(“My God, that is the flattest nose I’ve ever seen. Rustam, would it be okay if I prayed for you?” / Photo via MMAFighting)
The UFC visits Albuquerque for the first time this evening with UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov, a fun little card focusing on Southwestern talent under 170 pounds. In the main event, former lightweight champion Benson Henderson will go for the finish like he always does (LOL!) against Dagestani suplex-monster Rustam Khabilov. Plus: Hometown hero Diego Sanchez takes on Ross Pearson, former flyweight title challengers John Dodson and John Moraga will bounce around the Octagon faster than the human eye can detect, and Bryan Caraway will be booed loudly against Mexican bantamweight Erik “Goyito” Perez.
Handling the liveblog for tonight’s FOX Sports 1 main card will be none other than Ryan Harkness, who will be typin’ out round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest updates, and as always, follow us on twitter for additional deep thoughts.
UFC Fight Night 42 preliminary card results
- Sergio Pettis def. Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lance Benoist def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
- Scott Jorgensen def. Danny Martinez via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
- Jon Tuck def. Jake Lindsey via submission (heel kick to the liver — seriously), 2:47 of round 3
- Patrick Cummins def. Roger Narvaez via TKO, 2:28 of round 2
Hi I’m Ryan. With our other CagePotato writers recovering from the combat fatigue caused by last weekend’s doubleheader, Ben has called me in as reinforcement to break down the action for posterity and any poor souls working weekend nightshift that can’t follow along with fancy moving picture options. Check back after every round for my oh so qualified technical breakdown and all the fart jokes you’ve come to expect from this site.
Erik Perez vs Bryan Caraway
Round 1: Caraway goin for takedowns but being rejected. Perez pushes things into the cage but gives his neck up and Caraway goes for the guillotine, ending up on the bottom. It looks moderately dangerous as guillotines go but you see it ain’t coming so Caraway lets go and they end up back on the feet.
Caraway catches the leg and forces a takedown, grabbing Perez’s back in the scramble. Perez rolls to try and escape but Caraway holds on and works a choke. Perez manages to sip Caraway off his back and get into guard, but Caraway grabs Perez’s neck and uses it to get back to his feet.
The two face off and Perez starts to let go, hitting Caraway with a big knee. Caraway, sensing his chances shrinking the longer he doesn’t grapple, shoots in and tangles up with Perez along the cage. Perez throws a backward facing elbow as the round ends.
Round 2: Perez mixes things up by hitting a takedown but Caraway reverses things fast and ends up in side control. Caraway lulls Perez and then is suddenly in full mount, and then back control. And then back control with body lock! Perez lowers his hands like “What’s this biz around my waist” and faster than you can say “Hello, Japan” Caraway has his arms around his neck. He switches the choke to a gable grip and Perez holds on for about five seconds before tapping out.
Bryan Caraway dominates Erik Perez on the ground and secures the rear naked choke at 1:52 (Round 2)
Yves Edwards vs Piotr Hallman
Round 1: The two circle and feel each other out. Yves kicks while Piotr wings shots. Yves is light on the feet, bouncing and circling, endlessly circling. Piotr returns a kick but accidentally pokes Yves in the eye, which is impressive because his poking hand had nothing to do with the actual strike. Yves takes a minute and gets back to the action.
Two two trade exchanges and Hallman steps in for a halfhearted takedown attempt. Edwards rebuffs him and is starting to let go with some slick in/out combinations. Piotr goes in for another takedown, shoving Edwards against the cage and then swinging him to the ground with his leg. Yves springs back to his feet and engages, pushing Hallman against the cage and then disconnecting with a violent elbow.
They return to the center of the cage to trade combos and kicks. Yves catches a leg and pushes Edwards down, following into guard. Hallman moves to halfguard and is using the distance to throw better strikes. Edwards explodes to get up but Hallman’s got a grip on him and spins him back down. Edwards stands again, this time managing to slip around Hallman’s back. The two stagger to the cage and grasslehump for control as the horn sounds.
Round 2: Hallman comes in more aggressively with strikes, but his momentum is stopped as he eye pokes Edwards again, and again with an ‘inactive’ hand during a knee! The ref warns him again and they return to action. Hallman goes for a leg but Yves shucks him off. Piotr gets in real close and starts throwing combinations including what look like open handed slaps. The ref yells at him to close his damn hands, and a second later Yves throws an open handed Jon Jones special and pokes Hallman in the eye!
