same left-right hook combination.  A cut opens under Sabretooh's right eye.  His healing factor should take care of it soon.  Crowd booing a perceived lack of action.  That's a bit rude.  Accurate though.
Mike Score: Viana, 10-9

Round Three
Third verse, same as the first (two).  Sabretooth finally lands a punch.  Take that, Runt.  Another lands by Sabretooh and Wolverine is hurt.  Sabretooh, using his mutant senses, smells blood.  Wolverine looking to survive but he lands a big shot.  Then another.  But 'Tooth still walking him down.  Wolverine on his bike but a bloodied Sabretooh follows still.  Business has picked up.  The same 3-2 combination from Wolverine but noticeably slower now.  Sabretooh has the momentum but only a minute to finish and I think he needs the finish.  Sabretooh now taunting Wolverine, mocking his back peddling ways.  BIG LEFT from Sabretooh with ten seconds left. 
Mike Score: 10-9, Hernandez.  I have it 29-28, Viana, but the 2nd round was close enough that it could go the other way.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Hugo Viana d. Ramiro Hernandez, decision

For the record, MATT BROWN is here.  The Manliness Quotient just went up tenfold.

(5) FIGHT FIVE
Chico Camus vs. Yaotzin Meza

ROUND ONE
Meza with a good shot as he ducks a combination from Chico but he can't finish the takedown.  Takedown off a strong bodylock from Meza and he's now in side control but is then rolled by Chico.  Chico is in Meza's half butterfly guard and Meza is thinking triangle.  Meza with an underhook and looking to either standup or sweep Chico from his half guard now.  Chico using a whizzer to keep on top and now he's in Meza's full guard.  Chico has done absolutely nothing while on top as it has been all a battle for position.  And with ten seconds left, the ref stands them.  Because... eh.
Mike Score: ... uh, no clue at all.  I guess Chico?  10-9.

ROUND TWO
Big left hand from Chico to start that half-drops/half-pushes Meza over.  But Meza from the bottom sweeps Chico and is now on top in half-guard(ed truth).  Full guard now with Chico's head pressed against the fence.  He's not attempting to stand up and is just holding on with a deep overhook.  Crowd boos.  Ref responds.  They stand.  Chico lands a big right hand!  Chico with a big slam.  Meza looking for a heel hook from his half-guard but Chico recognizes, stuffs, and is now in mount.  It's a solid mount.  Chico pops up, but gets the back then turns into an attempted side choke which misses but now he's back in mount.  Meza pushes up, Chico rides, takes the back again.  Meza trying to come out the back door and does.  Now Meza shoot for a takedown with 20 seconds remaining.  It is stuffed.
Mike Score: Chico, 10-9.

ROUND THREE
Chico with a takedown off a Meza kick early.  Meza looks a bit tired.  He tries elevating Chico with his butterfly hook but Chico is heavy on top.  Chico mounts and smartly drags Meza away from the cage.  Chico takes the back but is high and Meza looks to come out the back again.  Chico cradles him down and is working for the choke now.  Almost has it but Meza escapes and Chico is forced back to mount.  There are worse fates.  Chico lands a couple of good shots, forcing Meza to roll and give up his back, but they keep rolling and Chico ends up on the bottom with 70 seconds to go.  Meza looking to force his knee through as Chico attempts to stand.  Meza tries to get the back but Chico ends up on top.  With 30 seconds to go, this is Chico's fight.
Mike Score: Chico, 10-9
OFFICIAL RESULT: CHICO CAMUS d. YAOTZIN MEZA, dec

C.M. Punk is here.  He just walked by.  So, now you know, if you care.

(6) FIGHT SIX
Yves Jabouin vs. Eddie Wineland

Yves coming out to the MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! music.  OMG!JKSJFDKFHJDKFDK!!!!!!!  Biggest winner ever.  He deserves a bonus just for that.

