Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rolls into “Windy City” this Saturday night (June 9, 2018) with its UFC 225: “Whittaker vs. Romero” pay-per-view (PPV) mixed martial arts (MMA) event, held inside United Center in Chicago, Illinois, with select preliminary bouts coming to you by way of FOX Sports 1 and the UFC Fight Pass digital network. As the name suggests, UFC 225 is headlined by the middleweight rematch pitting 185-pound kingpin Robert Whittaker opposite longtime division bruiser Yoel Romero, while Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington hook ‘em up for the interim welterweight strap, making the winner next in line for Tyron Woodley.
That’s not all. Not by a long shot.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 225 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the televised fisticuffs to share their thoughts on all the exciting action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or 225) before you split and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after “Whittaker vs. Romero”
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC 225 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC 225 QUICK RESULTS:
Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero — Whittaker def. Romero by split decision (47-48, 48-47 x2)
Colby Covington vs. Rafael dos Anjos — Covington def. Dos Anjos by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47 x2)
Megan Anderson vs. Holly Holm — Holm def. Anderson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2)
Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa — Tuivasa def. Arlovski by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
C.M. Punk vs. Mike Jackson — Jackson def. Punk by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Curtis Blaydes vs. Alistair Overeem — Blaydes def. Overeem by TKO (elbows) at 2:56 of Round Three
Carla Esparza vs. Claudia Gadelha — Gadelha def. Esparza by split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
Mirsad Bektic vs. Ricardo Lamas — Bektic def. Lamas by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Rashad Coulter vs. Chris De La Rocha — De La Rocha def. Coulter by TKO (punches and elbows) at 3:53 of Round Two.
Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith — Smith def. Evans by KO (knee) at 0:53 of Round One
Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis — Pettis def. Benavidez by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira — Oliveira def. Guida by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:18 of Round One
Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago — Ige def. Santiago by TKO (punches) at 0:50 of Round One
UFC 225 LIVE PLAY-BY-PLAY:
185 lbs.: UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
Round 1: Whittaker sending out early kicks. Romero standing static, hands high. Low kick from Whittaker. One minute in. Jab lands for Whittaker. Romero continues to shell up, tries a left hook. Romero just misses with a heavy left. Two minutes in. Whittaker goes back to the lead leg. Whittaker fires a right, caught by romero’s forearms. Two minutes to go.
Whittaker just staying busy, even if he isn’t landing clean. Head kick attempt. Romero tries a spinning back fist. Body kick and jab by the champ. One minute to go. Whittaker backs him up, backed off himself by a leg kick. Good body shots from Whittaker. Romero tries to spin at the bell. 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 2: Whittaker fires a side kick, avoids Romero’s response. Glancing right hand by Whittaker. One minute in. Oblique kick from Romero. More kicks from Whittaker. Whittaker overhand falls short. Two minutes in. Whittaker just outworking him here, staying busy with his jab and kicks. Another stiff jab. Low kick exchange. Body kick from Whittaker. Romero tries a head kick. Romero’s right eye looks swollen shut. Two minutes to go.
Another hard jab by Whittaker met by a leg kick. Hard head kick around the guard. Left uppercut by Whittaker. One minute to go. They tie up briefly. Romero busier now, eats counters. Whittaker denies an inside trip. 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 3: Whittaker goes after the lead leg and they start exchanging. Suddenly, a hard right hand drops Whittaker. Romero on the attack. Whittaker shoots, eating elbows. Romero denies it, ties up on the fence. One minute in. Romero lands hevy shots on the fence. Whittaker comes back and rocks Romero with a pair of elbows. Romero still driving forward. Two minutes in. Romero digs to the body, eats another good elbow. Spinning elbow by Whittaker, who denies a takedown attempt. Knee from Whittaker. More trading inside. Whittaker denies a takedown. Two minutes to go.
romero still wading forward, jacks Whittaker’s jaw with a jab. Good punches by Romero on the cage. Whittaker jogs away from him. BIG head kick by Whittaker! Romero storming after him, already looking dead on his feet. Romero completes a brief takedown, can’t establish. 10-9 Romero.
Round 4: Whittaker tries an early head kick. Again. One minute in. Hard oblique kicks by Whittaker. Romero takes a groin shot. takes plenty of time to recover. Whittaker sends more kicks out. Multiple jabs, head kick just misses. Oblique kick from Whittaker. Two minutes in. Romero lands his own jab. Body shot. Whittaker continues to target that lead leg. They trade in the center. Two minutes to go.