A minute later and another ‘What shall we do about eyepokes?’ conversation and we resume. Hallman shoots on Edwards and ends up with standing back control. Yves turns and breaks his grip, and throws a couple of combinations in response. He pushes Hallman against the cage and mixes between tying up and letting go to throw heavy body kicks and elbows. He starts to climb up onto Hallman’s back but ends up taken down and in guard.
Piotr really plants his base and lays heavy. He passes into half after a while and starts to unload, forcing Yves to roll over. He cuts Yves and hits him in the body with a big knee. Yves stumbles to his feet but Hallman drags him back down into half guard where he’s doing all that good ground and pound work. Yves gives up his back again but uses it to get to his feet. Hallman leans on Yves and works him over a bit as the round ends. Edwards is looking hella tired.
Round 3: Hallman controls the center of the octagon and pushes Yves into the cage. Edwards is not the light on his feet fighter we saw in round 1. Hallman uses his ‘spinning drag’ technique to pull Edwards down. Hallman slowly moves into his favorite position: half guard, and starts raining down strikes. Yves starts to do what he does every time he’s here and gives up his back. This time Hallman takes advantage and locks up the rear naked choke, squeezing a tap out of Yves.
Piotr Hallman via gastank, wrassling, and rear naked choke 2:32 (Round 3)
Jason High vs Rafael dos Anjos
Round 1: The two take the center of the Octagon, with Rafael faking and Jason throwing whoppers. Rafael starts to move and throws some high kicks. High grabs one and pushes Dos Anjos against the cage, getting a good grab around his waist, and dumpslamming him to the mat. Dos Anjos struggles to his feet and goes for High’s neck but High gets the same grip as before and slams Dos Anjos to the mat again.
Dos Anjos gets busy under High, grabbing for arms and creating space. High is staying out of bad positions but can’t get off any meaningful offense. He’s basically responding to Dos Anjos. Suddenly Dos Anjoys grabs a kimura and gets it behind High’s back! It looks pretty dangerous, but High rolls out of it, giving up position. They separate and return to the feet.
Dos Anjos is the aggressor on the feet, stepping in with solid combinations and hitting the body with kicks. He ties up with High against the cage and takes things to the ground. He immediately goes for the kimura, which High responds to by grabbing his shorts. “He’s grabbing his shorts!” Rafael yells to the ref. “He’s allowed” the ref responds. Life, it is unfair. Dos Anjos returns to the kimura but abandons it soon after. The round ends with Dos Anjos on top and High with that not so fresh look.
Round 2: High shows he’s still in it with a great head kick that lands well. Dos Anjos returns fire and clocks High with a good one, causing him to slip or stumble. High shakes his head but we all saw that. A second later things are stopped when Dos Anjos gets a thumb in High’s eye.
The ref barely gives High time to recover before starting the fight back up. And they go at it, throwing with some serious abandon. Rafael overextends himself with a leaping front kick and High pushes him back and down with a takedown. But Dos Anjos creates the space and gets back to his feet. They square off again. Dos Anjos is using simple head movement to keep High’s strikes off him and it’s working well. He’s just landing more than High, and those strikes are doing more.
Dos Anjos shoots in and takes High to the ground. He improves position to half and when High gets up, Dos Anjos catches him in some kinda sneaky choke setup. He jumps on it with abandon but High slips out. They work back up against the cage and struggle against each other before going back to rockem sockem action. High throws more of his patented violent hooks but they meet nothing but air. Dos Anjos threads a left hand up under High’s arm that catches him right on the chin. High goes down, and Dos Anjos swarms him. High comes to and grabs Dos Anjos, but Rafael is raining blows down with enough force that the referee steps in and stops it. High wasn’t goin nowhere.
Rafael Dos Anjos hits the button and takes Jason High out via TKO at 3:36 (Round 2)
John Dodson vs John Moraga
Round 1: John and John circle the center of the cage. John feints and John returns with a low kick. Dodson stays light on his feet, he’s dancing and throwing quick head kicks. Nothing landing but he’s got that elusive octagon control going. He steps in and chases Moraga with a hard right. Moraga returns with a headkick that goes too high. Moraga shoots a takedown and knees Dodson in the attempt. Dodson jogs a lap and starts running right back at Moraga to continue the fight – the ref has to stop him and properly reset the action. That wasn’t Dodson being dirty or angry, just the hyperactive weirdo he is. They return to trading combinations in the center of the cage.