ROUND ONE
Yves moving around, trying to stay at kicking distance while Eddie is looking to box early.  Good right hand to the body by Wineland, but it's answered by a kick to the body by Yves.  Wineland going to the body early.  A solid right hand to the ear by Eddie elicits a "ooooh" from people.  Wineland gets a toe to the face from an Yves's kick but shrugs it off.  Eddie with some deep underhook now and handing knees to the midsection. 
Mike Score: Wineland, 10-9

ROUND TWO
Wineland slipping most of what Yves throws and landing his right hand.  Wineland has done a good job of getting close enough to nullify Yves flashier kicks and make it a hands affair.  Good punch by Wineland.  Spinning backfist by Yves misses.  Spinning backkick to the ribs does not.  Right hand catches Yves backing up.  Wineland eats a kick to the head, grimaces, comes back, lands a combination of bombs and drops Yves!  Yves is holding on to survive.  Wineland fakes a side choke to go to mount and pounds.  Yves gives the back but Wineland flattens him and is pounding.  This is close to being over.  More shots and ... it's over!  Ref steps in and says, "FINISH HIM!"
OFFICIAL RESULT: Eddie Wineland d. Yves Jabouin, R2, TKO

(7) FIGHT SEVEN
Alex "Bruce LeRoy" Caceres vs. Sergio Pettis
*Pettis, the younger brother of UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, is a RoufuSport fighter
Uh, a robot just walked by me.  They have someone in a FOX Robot costume.  I presume it's a costume.  I wonder what that pays?  Is that a big "get" for your resume?  "Walked around United Center in a Fox Robot costume." 

ROUND ONE
Pettis is smaller, no way around that.  Pettis is having issues with the reach of the bigger LeRoy through the first two minutes.  Pettis's hands are better so far, a little crisper and faster.  Kick to the head half crazes the cage but still hits LeRoy and knocks him down for a second.  Big left hand by LeRoy lands but Pettis doesn't acknowledge it at all.  Right hand by Pettis hurts Cacares.  Pettis is all over LeRoy with repeated high kicks.  Good round.
Mike Score: Pettis, 10-9

ROUND TWO
Big punch drops Pettis.  He's definitely hurt bad.  He dives on a leg to "take down" LeRoy but is clearly just trying to survive.  They scramble and Pettis with a half-sweep.  Back on their feet.  Short left hook by Pettis lands.  Pettis slips a hook and counters with a short right this time.  Pettis seems to have recovered but that shot must have hurt him with pain.  Straight right by Pettis lands and he follows with a kick to the head that lands and then a punch to the head.  Spinning wheel kick by Pettis barely misses.  Except for that first big punch, Pettis is winning this round. ("Except for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan was still in the war.")
Mike Score: LeRoy, 10-9

ROUND THREE
Pettis comes out with a strong takedown.  LeRoy with a kimura.  Pettis rolls out, threatens a guillotine, and they're on their feet.  Good action.  Pettis with a slow kick, LeRoy catches it, they go down, a scramble ensues, and LeRoy tries a reverse triangle.  Back up again.  Pettis looks tired but a straight right staggers LeRoy for a moment.  Solid kick to LeRoy's body.  Leaping left hook, ala Mark Hunt, by Pettis.  It wasn't as effective as a Hunt hook.  Pettis tries a takedown but LeRoy reverses.  Pettis dives on a leg for a heel hook.  LeRoy gets out and with 25 seconds left has Pettis's back and ... sinks in the choke.  Very, very good fight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Alex Caceres d. Sergio Pettis, R3, rear-naked choke submission  

MAIN CARD FOX Network, 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT (i.e., the important time zone)


(8) FIGHT EIGHT
Darren Elkins vs. Jeremy Stephens

ROUND ONE
Elkins circling a lot early.  Stephens loading up on bombs.  Stephens catches a kick and brings Elkins down.  Stephens with a big elbow.  He then chooses to stand up and they resume their dance.  OF DEATH!  Elkins in on a single leg but Stephens showing tremendous balance in defending it.  Elkins reaches and Stephens counters with an uppercut.  A ridiculously sick kick to the body by Stephens.  I mean, ugh, you want to vomit when you hear it.
Mike Score: Stephens, 10-9

ROUND TWO
Stephens lands right away and Elkins finds his legs wobbly as a result.  Elkins flails for a failed takedown attempt.  Stephens corner screams advice and you can see Stephens responding to everything.  Kick to the leg from Stephens hurts Elkins.  The power of Stephens is simply too much for Elkins at this point.  You can see Elkins is tentative to fully engage or commit to anything because he knows a bomb is his reward.  Elkins comes in and eats an uppercut.  Stephens is content to play counter-puncher. 
Mike Score: Stephens, 10-9