1-2 from Whittaker. He’s still potshotting with kicks and jabs, keeping Romero at bay. One minute tog o. More volume from Whittaker, 1-2 from Romero. Whittaker presses forward behind another 1-2, but gets rocked by a left hand. Another right hook has him wobbling again. 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 5: Romero starts strong, knocking Whittaker back with punches. Spinning back kick from Romero. Spinning back fist whiffs. Double jab by Whittaker. One minute in. romero marching forward, snaps his head back with a jab. counter left from Whittaker, but he gets flattened by a bigger hook from Romaro. Romero trying to bound him out. Whittaker drives in as Romero chips away. Whittaker is still driving. He stands and Romero blasts him with a knee. Romero drags him down on the cage. Two minutes to go.
Romero sweeps his foot out, can’t keep him down. One minute to go. Ref stands them up. Romero tries to spin, knocked over with a kick. Low kick from Romero to end the fight. 10-9 Romero.
Final result: Whittaker def. Romero by split decision
170 lbs.: Colby Covington vs. Rafael dos Anjos for interim Welterweight title
Round 1: They trade right away until Covington hits a takedown on the cage. Dos Anjos defending well, but unable to dislodge Covington. One minute in. Short elbow from Dos Anjos. They separate. Low kick connects, then a two-piece as Covington ties up. Short left hand by Covington. Knee from Dos Anjos as he defends. They separate. Covington fires a head kick, eats an elbow. Dos Anjos rips to the body, lands a knee as Covington ties up. They separate again. Browne elbows by Dos Anjos, knees to the body. Covington tries some dirty boxing. Two minutes to go.
Another hard knee by Dos Anjos as he defends. They separate. Covington low kicks, body shots from Dos Anjos. Dos Anjos leg kick and covington ties up yet again. Covington tries to spin. Low kick exchange. 10-9 Dos Anjos on the cleaner strikes.
Round 2: Covington throwing heat, hits a quick takedown. Dos Anjos stands and faces him. Good elbow from Covington. They separate. Uppercut from Covington a minute in. Low kick. Covington shoots again. Dos Anjos spins free, lands a knee, separates. Body kick and punches from Dos Anjos. Hard right downstairs. Covington lands a left hand. They clinch for a bit. Uppercut by Covington. Hard left hand by Dos Anjos, leg kick answered in kind. Dos Anjos to the body. Two minutes to go.
Good uppercut inside from Covington, who shoots yet again. Knee from Dos Anjos. They trade left hands after separating. One minute to go. Uppercut by Covington, who hits a takedown. Dos Anjos works his way back up. 10-9 Covington.
Round 3: Low kick from Covington and they trade punches. Uppercut from Dos Anjos and Covington shoots yet again. They separate. Uppercut by Covington. Covington shoots again. One minute in. They separate. Body kick from Covington. Covington shoots again. Dos Anjos works his way up. He takes a low blow. Covington staying aggressive when they resume, shoots yet again. Knee from Dos Anjos. Hard 1-2 lands. Uppercut, leg kick. Covington swats him with a right hand and shoots. Two minutes to go.
They separate. Low kick from Dos Anjos, left hand by Covington and he shoots again. One minute to go. Separation. Covington shoots again. Knee from Dos Anjos. 10-9 Covington.
Round 4: Dos Anjos lands a heavy left hand right off the bat. Now he’s walking forward, digs to the body. Jab connects. Covington shoots, separation. Dos Anjos takes Covington down in turn on the cage. Side control, front headlock. One minute in. Covington drives through , Dos Anjos separates and hits another takedown. Covington works his way up. Two minutes in. Knees to the thigh. He drags Covington to his knees, he pops back up. They separate. Straight left from Dos Anjos. Straight left by Covington, ties up again. Two minutes to go.
Dos Anjos separates, shoots in again. Denied. They separate. One minute to go. Covington lands a nice combo and they trade until he shoots again. Right hand from Covington on the break. Both land in the center. Covington hits a takedown into half guard. Deep half guard for Dos Anjos. 10-9 Dos Anjos.
