UFC 164 aired live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and it sure was a night to remember. From the opening bout through the main event, there were plenty of spectacular moments to take in. Anthony Pettis was able to earn himself the coveted UFC lightweight championship in his hometown, and Josh Barnett made a statement in his triumphant return to the octagon. We’re going to break down the “fight of the night” winners, along with some other exciting moments throughout the evening. For a quick rundown of the fight results see the bottom of this post where everything is cleanly laid out in a nice simple table and as an additional treat we’re including a slide show of the images used during our live-blog right here!
Submission of the Night: Anthony Pettis
In addition to claiming the UFC lightweight championship, Anthony Pettis also earned an additional $50,000 for his efforts. His first round armbar victory was one of the first times in several years that a title has changed hands due to a submission, and it was also his first submission victory inside the UFC. Pettis revealed during the post-fight press conference that he sustained an injury to his left knee (opposite to the knee he injured in the lead up to his intended match up with Aldo), so the victory couldn’t have come at a better time. He utilized beautiful technique once the fight hit the ground, and his transition was so smooth that Henderson didn’t seem to understand what had happened until it was too late. The victory is Pettis’s 4th straight in the octagon since losing his debut to Clay Guida, and he teased his interest in a champion-vs.-champion fight with Jose Aldo afterward. It remains to be seen how severe his knee injury is, and what direction the UFC chooses to go with him. Somewhere, TJ Grant has to be shaking his head.
Knockout of the Night: Chad Mendes
All of Team Alpha Male has looked phenomenal since the addition of Duane “Bang” Ludwig as head coach, and their roll through the lighter weights continued as Chad Mendes served up Clay Guida’s first knockout loss of his career. While Mendes was in control throughout the fight, he really decided to turn it on in the third and final round. He connected flush with several shots against the cage, and followed up with ground and pound to secure another finish. He’s been on fire since losing to Jose Aldo in January of last year, earning four straight knockout victories in that time. He is as dangerous a competitor as the featherweight division has to offer, and a number one contender match up with Ricardo Lamas seems appropriate at this time.
Fight of the Night: Pascal Krauss v. Hyun Gyu Lim
It came as a surprise, but Hyun Gyu Lim and Pascal Krauss picked up the “fight of the night” honors for their spirited one round affair. My own personal pick would have been Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier, but Dana White has spoken. Krauss and Lim both came out swinging, and a powerful right hook from Lim almost had Krauss out on the feet. He stumbled around the octagon as he looked to recover, but Lim eventually hunted him down and landed a devastating flying knee that brought the bout to a close. Lim moves to 2-0 in the UFC, with both wins coming by knockout. Krauss drops to 2-2 in his own UFC run, being handed a tough loss in his hometown.
As I indicated above, Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier really stole the show to start off the pay-per-view. Koch had Poirier in trouble early as he locked up a tight triangle choke, but his opponent recovered and was able to nearly end the fight in the first with a d’arce choke of his own. The two went to round for all three rounds, constantly looking to put the other in a dangerous position. It was really one of those fights where you hate to see either guy lose, but Poirier was the clear winner as he controlled the clinch and out struck his opponent.
Josh Barnett thundered back into the octagon, earning a relatively controversial first round technical knockout victory over fellow veteran Frank Mir. He came out immediately looking to trade, and the two exchanged heavy strikes before Barnett began to take over. He locked Mir up against the fence, delivery elbows and knees from the clinch. One final knee to the temple sent Mir crashing down to the canvas, and the ref stepped in as Barnett swarmed. The crowd wasn’t happy with the stoppage, but video replays showed that Mir clearly looked to be out as he turtled up on the canvas. Josh Barnett should earn another big fight with this performance.
I’ll end by starting at the beginning, as Magnus Cedenblad kicked off the card with a slick transition into a mounted guillotine choke in the very first round. He took advantage of Jared Hamman’s single leg attempt, snatching up his opponent’s neck and rolling back into the submission attempt. Hamman is notoriously hard to tap, and seeing Cedenblad pull it off was a thing of beauty.
[table caption=”UFC 164 Results”]
Fight,Winner, Round, Result
Henderson v. Pettis,Pettis, 1, SUB
Barnett v. Mir,Barnett, 1, TKO
Guida v. Mendes,Mendes, 3, KO
Rothwell v. Vera,Rothwell, 3, TKO
Koch v. Poirier,Poirier, 3, UD
Tibau v. Varner,Tibau, 3, SD
Elliot v. Gaudinot,Elliot, 3, UD
Krauss v. Lim,Lim, 1, TKO
Camus v. Kang,Camus, 3, UD
Krylov v. Palelei,Palelei, 3, TKO
Couture v. Iaquinta,Iaquinta, 3, UD
Cedenblad v. Hamman,Cedenblad, 1, SUB
Be sure to check out our live-blog from the evening for photos and commentary of all the night’s action!