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UFC 144 Edgar vs. Henderson Live Coverage

February 25, 2012|By Todd Martin
  • Edgar vs. Henderson poster
Edgar vs. Henderson poster

UFC 144 takes place from Saitama Super Arena in Japan Saturday night. It is the UFC's first show in Japan since 1999. The event is headlined by a lightweight title bout between champion Frank Edgar and challenger Ben Henderson. Live results will update throughout the evening.

Tiequan Zhang vs. Issei Tamura

Zhang is a rare Chinese UFC fighter, with a 1-1 UFC record. Tamura, a late replacement, sports a 6-2 MMA record.

Round 1. Tamura lands a pair of hard punches at the start of the round and seems to have Zhang in great trouble. But as Tamura moves in, he gets caught and stunned with a Zhang counterpunch. Zhang looks to turn the tables and opens up with punches but he gets caught with another counterpunch. Tamura lands a few heavy punches that drop Zhang. Tamura follows to the ground and lands some punches on the floor. Referee Herb Dean stands up the fighters after a slow. From the feet, Zhang looks for a guillotine choke but doesn't come close and ends up under Tamura again. Tamura lands some additional punches to close the round. 10-9 Tamura.

Round 2. Tamura knocks out Zhang cold with an overhand right hand punch very early in the second round.

Winner: Issei Tamura, KO, round 1.

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso

Mizugaki is a former WEC bantamweight title contender with solid boxing and a good ground game. Cariaso has a 12-3 MMA record with most of his wins coming via decision.

Round 1. Mizugaki has a noticeable height advantage. Cariaso lands the best shots of the early exchanges with a left hook/right hook combination. Mizugaki scores a takedown halfway through the round. Cariaso applies an omoplata but Mizugaki gets out and ends up back in full guard. Mizugaki controls Cariaso for the remained of the round, landing a few punches here and there. Close round. 10-9 Mizugaki.

Round 2. They start at the feet again, with the exchanges continuing to be close. Halfway through the round they clinch. Mizugaki lands a few knees to the body and takes Cariaso down with two minutes remaining in the round. From the bottom, Cariaso utilizes a unique 100 percent sweep. He tucks his arm around Mizugaki's arm and neck and flips Mizugaki to his back. Mizugaki simply stands back up and the round comes to an end. 10-9 Mizugaki.

Round 3. The round transpires very similarly to the first two rounds. The first half of the round is contested on the feet, with neither man able to dominate the standup exchanges. Mizugaki then lands another takedown halfway through the final stanza. Mizugaki isn't particularly effective on the ground but he is able to hold position and land a few punches as the round runs down. Cariaso gets up with a few seconds left in the fight. 10-9 Mizugaki, 30-27 Mizugaki. This was not a win that is going to do a lot for Mizugaki's career, however.

Winner: Chris Cariaso, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Well that was certainly unexpected. The usually polite Japanese crowd boos. Mizugaki didn't do a lot with his takedowns so it's justifiable albeit surprising. 

Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell

Injuries have kept Fukuda out of action since his last UFC fight a year ago. He should have won that fight but the judges made a nearly unjustifiable call for his opponent Nick Ring. Cantwell is surprisingly getting another opportunity despite losing four UFC fights in a row. Cantwell has not won a fight since 2008.

Round 1. Cantwell goes for a kick and Fukuda takes him down. Fukuda goes to work with punches. Fukuda is very active with punches from the top but Cantwell stands up 90 seconds into the round. They exchange straight punches. Cantwell stuffs a Fukuda takedown and lands a nice straight right punch. Fukuda goes for another takedown and is again blocked. Fukuda lands a series of leg kicks. Cantwell mostly just throws punches and as the round progresses he is having trouble getting proper range on Fukuda. Fukuda meanwhile keeps landing leg kicks. 10-9 Fukuda.

Round 2. Fukuda goes back to work with leg kicks and Cantwell answers with one of his own. Fukuda scores a takedown but in the process Cantwell grabs a guillotine choke. Cantwell has it deep but Fukuda is able to get out. It returns to the feet where Fukuda immediately opens up with punches and kicks. Cantwell looks a little tired and Fukuda presses with uppercuts and another takedown attempt that is blocked. Fukuda pushes forward and backs Cantwell against the cage with punches to the head and body. Cantwell throws a nice spinning elbow but Fukuda immediately goes back to work with punches. Cantwell scores a takedown with 20 seconds left in the round, but this was not a close round to be stolen. 10-9 Fukuda. I'd have no issue with a 10-8 score. Cantwell was never in trouble but Fukuda poured on the offense.

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