Things slow down (relatively) as the two feint and fake for over a minute. Dodson shoots in and lands his strikes, Moraga shoots in and hits air. Moraga goes in for a takedown but they hit the cage and Dodson shucks him off. They slow down and circle before Dodson suddenly steps in and hits Moraga with a flurry. He lands a nice knee to the midsection when Moraga steps in to return fire. The round ends as Dodson slowly takes control on the feet.
Round 2: Dodson is starting to vibrate on the feet. He jumps in with a superman punch and somehow gets a jumping knee in too. Moraga seems to be stuck in a feinting pattern. The few times he tries to land on Dodson, Dodson is nowhere to be found. Dodson throws a kick that gets caught by Moraga, who uses the opportunity to actually punch Dodson in the face before powering him back against the cage. They go down in a tangle but it’s Dodson who ends up on top. They struggle before separating and returning to the center of the cage. Halfway point of the round.
Moraga catches Dodson with a body kick that has Dodson smiling – which as Joe Rogan likes to say, means it actually hurt. Moraga is using his kicks more effectively now and it’s Dodson who seems to be waiting and watching what Moraga does instead of the other way around. One minute left.
Is there something wrong with Dodson? He’s not doing much at all. Finally he explodes and unleashes a flurry that goes from surprising Moraga to hurting him. Dodson smashes Moraga in the face with a knee and Moraga crumbles up against the cage. Dodson starts works him over, going for the finish. Moraga’s face bloods up but he keeps calm and holds on, surviving the round.
Round 3 (almost): We return from commercials to the doctor looking Moraga over. The cut doesn’t seem too bad but whatever it is, the doctor ain’t letting things go. The ref waves his hands above his head. The fight is over and John Dodson hummingbirds around the cage in celebration.
John Dodson defeats John Moraga via knee rhinoplasty and doctor’s stoppage. It is ruled TKO (Injury) Round 2 (5:00)
Diego Sanches vs Ross Pearson
Round 1: The fighters meet over the big Bud Light and start sorting out their range. Diego throwing big, Pearson ducking and dodging and working counters. Pearson seems happy to wait for Diego to charge in so he can hit him with one precise power shot. Diego probably realizes that but what is he gonna do? Stop coming in? Pearson shows some offense and slams Diego with a kick to the body. Diego seems to be trying with all his might to not brawl and instead box – he’s not leaping in like he was before.
The two continue to circle, waiting to explode. Diego catches a kick and almost forces things to get ugly by pushing Pearson against the cage but Pearson swings out. As the round ends Diego once again pressures Pearson onto the fence and throws heavy leather as Ross tries to escape out the side. There’s a winning strategy in this, but I have a feeling we’re gonna end up slugging it out the middle.
Round 2: Diego grabs Pearson by the leg and works a halfhearted takedown attempt. Ross shakes him off and Diego laughs because Diego is Diego. The two trade kicks with Pearson landing the more effective of the two. Diego grins more and does that ‘Bring it on!’ thing with his hands. But Pearson has Diego slowly moving backwards. Pearson stalks forward, doing good work with a heavy right hook. Sanchez starts responding to Ross’s attacks with flurries of his own but Ross is covering up well and then stepping out of range. Diego isn’t doing badly but volume and effectiveness wise Ross Pearson is taking this fight over.
One minute left in the round and Pearson drops Diego with a heavy right to the temple. Diego springs up and goes into berserker mode, putting the pressure on Pearson and finishing up a flurry with a spinning back kick. Pearson gets out of range and tries to slow the pace of the fight back down to where he was winning, but Diego brawls things up again at the end, finishing the round with a generally ineffective but still judge-pleasing flurry.
Round 3: The two square off and Diego throws a couple of attacks that Ross dodges off. Pearson responds with some kicks and punches to the body. He seems content to keep things in a combo-reset-combo pattern. Diego goes for a flying knee. That pretty much sums up where we’re at here: Pearson piling on the points with effective striking while Sanchez is grasping at spinning shit in the hopes one will take his opponent out.
Diego misses a spinning back kick and Pearson drags him up against the cage. They separate and Diego starts headhunting, throwing hooks so wild they spin him off center. We’ve got 1 minute left and some of the crowd is booing as they seem to know which way this is going – Pearson via decision. Diego throws another picture perfect spinning kick that misses by a mile. Pearson seems content to dodge and counter whatever comes his way. He catches a knee and pushes Diego against the cage, and for the 3 remaining seconds they throw down like He-Man action figures, big dumb hooks flying as the horn sounds.