Round 5: Covington wades back into the clinch, looking for the bac. Short elbow from Covington, Dos Anjos just misses with a jumping knee. Covington scores a takedown a minute in. Dos Anjos works his way up and separates. Body kick by Dos Anjos. Covington shoots again. Two minutes in. Dos Anjos turns to face him. They separate. Body kick from Dos Anjos, flurry from Covington and he shoots again. Two minutes to go.
They separate, Dos Anjos lands a right off a takedown attempt. Counter left stings Covington, who stuffs a takedown. Knee by Dos Anjos. One minute to go. Dos Anjos locks up a kimura, uses it to separate. Left hand from Covington. They’re trading heat. Body kick from Dos Anjos, left hand by Covington. 10-9 Dos Anjos.
Final result: Covington def. Dos Anjos by unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Megan Anderson vs. Holly Holm
Round 1: Holm tries a combo, eats a jab. Big knee and elbow from Anderson on the cage. Body shot, uppercut, knee. Holm puts her on the cage. One minute in. Holm sneaks a hook in. Another short left. Two minutes in. Holm still keeping her on the fence. Couple of knees from Anderson. Knees from Holm. They separate with two minutes to go.
Knee to the body by Anderson, who uses a frame to avoid the clinch. Combo from Anderson. Holm lands a front kick to the face. She shoots and takes her down into side control. One minute to go. Over to half guard. Anderson looking for a leg. 10-9 Holm.
Round 2: holm with a couple of short right hands. Left straight lands. counters from Anderson. Anderson fires a knee and Holm shoots. Back on the cage. One minute in. They separate. Straight right from Anderson. Side kicks from Holm. Anderson fires a knee, gets taken down two minutes in. Holm isolates an arm and goes to side control. Two minutes to go.
Holm in quarter guard, now mount. Arm triangle. She drops it, goes back to pounding. High mount now. Heavy elbows landing. Borderline 10-8, but 10-9 Holm.
Round 3: Body kick from Anderson. counter right lands for her. Holm shoots in. One minute in. Holm pressing her against the cage. She takes her down into half guard just under two minutes in. Back to mount. Anderson uses the cage to get to her feet. Two minutes to go.
Teep from Holm. Again. Anderson fires a right hand and Holm takes her down yet again. Half guard. She passes to side control with just over a minute to go. Back to full mount again. Heavy punches from Holm. Anderson rolls to her knees and gets a takedown of her own, answered by a guillotine. 10-9 Holm.
Final result: Holm def. Anderson by unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa
Round 1: Tuivasa lands an early left hand. Arlovski counters a low kick, lands one of his own. Leg kick from Tuivasa. One minute in. Leg kick exchange. Lead right lands for Tuivasa, who bowls him over into mount. Arlovski holding onto double overhooks. Arlovski still just holding on. Two minutes to go.
Arlovski sweeps his way to his feet. Counter left puts Arlovski on his butt and Tuivasa waves him back up. He tries to press forward, has to fight off a takedown. Knee from Arlovski before they separate. Tuivasa marches in and Arlovski ties up. Tuivasa exits with a knee. Another knee. 1-2 connects. Arlovski throwing back. Tuivasa clips him with an elbow, slips and eats right hands. 10-9 Tuivasa.
Round 2: Low kick from Arlovski. He tries a head kick. Tuivasa lands a right hand inside, eats a couple from Arlovski. One minute in. Combo by Arlovski, landing well. Tuivasa hauls him to the fence. Two minutes in. They separate. Arlovski with a right hand inside, met by a left hook. Trading heat in the center. Good right hook by the Aussie. Arlovski’s mouth is wide open. Two minutes to go.
Left hook finds the mark for Tuivasa, who follows up with body shots. Arlovski ties up. He gets a takedown, doesn’t follows Tuivasa down. Body kick from Tuivasa and Arlovski takes a finger in the eye. They resume with a minute to go. Arlovski right hand, walks into a left hook. Tuivasa ducks a spinning back fist. 10-9 Tuivasa.
Round 3: Neither man landing clean early on. ARlovski catches Tuivasa leaning. Hard right cross lands for him a minute in. Tuivasa n the advance, not landing clean. Two minutes in. Elbow from Tuivasa. Another elbow answered by an Arlovski knee. Arlovski whiffs on a head kick. Right cross form Arlovski, left hook by Tuivasa. Two minutes to go.