ROUND THREE
Stephens instinctively went for a takedown early and Elkins counters with a guillotine attempt.  It's deep and close but Stephens rolls out.  Third round, aside from that early scramble, is mostly a re-run, with Elkins getting hit by loaded up shots whenever he's close and Stephens content to press but not be reckless.  Big, BIG left hook from Stephens.  But, to his credit, Elkins with an overhand right of his own.  Elkins clamps on a guillotine and forces Stephens to flop to his back to defend.  Time runs out as Elkins doesn't secure the choke.
Mike Score: Elkins, 10-9
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jeremy Stephens d. Darren Elkins, dec

(9) FIGHT NINE
Donald Cerrone vs. Adriano Martins

ROUND ONE
Cerrone traditionally starts slow, so if he's vulnerable to Martins, now is the time.  Cerrone hit with a good combination and half way through the first round it is the best damage.  Well.  That was a helluva sentence, wasn't it?  Cerrone with a takedown, quick mount, but Martins escapes just as quickly.  Martins doing ok and then... ONE BIG HUGE KICK TO THE HEAD FROM CERRONE AND MARTINS IS DEAD!  Absolutely brilliant.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Donald Cerrone d. Adriano Martins, R1, KO (head kick of doom)

(10) FIGHT TEN
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Stipe Miocic
Gonzaga has the greatest banner.

ROUND ONE
Both throwing single big shots with no indication of wanting to go to the ground.  Miocic finally fires off a solid series of shots.  The Gonzaga Head Kick ... is blocked.  With a minute to go, not much has happened and either guy could easily win this round.  Gonzaga gets a takedown but Miocic immediately gets to his feet.  30 seconds to go nothing, boys.  Maybe Miocic, because he did have one nice combination and was moving forward.
Mike Score: Miocic, 10-9

ROUND TWO
Gonzaga opens the 2nd by trying a takedown.  It is stuffed.  With ease.  Miocic with nice footwork to set up a left hand.  He's being a bit more aggressive now, particularly with his jab.  He's found a home for it and Gonzaga is doing nothing but covering up in response.  I don't know why, but Gonzaga is fighting like he's hurt.  Jab-straight lands on Gonzaga.  Gonzaga is breathing through his mouth.  Not sure why he would be tired exactly but ... he might be.  Kick to the liver of Gonzaga hurt the Brazilian.  Solid round for Miocic.
Mike Score: Miocic, 10-9

ROUND THREE
Right hand by Gonzaga counters an early jab from Miocic.  Gonzaga has fired off a bunch of rights now.  But a missed right by Gonzaga results in a solid combination from the American CroCop.  Miocic continually pumping the jab to good results.  Takedown by Miocic.  He's thinking about engaging on the ground but doesn't.  Then, as Gonzaga stands, Miocic lands a left hand and that hurt the jiu-jitsu man.  Now, we are back with Miocic standing over Gonzaga.  Miocic now on top and pounding the Brazilian from inside the half-guard.  Gonzaga is throwing back but that's a fight he'll lose every time.  Because: duh.  Miocic dropping some elbows now.  Miocic backs out of the guard now and the round ends with nothing.
Mike Score: Miocic, 10-9
OFFICIAL RESULT: Stipe Miocic d. Gabriel Gonzaga, dec.

***(11) FIGHT ELEVEN - MAIN EVENT ***

Benson Henderson vs. Josh "The Punk" Thomson
Thomson coming out to the entrance music of the Chicago Bulls.  Have I ever mentioned that I have a ridiculous man-crush on Thomson?  Probably.  Well, I do.  Would've been better had he come out to Chelsea Dagger but no one's perfect.

Henderson out to people yelling "MY GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD."  Punk absolutely wins so far.  No offense to God but ... your music sucks.  I mean, this is about as good as your music gets (aside from Jesus Walks) and it still kinda sucks.