Ross Pearson defeats Diego Sanchez Diego Sanchez defeats Ross Pearson via incomprehensible split decision. (27-30, 30-27, 29-28)
“Those judges should be ashamed.” -Kenny Florian
Benson Henderson vs Rustam Khabilov
Round 1: Khabilov steps in with a big uppercut and then switches his grip to Throw Mode, tripthrowing Benson half to the ground. Benson escapes and separates, then pushes forward with a flurry that backs Khabilov into the cage. The two square off and start feinting. Benson throws pawing strikes, Khabilov responds with a spinning kick. Benson charges in with a flurry, but Khabilov grabs him as he bounces off the cage and starts working a slam. Rustam has him right around the waist and goes for lift off … but Benson weaves his leg around Rustam’s and avoids it.
They separate with a minute left. Benson stalks Rustam but seems tentative to attack … tentative for Benson Henderson anyways. He throws caution to the wind and goes for a jump kick that ends up so wrong Rustam catches him mid air and dumps him onto the ground. The round ends with Rustam on top working position for ground and pound.
Round 2: Rustam throws a spinning backfist that barely misses, and Benson responds with an effective right to the face. Henderson is getting good at firing off strikes and then locking up against the cage. When Khabilov wrestles his way to an advantage position Benson then releases and escapes.
Khabilov is throwing heavy but hitting a lot of air. Henderson is coming in effectively but this time Khabilov drags him down and works the ground and pound. Henderson uses the bottom position to hit Khabilov a couple times before creating space and getting back to his feet. The two lock up again and this time Benson wins in the scramble as they fall to the mat, catching Rustam’s back and locking up a body triangle.
Benson holds the position for thirty seconds, working a choke. Khabilov takes advantage of a Henderson heel to the liver to spin out of the back control and force things back to their feet. The two wrestle up against the cage. Khabilov hits a judo throw but Henderson manages to stumble out of it, post with a hand, and end up still on his feet.
The two square off, with Henderson in the center. As Bendo goes in for an attack Khabilov catches him with a big right to end the round.
Round 3: Khabilov comes out swinging, heavy hooks that deflect off Henderson’s arms and shoulders. Benson goes for a kick and Khabilov grabs it, immediately shooting forward to explode with a strike before dragging Benson down. Khabilov wins the scramble and gets Benson in a north-south headlock. They struggle in this position for a bit before Benson gets back up and pulls his shoulders out from Rustam’s grasp.
Benson shoots in and clinches, but Rustam breaks away and dings Benson with a right on the way out. Benson continues to control the movement, pushing Rustam back. He strikes again, driving Rustam against the cage and then catching a surprise guillotine that Khabilov has to spin desperately on the ground to escape out of. They separate and square off with a minute left.
Khabilov takes a break from moving backwards to shoot in and take Henderson down with a big double leg. But it’s Henderson who ends up on top after the scramble by using a neat wrestling switch. He getts comfortable in half guard and is pelting Rustam’s head with short strikes as the round ends.
Round 4: Benson quickly pressures Rustam out of the center of the octagon, throwing combos, chasing Khabilov into the cage and then initiating the clinch before separating and setting the whole series up again. And suddenly out of nowhere Benson’s latest push to the fence comes with a big uppercut / left hand combo that hurts Khabilov bad. Henderson smells the blood and takes Rustam’s back as the crumples to the mat. A rear naked choke is already cinched tight by the time Khabilov is on the floor and it looks like the ref stops the fight because he’s worried Khabilov is already out and unable to tap.
Benson Henderson goes for the finish and takes out Rustam Khabilov via rear naked choke 1:16 (Round 4). All things through Christ!
And that ends the night! Mercifully, we only had to see one fight on the main card go to the drooling moron squad assigned as judges. Here are my quick pick post-event awards:
- The Shut Everyone Up Award goes to Benson Henderson for actually finishing a fight.
- The Tank Abbott Award goes to Bryan Caraway for bringing the fish hook back.
- The Nickname of the Night Award goes to Rafael Dos Anjos, who looked badass enough to deserve being called RDA.
- The Judge of The Night Award goes to Jeff Collins for giving Diego Sanchez all three rounds against Ross Pearson.
Thanks for having me, Potato people! Feel free to get all social with my business and such, if that’s what you’re in to. And don’t forget to leave a comment on how bad Ross Pearson got f**ked.