UFC on Fox 1 Prelims: Henderson Upends Guida, Secures Title Shot

By Brian Knapp Nov 12, 2011
Ben Henderson answered an important question. He is next in line for lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

Henderson defeated the always-energetic Clay Guida by unanimous decision in a riveting battle at 155 pounds, as he swept the scorecards in the UFC on Fox 1 “Velasquez vs. Dos Santos” co-main event on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The former WEC champion earned 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 nods from the judges, as he brought a halt to Guida’s four-fight winning streak.

“Guida is super hard to deal with. He has an energetic, awkward pace,” said Henderson, who has won 13 of his last 14 bouts. “Frankie Edgar, we’ve got a date. Let’s do it, baby.”

Henderson (15-2, 3-0 UFC) floored Guida during a first-round exchange and swarmed to finish, but his effort came up short. Later, he threatened Guida (29-12, 9-6 UFC) with his trademark guillotine choke and forced him to abandon a takedown attempt. Knees and punches in the clinch followed from Henderson, but “The Carpenter” answered and scored a knockdown of his own near the end of the round.

Henderson’s knees from close range were the dominant weapons in round two and three, and he routinely met Guida’s advances with them. He seized Guida’s back in the second with a body lock and let loose with punches from behind. Guida’s last chance at victory came and went in the third round, as he locked in a tight guillotine choke and tried desperately to finish. Henderson refused, popped free and closed the 15-minute match in a standing position, dropping punches on his foe.

Poirier Taps Garza in Second

Once-beaten featherweight prospect Dustin Poirier submitted Pablo Garza with a second-round brabo choke in a preliminary matchup at 145 pounds. The end came 92 seconds into round two, as the 22-year-old Poirier (11-1, 3-0 UFC) extended his current winning streak to four fights.

A three-punch combination from Poirier (11-1, 3-0 UFC), capped by a crushing left hand, dropped Garza in the first round and allowed him to establish himself as the better fighter. He settled into half guard and attacked with punches and elbows. With that, round one was his. Poirier capitalized on a Garza (11-2, 2-1 UFC) slip in the second round, softened up “The Scarecrow” with elbows and set up the choke. He rolled Garza to his back and finished it there.

Lamas Choke Submits Swanson

Ricardo Lamas bounced back from a rough start to submit Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Cub Swanson with a second-round arm-triangle choke in a featherweight matchup. Swanson (15-5, 0-1 UFC) asked out via tapout 2:16 into round two.

Early on, the fight favored Swanson. He scored with kicks to the body and the legs and answered a Lamas takedown with a tight guillotine choke in the first round. Lamas did not quit, and Swanson relinquished the hold. Still, it was a close call. Swanson closed strong in the opening stanza with punches and a stuffed takedown that left him in top position.

“I wasn’t tapping. He was going to have to put me out,” Lamas said. “It was very tight. I couldn’t breathe. Thank God he let go of me, because I don’t know how much longer I could have held on.”

A takedown from Lamas (11-2, 2-0 UFC) in the second round shifted the momentum in his favor. He trapped Swanson in the arm-triangle during a scramble, tightened his grip and waited for the submission. The 29-year-old Chicago native has quietly won five of his last six fights.

“I get that arm-triangle opening a lot,” Lamas said, “and it worked out.”

Johnson Uppercut Flattens Harvison

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 finalist DaMarques Johnson needed a little more than a minute and a half to dispatch Clay Harvison.

Johnson (13-9, 4-3 UFC) uncorked a wicked left uppercut that left Harvison scrambled on the canvas. He raised his arms in victory, but referee Herb Dean did not intervene, leaving Johnson to do more damage. A pair of right hands on Harvison (9-4, 1-2 UFC) finished it 94 seconds into round one.

“I was trying not to get my butt whipped out here,” said Johnson, a Jeremy Horn protégé who has posted four wins in his last six appearances. “I just wanted to show everyone I was capable of better. I thought he went out at first. I didn’t want to follow up. There’s no need to be an A-hole.”