ROUND ONE
Punk with a huge takedown early and immediately takes Benson's back and has a body triangle.  Wow.  Henderson stands up and eventually shakes off Thomson after roughly 2.5 minutes of being in danger.  Henderson with a nice inside trip takedown.  As they scramble up, he looks to be locking in an arm triangle choke.  Henderson jumps guard with the choke.  As Thomson pulls out, Henderson threatens an armbar.  Just before the bell, Punk dumps Benson ass over tea kettle with a beautiful slam.
Mike Score: Thomson, 10-9

ROUND TWO
90 seconds into the 2nd and little action beyond them wrestling against the cage in the clinch.  Thomson with another takedown after going behind, now taking the back, body triangle.  So far, Punk seems relaxed in there, almost too relaxed, while Henderson is so focused it's almost a parody. Stand up the same as before.  They exchange and it ends with Punk hitting a right hand that sends Henderson back.  Benson keeps trying for a lead right hook to the body, with some success.
Mike Score: Thomson, 10-9 (but very close)

ROUND THREE
Henderson with a good Superman punch that landed hard.  Henderson with a takedown, stand up, now another takedown, then stand up, then trip, then stand up, but now Henderson looking for the back, but Thomson stands out of THAT!  Henderson is feinting the right hook to the body and Thomson is biting on it.  Good kick to the body by Henderson.  Punk caught it but it mustve still hurt.  Thomson sells out for a takedown but Henderson defends well.  Good short elbow by Henderson as they break off a clinch.  Thomson - again - going for broke on a takedown but Henderson demonstrating tremendous balance. 
Mike Score: Henderson, 10-9

ROUND FOUR
Absolutely beautiful trip takedown by Punk to start things off.  Half-guard now.  Thomson is keeping very tight on top not wanting to let Henderson up.  Full guard.  Rubber guard by Henderson now.  Henderson looking to stand but Thomson hanging on his neck.  Punk cradles him over, Henderson up, and now he bull-rushes Punk and takes him down.  Half-guard against the cage, Punk up.  Henderson is behind him and literally soccer kicking the calves of Thomson.  Punk with a good takedown and once against taking the back with a triangle.  And as before, Henderson stands up.  Punk mugging to the crowd and almost has a choke as the round ends!
Mike Score: Thomson 10-9 (but close)

ROUND FIVE
Lead right hook to the body by Henderson again finds a home.  Punk ducks down and comes up with a right hook.  Right hand and kick to the leg sends Henderson down, but it was more of a trip really.  Good series of punches by Punk lands.  Punk catches a leg and literally pushes Henderson over.  Punk behind Henderson now trying for a takedown.  With a minute to go, either guy could steal this round and maybe fight here. 
Mike Score: Thomson 10-9 (again, close)
OFFICIAL RESULT: Benson Henderson d. Josh Thomson, split decision



*******************QUICK RESULTS*******************

PRELIM FIGHT
UFC Fight Pass, 4:30 p.m. ET
- Nikita Krylov d. Walt Harris, R1, KO (head kick)

PRELIM CARD

Fox Sports 1, 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT
- George Sullivan d. Mike "Biggie" Rhodes, decision
- Daron Cruickshank d. Mike Rio, R2, TKO

- Hugo Viana d. Ramiro Hernandez, decision
- Chico Camus d. Yaotzin Meza, dec.
- Eddie Wineland d. Yves Jabouin, R2, TKO
- Alex Caceres d. Sergio Pettis, R3, rear-naked choke submission

MAIN CARD

FOX Network, 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT (i.e., the important time zone)
- Jeremy Stephens d. Darren Elkins, dec
- Donald Cerrone d. Adriano Martins, R1, KO (head kick of doom)
- Stipe Miocic d. Gabriel Gonzaga, dec

MAIN-EVENT

- Benson Henderson d. Josh Thomson, split decision


I also figure there should be a disclaimer, though if you've listened to my show, you'll already know it. (No one listens, I know. This will also make me sound like a MASSIVE jerk, so I apologize in advance.) One of my good friends is a man named Daniel Wanderley. A third-degree black belt in BJJ, he's the head BJJ coach for the Duke Roufus Camp. I also act as Daniel's attorney at times. I have had no professional dealings with anyone fighting on the card. I don't think this should make me biased but y'all would know better than I. I mean, it's not like I'm really important, ya know?