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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UFC Rio: Silva, Okami Booked For Main Event Title Bout

Yushin Okami, the last man to beat Anderson Silva, will finally get his shot at the title when he faces Silva again at UFC Rio according to HeavyMMA.com.

Yushin Okami was the last man to beat Anderson Silva. At “UFC Rio,” he’ll finally get his long-awaited crack at the middleweight title.

UFC President Dana White confirmed the bout with USA Today on Wednesday afternoon. The news puts an end to the idea that welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will move up to challenge for Silva’s title.

Okami defeated Nate Marquardt in November to earn his shot at the middleweight title. He defeated Silva via disqualification back in 2006 when Silva used an illegal upkick at a Rumble on the Rock show. Silva is undefeated since that lone loss, while Okami has gone 12-3 in the same span.

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All drug tests come back negative for UFC 122

Dana White during the press conference for the Ultimate Fighting Championship 109 event at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on February 4, 2010.

Nate Lawson of HeavyMMA.com writes that all drug tests that were submitted for UFC 122 came back negative.

MMAjunkie.com confirmed the news with UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner.

UFC 122 featured a main event between Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami, along with a lightweight co-main event between Dennis Siver and Andre Winner.

A total of eight fighters were tested for substances such as marijuana and steroids, along with several other illegal substances, and all eight test results came back clean.

The November 13 event took place in Germany. Therefore, no drug tests were issued by a sanctioning body, resulting in the promotion hiring a company to take care of the testing.

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Marquardt replaces Belfort, will face Okami at UFC 122

DALLAS - SEPTEMBER 19:  UFC fighter Vitor Belfort  (L) battles UFC fighter Rich Franklin (R) during their Catch weight bout at UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort at the American Airlines Center on September 19, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

From HeavyMMA.com:

The change was first reported by MMAWeekly.com.

UFC 122 takes place Nov. 13 at Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. It will air on tape delay in the United States on Spike TV.

The original Belfort vs. Okami match was scheduled as a title eliminator fight, with the winner receiving the next shot at champ Anderson Silva’s middleweight belt.

Marquardt defeated Rousimar Palhares by TKO in the first round at UFC Fight Night 22 last week. The win put his record at 5-2 since losing his first middleweight title opportunity to Silva in July 2007. After the victory, Marquardt told Heavy.com that he was ready for more championship-caliber opportunities, and it appears that he’ll get just that when he steps in the cage with Yushin Okami.

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Options for UFC on Versus 2

COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 13:  Rich Franklin of USA kicks Wanderlei Silva of Brazil during his catchweight bout during the UFC 99 The Comback at Lanxess Arena on June 13, 2009 in Cologne, Germany.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Brett C. Jones of HeavyMMA.com lays out some fight options for UFC on Versus 2.

Maybe UFC should call their Versus fight cards “UFC Presents: Jon Jones and the UFC Players.” On consecutive occasions on the newest home of the top MMA promotion in the world, Jones has been dominant to say the least. In Sunday’s main event, Jones defeated Vladimir Matyushenko, a 13-year veteran of the sport, faster than anyone ever has.

Among the “players” supporting the dominant performance of Jones was almost equally dominant Takanori Gomi, who took the occasion of his fight against Tyson Griffin to prove that he is not washed up. Gomi became the first fighter to stop the near-contender and breathed life into his career, which many felt was no longer suited for the highest level of competition.

Who might Gomi fight to re-affirm his status near the top of the lightweight division? Who might Jones, who refused to call anyone out after his victory, next victimize? What about Yushin Okami and Jake Ellenberger, who each one their respective fights? They all have options, and this is their breakdown.

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