Tuivasa with another left hand on the fence and an elbow that stings Arlovski. Tuivasa on the advance. Arlovski goes low-high. One minute to go. Leg kick from Arlovski, Tuivasa answers in kind. 1-2 from Tuivasa. 10-9 Tuivasa.
Final result: Tuivasa def. Arlovski by unanimous decision
170 lbs.: C.M. Punk vs. Mike Jackson
Round 1: Punk tossing out kicks. Jackson cracks him with a right cross, stuffs a takedown. Right hand from Punk and he ties up on the fence. Knees in the clinch. Jackson reverses a minute in. They separate. Another right hand from Punk. Right cross and body shot from Jackson, Punk ties up once again. Jackson reverses. Knee to the body from Punk.Punk shoots, can’t get the takedown. Two minutes to go.
Jackson gets double unders and reverses, then separates. Jab blands. Jabs by Jackson, denies another takedown. One minute to go. Jab catches Punk. Punk changes levels and finally hits a takedown into half guard. Jackson makes his way up and works the body. Elbow at the bell. 10-9 Jackson.
Round 2: Punk still on the advance, lands a body kick. Jackson stuffs another takedown and gets double unders, then separates. Punk tries to flurry. 1-2 rocks Punk. Jackson goes low-high, then takes Punk down into guard. Punk trying to punch off his back as Jackson taunts him. Some solid shots from Jackson two minutes in. Jackson mocking Punk as he lands more hard ground-and-pound. Two minutes to go.
Punk tosses up a triangle, no dice. Jackson posturing up, continues to methodically pound away. Jackson chewing him up with punches and elbows at his leisure. Punk tries another triangle. 10-8 Jackson.
Round 3: Punk going for it, at least. He grabs over-unders and takes Jackson to the fence. Jackson reverses. Double underhooks. They separate. One minute in. Punk shoots again. And again. Jackson blasts him with a left hand and gets back in guard. Jackson waves him up. Jab and hook by Jackson. Big 1-2 from Jackson. Two minutes in. Punk ducks in for another takedown attempt. They separate. Hard right hand from Jackson, who stuffs another takedown. Elbow up top. More elbows. Jackson denies another takedown. Punk rolls for a kneebar with two minutes to go.
Jackson avoids it and takes side control. Half guard. Jackson still posturing up and chipping away. Side control, sprawl position. Punk gets a takedown at the bell. 10-8 Jackson.
Final result: Jackson def. Punk by unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Curtis Blaydes vs. Alistair Overeem
Round 1: Overeem switching stances. Tentative start. One minute in. Still no strikes thrown. Blaydes tries a head kick. Two minutes in. Blaydes shoots and completes a takedown against the fence. Blaydes on top in half guard. Two minutes to go.
Blaydes staying heavy, landing the occasional punch. One minute to go. Overeem gets his guard back, then looks for a heel hook. 10-9 Blaydes.
Round 2: OVereem catches Blaydes with a knee and right hand early, then pulls guard on a guillotine. He loses it, so hs goes back to the heel hook. Blaydes gets out of it and leans on Overeem. Now Overeem explodes to his feet. Short uppercut from Blaydes. Two minutes in. Overeem steps in for a knee and Blaydes takes him down into half guard. Two minutes to go.
Blaydes staying heavy, not doing much damage. Now Blaydes postures up for some heavier shots. 10-9 Blaydes.
Round 3: Overeem stuffs the first takedown, eats a knee and right hand. Body kick from Overeem, who eats a right hand. Knee and right hand from Blaydes, who fires a combo and takes Overeem down. Elbows from Blaydes. Two minutes in. Overeem just holding on. Overeem now turns for a heel hook, abandons it. Full guard. Big elbows from Blaydes and the ref steps in to save a bloodied Overeem.
Final result: Blaydes def. Overeem by TKO (elbows)
115 lbs.: Carla Esparza vs. Claudia Gadelha
Round 1: Gadelha looks for a counter right early. Low kick from Esparza, going in-and-out. Counter right briefly drops Esparza, who shoots after eating more shots. Again she stumbles, again she shoots and gets sprawled on. One minute in. They go back to the feet. Left hand from Gadelha. Counter right. Another. Esparza staying busy two minutes in, but the power difference is clear. Hard right hand by Gadelha. Suddenly, Esparza rocks her with a right hand and follows up with shots that knock the Brazilian down. Esparza takes guard, has to fight off a heel hook, and winds up on the bottom. Two minutes to go.
