Cage-side with The Seattle Times: UFC on FOX
Henderson had the first takedown of the fight, but didn't accept Diaz's invitation to get into his full guard. Henderson had a nice trip of Diaz as well, and the round ended with the two fighters staring nose to nose.
Diaz flexed at the end of the second round, but it certainly looked like Henderson was the stronger of the two fighters, in the second round. He scored a knockdown with a right hand, was on top and landed some strong blows. Diaz has a cut on the bridge of his nose and above his right eye, which is swelling at this point.
Diaz landed the most middle fingers in the third round. He flashed two of them in the midst of a particularly awkward moment in which Henderson was in the splits, and Diaz couldn't reach him to punch him.
Henderson has just as dominating in the third round, registering a takendown and knockdown.
The fourth round was the least excxiting of this bout.
Bout No. 10: Mauricio Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Gustafsson won by majority decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
OK. Gustafsson gets major grief for his choice of entrance music. He came into "Hearts on Fire" and yes it's from "Rocky" and all, but come on. If you're going "Rocky" then go "Burning Heart" which would have the benefit of setting up the nation vs. nation storyline.
Gustafsson had the first knockdown of the fight, but Rua turned that into a submission attempt as he applied a heel hook. While he didn't submit Gustafsson, he did create a scramble that allowed Rua to get to his feet.
Very entertaining first round between the two.
Second was just as competitive. No knockdowns, but it's going to be hard to score. Rua's face is swelling up, specifically his right eye, though appears to have landed some of the stronger shots.
Hard to think this was anything but a victory for Gustafsson. He had the most takedowns, and inflicted the most damage upon Rua.
Bout No. 9: B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald
MacDonald wins by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
The crowd is definitely on the side of Penn, but MacDonald had a slight edge in the first round -- at one point wobbling Penn -- and then gaining a more significant advantage in the second round. MacDonald took Penn down in the final minute of the second round.
MacDonald seemed like he really controlled the fight, especially in his ability to hit Penn with a short elbow coming out of the clinch. Penn's left eye was pretty seriously swollen. Penn also had a cut above his right eye, which was looked at by the doctor before he continued in the third round.
Bout No. 8: Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown.
Brown won by knockout 2:32 of the second round.
Brown was introduced as a technical brawler, which is kind of awesome. Swick was said to be a practitioner of Swick Fu, which is equally cool.
Brown knocked out Swick in the second round with a left, right combination that put him on the canvas and one follow-up shot before the referee stopped the bout.
Bout No. 7: Yves Edwards vs. Jeremy Stephens
Hey, what are the odds that a fight card in Seattle would feature a guy named Jeremy Stephens and that the guy named Jeremy Stephens would have some legal troubles. Shocking, huh? Well, it's true: Jeremy Stephens aka Lil' Heathen has the small matter of an assault case to sort out.
He's fighting Edwards, an elder statesmen who entered to L.L. Cool J's "I'm Bad" which is kind of awesome. Actually, it supplants Daron Cruickshank's entrance music as best for the night so far. Cruickshank entered to Hulk Hogan's theme music with the chorus, "Are you a real American?"
Edwards just knocked out Stephens, hitting him with a short right as Stephens swung wildly with his left. Stephens went down, but was still fighting until Edwards landed a series of elbows that knocked him out.
Bout No. 6: Raphael Assuncao vs. Mike Easton
First boos of the night as it has been a boxing mamtch for most of the first two rounds. Assuncao has attempted several spinning back kicks. Easton appears to be the more capable of the two in termms of boxing, but hasn't appeared to have Assuncao in trouble and has not taken him down.
Assuncao won the decision to a lackluster response from the crowd. Actually, that's underselling it. As the guy in the concession line in front of me said, "You mean the guy who went backwards the whole fight won?"
Yes. Yes he did.
Update: This deserves a footnote. After the fight, Assuncao indicated he had suffered an injury early in the fight.
"I broke the radius bone in my arm at some point in the first round which made things difficult," he said. "I was a little apprehensive but it all worked out. I give all the thanks to god and I'm looking forward to getting back in there."
Bout No. 5: Ramsey Nijem vs. Joe Proctor
Lightweigh bout (170 pounds)
Nijem won via decision.
Nijem fights out of Utah, but he went to high school at Jackson High in Monroe.
Incredible first round between the two. Proctor went for a guillotine choke early, couldn't get it and then was knocked down by a front face kick from Nijem. Proctor got a take down later in the round after landing a punch flush to Nijem's face.
Not as much action in the second round, but Nijem did establish top position on two occasions. Proctor consistently goes for chokes, which could play a factor in terms of fatigue in the third round.
Nijem pretty consistently controlled the third round, staying on top for the msot part before both fighters were on their feet exchanging blows in the final 20 seconds. It was a close fight, but expect Nijem will get the decision.
Bout No. 4: Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
Cruickshank wins via KO at 2:57 in the second round.
Martinez was singularly remarkable in his ability to take punishment. He was bleeding within the first half of the first round. He took repeated punches to the head, repeated kicks and when the first round ended he was unsure where to walk.
But while Martinez survived one kick to his head, he collapsed on the second, knocked out cold. It was one of the most unambiguous knockouts you'll see in this sport. Cruickshank raised his hands in celebration before the referee signaled a stoppage.
"Enough body kicks made his head dip down and I took his face off," Cruickshank said in an interview with Joe Rogan afterward.
Bout No. 3: Abel Trujillo vs. Marcus Levesseur
Trujillo wins TKO at 3:56 of the second round.
Levesseur was a late replacement for Tim Means, who fell and hit his head in the sauna apparently.
"He's got a dog-tag chain tattoo?" fellow reporter Josh Mayers asked as Trujillo got into the cage.
Yes. Yes he did. Trujillo had dog tags, complete with chain, tattooed onto his body.
Levesseur constantly tried to take Trujillo down, but never established a dominant position. Instead, he wound up vulnerable. Trujillo landed a big knee to the face in the first tound and won the fight in the second after a series of about 12 consecutive knees into Levesseur's midsection. It was brutal.
"It was a roller coaster the last couple days not knowing if I would get an opponent," Trujillo said afterward in quotes distributed by UFC. "Once I found out there was a replacement I was very happy. I'm glad Marcus stepped in and took the fight. I knew I had to defend the takedown to win the fight. I was able to dominate every position and do exactly what we planned. It's sort of surreal. This was my dream and I'm thankful to be here."
Bout No. 2: Dennis Siver vs. Nam Phan
Siver won via decision.
Bout No. 1: Scott Jorgensen vs. John Albert
Jorgensen won via submission with 1 second left in the first round.