UFC on FOX 10: "Henderson vs. Thomson" took place over the weekend (Sat., Jan. 25, 2014) at United Center in Chicago, Ill., and the first installment of fights on FOX thus far in 2014 were somewhat satisfactory.
The main event outcome, however, wasn't for everyone.
That's because it was another close fight for Ben Henderson, who ousted Josh Thomson in their five round affair, getting the split decision nod from the judges (watch video highlights here).
The fight itself was an entertaining scrap to watch, even though Thomson broke his hand early. With a title shot out of his hands, "The Punk" expressed the possibility of retirement at the post-fight press conference.
Apart from that fight, main card winners include Stipe Miocic, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (who won "Knockout of the Night") and Jeremy Stephens, who all scoring one-sided victories in Chi-Town.
Before all the mixed martial arts (MMA) action unfolded inside the Octagon, there were promotional appearances to generate awareness for -- and interest in -- a trip back to Chicago. Fighters said this and that, answering questions galore when all they really wanted to do is be left alone and not be bothered.
MMAmania.com does a pretty good job of passing along all the noteworthy pre- and post-fight comments for each event. But, as we've done before, let us look at the words that left the fighters' mouths before they stepped into the cage on Saturday night.
"It's been a long camp. Falling into focus, falling out of focus, falling back into focus. This has quite possibly my worst camp ever in my whole career, but before people want to criticize and say I'm looking for a way out, you've got to remember, I said the same thing about the first time I fought Gilbert Melendez. That was the worst camp I had up until this time."
-- It's funny, because even if Thomson believes this was his worst camp up to date, it was his best performance in a losing effort. Indeed, many feel "The Punk" should have had his hand raised after thinking he got the best of Henderson with one hand for the majority of the fight.
"For this time, going against Josh, because he's such a veteran, he's seen everything. He's been fighting forever now. He's not only fought a who's who of people inside the cage, but he's trained with a who's who. There's not going to be anything that surprises him. He's not going to be surprised [by] a new kick this, a new punch that. He's seen everything. So the idea is just to go in there, keep him on his heels, keep him guessing."
-- It's possible that Henderson wasn't surprised by his adversary's onslaught, however he definitely acknowledged it early on in the fight. The versatile Thomson took down Henderson at will, and at least that was surprising to the viewers. "Bendo" wins another decision, and for many observers, it was another questionable call.
"He's a veteran of the sport, he's on a roll lately -- but nothing that I haven't seen. He's a tough guy. He's a big boy, he hits hard, he's great on the ground. He knows what's going on."
-- Without bringing too much attention to himself, Miocic is flying under the radar when it comes to rising heavyweights, and his praise of Gonzaga was apparent before the fight. Miocic stood in front of the lethal striker and nullified his plan, looking outstanding in doing so, too (watch video highlights of Miocic's win right here).
"I've never heard of him, don't care. Saturday night, he better show up."
-- At least Cerrone was honest. "Cowboy" has the ability to be a superstar (for some who believe he isn't already), and after his latest performance, he showed that sometimes watching tape and obsessively studying an opponent is overrated. In some cases, anyway (watch video highlights of the knockout here).
"Our plans were to build myself up in the event,but the opportunity came. Cerrone is a great fighter, he's given a lot of good fights and I think we're going to put on a fight that the fans are going to enjoy."
-- The good news for Adriano Martins is that this fight was obviously a big step up in competition for Martins, and this will not be a huge setback for him. He looked good in the opening stages of the fight (especially canceling out Cerrone's takedown attempts), and he simply got caught.
That just about wraps it up.
For full coverage of UFC on FOX 10: "Henderson vs. Thomson" check out our story stream here.