Olympic gold-medal winning wrestler, Henry Cejudo, made his long-awaited Flyweight debut tonight (Sat., March 14, 2015) against former title contender, Chris Cariaso, in the opening match of UFC 185 from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
And it was dominant.
Cariaso opened up the action with a kick to the gut and Cejudo fired back with a kick and a spinning attack. It didn't take long for Cejudo to score a takedown in the next exchange, unloading some ground-and-pound before Cariaso was able to make it to his feet. Cejudo, however, punished him on the break with a big right hand.
Superman punch, then a kick to the face, landed for Cejudo, but Cariaso was able to defend the ensuing takedown attempt. He was relentless, though, and eventually got Cariaso to the ground, where he softened him up with strikes to the ribs before a failed choke attempt lead to an escape.
Cejudo kept the pressure on for the remainder of the round, suffocating Cariaso along the cage en route to a dominant first round effort.
And he continued the aggression to open the second stanza, uncorking another Superman punch and taking the fight to Cariaso. One minute into the second and Cejudo scored his third takedown of the match, but was unable to do anything with the position. Midway through the fight and both fighters jockeyed for position along the cage before breaking exchanging shots.
Superman punch, kick to the body and takedown from Cejudo -- Cariaso just couldn't get anything going. This time, Cejudo did some better work on the ground, landing several blows for about a minute before letting Cariaso get back to his feet, which is where the round ended ... upright.
Not even a full minute into the third and final frame and Cejudo already had Cariaso on his back, raining down elbows right into his temple and ribs. At this point, Cariaso appears completely spent, unable to get back to his feet. Finally, at the half-way point of the round, Cariaso was able to return to his feet.
Cariaso landed some nice kicks, but Cejudo soon closed the distance once again and scored a very easy takedown along the cage. Cejudo angled for a neck crank, and it appeared to be uncomfortable, but Cariaso found his way out and, at the buzzer, almost hit a kneebar, but it never materialized.
Breaking the finish-friendly UFC 185 streak, Cejudo walked away with a dominant decision win. He looked great at 125 pounds and could certainly be a top contender soon if he stays on track.
For complete results from UFC 185: "Pettis vs. Dos Anjos," including play-by-play updates, click here.