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UFC Fight Night 123 Results: Gabriel Benitez outclasses Jason Knight

MMA: UFC 211-Benitez vs Barzola Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Action featherweight fighters Jason Knight and Gabriel Benitez scrapped tonight (Sat., Dec. 9, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 123 from Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.

Jason came out aggressive, trading with Benitez in the center of the Octagon. Benitez looked for his inside leg kick and body kick. Knight countered a left hand with a hard right, dropping Benitez briefly. Knight shot in on a takedown, getting it after a moment, but the referee stopped the bout, accusing Knight of biting Benitez’ fingers, taking a point from Mississippi Mean. Benitez landed a head kick as the fight restarted. Jason was wading in with hard punches, then drove in for a takedown against the cage. He tried to throw Benitez, but ended up on his back with Benitez in his guard. Knight looked for rubber guard, and Benitez got back to his feet and waved Knight on. Knight threw a looping shot and ate a couple hard jabs. Benitez landed a nice left straight. Knight stepped forward with a combination that fell short. He looked for another takedown that Benitez stuffed. Paul Felder on commentary kept saying Knight seemed like he was forcing the issue too much, and that did seem to be an issue throughout the round.

Knight ate a jab as the second round began. Benitez was landing straight punches as Knight looked to counter, but seemed a step behind Moggly. Benitez flowed from a combination into a head kick. Knight finally timed a very nice takedown, but Benitez got up almost immediately. Knight tried to throw him with a bodylock but once again ended up on the bottom. Benitez disengaged again, forcing the fight back to the feet. Benitez darted in with a glancing combination. The referee stopped the fight for an eyepoke, but the doctor ruled the fight could continue. Knight had a kick caught, dumping him to the mat briefly. Benitez got the better of an exchange. Knight got him to the cage and threw a combination, but Benitez circled away. Knight ate a sharp left hand from Benitez. They ended the round throwing at each other in the pocket.

Knight ate a hard head kick from Benitez, and they both landed in the pocket. Knight landed an uppercut, ate a jab but landed an overhand. Knight was looking a bit more measured with his pressuring footwork, but was still eating hooks and jabs from Benitez. Knight leaped forward with a bizarre hammerfist. He was absorbing a lot of punches, and as he drove in on a takedown. Knight turned away completely, absorbing a headkick. Knight tried for a kneetap, but couldn’t get anything going. Benitez landed another left straight. Knight waded forward like a zombie, but just kept absorbing punches from Benitez. He caught a flying knee, ended up on bottom of mount. As Benitez postured for huge elbows, he wrapped Benitez up with a reverse guard and went for a heelhook, but ten seconds wasn’t long enough to find the tap.

Gabriel Benitez dedicated the performance to his wife, who he called his friend, his confidante, and his lover, then spoke to Dana White in the front row, saying “now you know my name. I am Gabriel Moggly Benitez”. Great win for Benitez, who won by domination.

That was an... off performance from Knight. The commentary team noticed it, and as fan of his fighting style, I have to agree. His reactions were worryingly slow, and one wonders if his aggressive fighting style and penchant for taking damage has taken a toll. His last fight was a brutal knockout from Ricardo Lamas, and he looked slow to react to punches then as well.

Official result: Gabriel Benitez def. Jason Knight via unanimous decision (30-26x2, 29-27)

For complete Fight Night 123 results, including play-by-play, click here

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