Darren Uyenoyama File Photo

Uyenoyama controlled Yamamoto.
Uyenoyama Aggression Overwhelms ‘Kid’

Dream, Shooto and Strikeforce veteran Darren Uyenoyama leaned on relentless pressure and airtight grappling in earning a unanimous decision over 2005 K-1 Hero’s grand prix winner Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto in their bantamweight tilt. Uyenoyama, a San Francisco-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, swept the scorecards: 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.

Uyenoyama (7-3, 1-0 UFC) was persistent, and his aggression made Yamamoto tentative. He set the tone in round one, as he struck for a takedown, seized control of the Japanese star’s back with a body triangle and threatened to finish Yamamoto with a rear-naked choke. Yamamoto (18-5, 1 NC, 0-2 UFC) escaped, but he had no answer for his opponent. He bloodied Uyenoyama’s nose with a hard left in the second round but wound up in the same disadvantageous position, defending a choke and eating punches from behind.

In the third round, Yamamoto did nothing to improve his situation. Again, he found himself trapped in a submission attempt -- this time it was a triangle choke -- and later ate an upkick, as Uyenoyama made him pay for his exit. The judges’ job was easy.

“I wouldn’t be here without the support of so many,” said Uyenoyama, who has won three of his last four fights. “I would have never made it.”

Peralta Stops Semerzier Amid Controversy

An accidental clash of heads led directly to a third-round technical knockout for Robert Peralta, as he stopped WEC import Mackens Semerzier with ground strikes in a featherweight matchup. The controversial finish came 1:54 into round three.

The two 145-pounders appeared to split the first two rounds with one another, but Peralta had the momentum entering the final period. Their heads came together in the third round, sending Semerzier (6-4, 1-1 UFC) to the canvas and leaving him vulnerable to attack from above, a cut opened near his left eye. Peralta (16-3, 2-0 UFC) pounced, averted a desperation takedown and dropped punches for the finish.

Peralta, a 25-year-old former two-division Gladiator Challenge champion, has rattled off nine consecutive victories.

Caceres Dominates Escovedo

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 quarterfinalist Alex Caceres recorded the most significant victory of his career, as he took a unanimous decision from former WEC champion Cole Escovedo in a one-sided bantamweight bout. All three judges scored it for Caceres (6-4, 1-2 UFC) by identical 30-27 counts.

Caceres established his reach advantage early with his legs and his arms, and Escovedo never got through it. Combos, technical and at times flashy, flowed from Caceres, who scored at will on the feet and left his foe visibly frustrated.

When it did hit the ground, Caceres fought effectively from his back. Escovedo (17-9, 0-3 UFC) struck for a quick takedown in round three, only to be met with a series of submission attempts, including a triangle choke and an armbar. Back on the feet, Caceres’ superiority was unquestioned, as he kept Escovedo at bay and posted his first win inside the Octagon.

Pierce Outduels Bradley in Rematch

Stiff jabs and excellent takedown defense, along with knee and elbow strikes from the clinch, carried former Sportfight champion Mike Pierce to a split decision over Paul Bradley in a preliminary welterweight duel. Two of the three cageside judges ruled in favor of Pierce by 30-27 and 29-28 counts. A third cast a dissenting 29-28 verdict for Bradley (18-4, 1 NC, 0-2 UFC).

It was a rematch of their April 2009 bout, also won by Pierce.

Pierce (13-4, 5-2 UFC) cut Bradley near the hairline with an elbow as he exited a first-round tie-up and opened other facial lacerations on the two-time NCAA All-American in the second. Pierce, who has won 10 of his last 12 bouts, escaped the clutches of an attempted Bradley takedown in round three and went back to work with leg kicks and the jab.

Judges Award Rosa Majority Nod

Aaron Rosa won for the fifth time in six outings, as he utilized textbook clinch work and captured a majority decision from Arizona Combat Sports representative Matt Lucas in a light heavyweight dark match. Two of the three judges scored it for Rosa (17-4, 1-1 UFC) by matching 30-26 counts; a third ruled it a 28-28 draw.

Lucas (14-3, 0-1 UFC) scored with takedowns in each of the first two rounds but more often than not was met with a stream of close-quarter strikes, as Rosa answered his advances and attacked with knees, punches and elbows to the head and body. The two men spent much of their 15-minute encounter in the clinch, where Rosa proved the superior fighter and made Lucas (14-3, 0-1 UFC) pay for closing the distance.

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