A close and highly competitive five round fight went Benson Henderson’s way Saturday morning, as he edged past Jorge Masvidal by split decision in the UFC Fight Night 79 main event.
The fight was close throughout its 25-minute duration, with both men landing numerous body kicks, punching combinations, and more. Masvidal was constantly moving forward, but Henderson worked well from the outside, and initiated a number of clinch exchanges that were surprisingly enough some of the best sections of the fight.
In what was especially the case late in the fight, their battles for position on the cage and on the ground were highly technical and fascinating to watch. Masvidal came closest to finishing the fight early in the fifth, locking on to a tight guillotine choke, but Henderson’s defense of the hold added further drama to the fight. In the end, Henderson won three rounds on one judge’s scorecard, and four on another to take the win a second straight time at 170 lbs.
In other main card action, South Korean fighters Dong Hyun Kim and Doo Ho Choi sent the home crowd in Seoul into a frenzy with first round finishes, while Yoshihiro Akiyama’s late dominance wasn’t enough to avoid a split decision loss to Alberto Mina.
Choi opened up the main card with an excellent stoppage over Sam Sicilia, catching him with a combination and finishing things off on the ground. Kim easily dispatched of the overmatched Dominic Waters, scoring a judo throw into a mounted crucifix and holding the position. He landed an endless barrage of strikes while Waters tried and failed to escape, forcing the stoppage. As for Akiyama, he was edged out through two rounds before demolishing Mina’s lead leg and battering him in the third round, and that led to the decision loss.
[Ben Henderson art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]