UFC 144 Results & Recap: Henderson wins Lightweight Title

nullUFC 144 marked the organization’s long-awaited return to Japan, and it didn’t disappoint.

The main event featured a very competitive bout for the lightweight championship where Ben Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision to claim the 155-pound strap.

Henderson, who looked noticeably bigger than Edgar, was able to dictate the fight with his leg and body kicks while also using his size and strength to stay off his back for frequent periods of time.

While each of the five rounds was razor thin, the overall impact of the fight clearly took more of a toll on Edgar, who was battered an bruised, than Henderson, who looked fresh throughout.

In the co-main event, Ryan Bader earned the biggest win of his career, picking up a hard-fought decision win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Bader showed some good striking and head movement to earn the nod on the feet and then managed to score three takedowns against Jackson, who has been notoriously hard to take down. Jackson, who missed weight by six pounds, looked sluggish as the fight prolonged. Bader had clearly won the fight when the final horn sounded.

The main card started off with a bang as lightweight Anthony Pettis knocked out Joe Lauzon with a vicious head kick. Pettis dominated the fight, taking little to no damage while working nice jab combinations and kicks. Pettis ended the fight with a head kick to Lauzon and then a few punches on the ground for good measure. The KO was much-needed for Pettis, who failed to have a signature win since joining the UFC. He is now right up there as a top-5 contender in the 155-pound division.

Another big highlight on the card was an incredible comeback TKO win for middleweight Tim Boetsch, who stopped Yushin Okami in the third round. Okami dominated the first two rounds with sharp striking and nearly finished Boetsch on two occasions. However, in the third round, Boetsch had the mindset of kill or be killed, and he was the one that did the killing. He attacked from the opening second of the round and used a series of uppetcuts in the clinch to fold Okami up like an accordion and earn the win, by far the biggest of his career.

For complete UFC 144 results, check out the jump.

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Canseco to headline a MMA card in Japan

Let’s take a look at Jose Canseco’s checklist of things to do in your life:

1) Become a MVP winner in Major League Baseball. Check, as he won the 1988 American League MVP Award with the Oakland A’s.
2) Become a star on a television reality show. Check, as he became a cast member in Season five of the Surreal Life on VH-1.
3) Write a tell-all book on the steroid era in baseball. Check, as he wrote the book entitled Juiced.

And now you can add headlining a mixed martial art event to his list, as Canseco will fight 7-foot-2 and 330 pound Hong-Man Choi on May 26 in Japan.

Canseco vs. Choi is one of four matches in DREAM’s “Super Hulk Tournament” organized to boost television ratings. Here is the entire card:
Super Hulk Tournament (Open-Weight)
– Jose Canseco vs. Hong-Man Choi
– Gegard Mousasi vs. Mark Hunt
– Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa vs. Bob Sapp
– Jan “The Giant” Nortje vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

Despite a 1-2 record, Choi is a dangerous MMA fighter due to his size and sheer strength. This is a definite step up from Canseco’s last opponent inside the ring, actor Danny Bonaduce. They boxed to a draw in an exhibition bout last January, and Canseco was also knocked out in a boxing match against former NFL player Vai Sikahema last summer.

World Baseball Classic needs format changes to become a global event


Entrepreneurs have said that timing is a key ingredient for making a good idea into a successful business venture. Major League Baseball has failed to read its own marketplace in regards to the World Baseball Classic. It is just bad timing to play this tournament at the beginning of spring training.

Commissioner Bud Selig has said that March is the only realistic time of the year to play the WBC. I disagree with him. This tournament needs to be moved to the middle of the summer if the WBC is going to become baseball’s premier global event. If not, then do not expect crisp, memorable games from athletes not yet in game shape.

The United States’ three-run come-from-behind victory over Puerto Rico last Tuesday night should have been the top story the next morning. Instead, the outcome was scrolled underneath a highlight package of a NIT opening round game or copy filler in your local newspaper.

Why?

Well, sport fans are not watching or paying attention to the WBC. No, they’re preoccupied with the NCAA tournament that has firmly established itself as a the major sporting event for this time of the year.

Fans cannot get excited about the WBC if the best players in baseball are not playing in the event. And the ones that are playing, many of them are not ready to compete at a world-class level. Where’s Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay? They should be anchoring the United States pitching staff in this competition. Team USA should not be relying on the arms of Jeremy Guthrie or Ted Lilly in an elimination game.

Do you think the Netherlands would have defeated the Dominican Republic twice in a competition if they were playing at mid-season? And wouldn’t it be great to see Johan Santana of Venezuela trading strikes with Japan’s Dice-K for all the world to watch. This could happen if the WBC is played every two years in place of the All-Star Game in July. How about a single elimination format, with the finals to be played on Sunday evening in front of a prime time audience? No other sporting event would be competing with baseball for the almighty TV ratings.

Baseball owners might not have any interest in giving up a week’s worth of revenue during the high point of their year, and the idea of scrapping the All-Star game every two years might be enough to give the baseball purist a heart attack, but some playoff contenders might welcome a week off to catch their breath for the second half of the baseball season.

Changes need to take place to make the WBC a world event. Right now, this tournament is nothing more than glorified spring training contest.

Couch Potato Alert: 3/20

Welcome to the longest-running game show on television today, How’s Your Bracket. I heard that there’s going to be college basketball and more college basketball on television this weekend. March Madness is upon us, and the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament really brings out school pride in alumnus all across the country. Today, you can wear your Stephen F. Austin or North Dakota State t-shirt proudly.

All times ET…

NBA
Friday, 8:30 PM: Boston Celtics @ San Antonio Spurs (NBA TV)
Saturday, 8 PM: Boston Celtics @ Memphis Grizzlies (NBA TV)
Sunday, 1 PM: Miami Heat @ Detroit Pistons (ABC)
Sunday, 6 PM: Cleveland Cavaliers @ New Jersey Nets (NBA TV)

NHL
Saturday, 9 PM: Vancouver Canucks @ Phoenix Coyotes (CBC)
Sunday, 12:30 PM: Philadelphia Flyers@ Pittsburgh Penguins (NBC)

NCAA Tournament
Friday, 12 PM-12:30 AM: First round action from various sites (CBS)
Saturday, 1 PM-10:30 PM: Second round action from various sites (CBS)
Sunday, 12 PM-7 PM: Second round action from various sites (CBS)

World Baseball Classic
Saturday, 9 PM: Semifinal: Korea vs. Venezuela from Dodger Stadium (ESPN)
Sunday, 8 PM: Semifinal: Japan vs. United States from Dodger Stadium (ESPN)

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