Gadelha on top in guard. Esparza makes her way back to her feet after some ground-and-pound. Reactive takedown by Gadelha into side control. Short shots from Gadelha. Hammerfists land and she pulls guard on a guillotine, taking mount. Esparza escapes at the bell. 10-9 Gadelha.
Round 2: They open the round trading punches. Esparza showing quite a bit of volume. Right hand exchange. Gadelha shoots, Esparza puts her on the fence. One minute in. Short shots by Esparza. Good knee to the body. Two minutes in. Gadelha grabs a body lock for a takedown. Esparza tries to sweep, winds up on the bottom in half guard. Right hands from the Brazilian. Two minutes to go.
Full guard now. Esparza gets back to her feet, Gadelha still has double unders. She wrenches Esparza down into side control, then half guard. Gadelha chips away until Esparza kicks her away and takes her down in return. 10-9 Gadelha.
Round 3: Esparza tries combos, cracks Gadelha with another right hand. Counter right from Gadelha. Front kick by Esparza. Good knee inside a minute in. Gadelha lands a left hook. Low kick from Esparza. Big punches landing fro the former champ. Two minutes in. Another right hand. Gadelha catches a front kick and grabs a body lock. She slings Esparza to the mat and takes side control. Two minutes to go.
Half guard. Short punches by Gadelha. Esparza kicks her away and runs the pipe for a single-leg. One minute to go. Esparza on top in guard. Esparza posturing up, dropping big shots. 10-9 Esparza.
Final result: Gadelha def. Esparza by split decision
145 lbs.: Mirsad Bektic vs. Ricardo Lamas
Round 1: Lamas on the front foot early. Bektic falls short with a combo. Lamas ducks a combo for a takedown, can’t keep him down. One minute in. Lamas still pushing for a takedown, denied by the whizzer. Knee to the body. Bektic reverses position and looks for knees. Dirty boxing from Bektic, trading knees. They separate two minutes in. Left hook from Bektic. Overhand right. Lamas slips on a kick, tries to shoot, and they engage in the clinch. Two minutes to go.
Bektic denies a takedown, then hits one of his own on the fence. Lamas works his way to his feet, eating short strikes along the way. Ref wants more action. Back to the center. Lamas tries a wheel kick. 10-9 Bektic.
Round 2: Lamas shoots, stuffed, eats a right hand. Low kick lands for him. Shoots again, stuffed, Bektic threatens a takedown of his own. Glancing right hand form Bektic and they tie up a minute in. He puts Lamas on the fence. Lamas sporting a cut, apparently from a clash of heads. Two minutes in. Sharp elbow by Bektic as Lamas tries knees. They separate. Lamas shoots off a right hand and gets sprawled on. Two minutes to go.
Lamas with a spinning elbow on the break. Bektic puts him back on the fence. One minute to go. Left hook lands for Lamas. Bektic again puts him on the fence. Ref splits them up right quick. Low kick from Lamas. Lamas tries a cartwheel kick in the waning seconds. 10-9 Bektic.
Round 3: Some early exchanges, neither lands clean. Bektic ties up on the fence once again. Bektic can’t get the single-leg a minute in. Back to the center. Lamas tries a wheel kick, then tries another fancy kick and winds up on the bottom. Bektic looking for an arm triangle. Lamas sweeps, tries a guillotine, and gets swept in turn. Two minutes in. Bektic drives in as Lamas works to stand, but has to fight off a guillotine. He does so and grabs a rear waistlock as Lamas stands. Two minutes to go.
Bektic pressing him against the cage. Lamas looking to set up another guillotine, pulls guard with it. He drops it and tries an elbow, then grabs another front headlock. He goes for another guillotine and loses the grip as he pulls guard. Fight ends there. 10-9 Lamas.
Final result: Bektic def. Lamas by split decision
265 lbs.: Rashad Coulter vs. Chris De La Rocha
Round 1: De La Rocha looking to jab early, tries a takedown without success. HE puts Coulter on the fence. Coulter using a frame, lands a knee to the body. Eats one in return. They separate and Coulter lands a hard left hook. Coulter gets overeager on a knee and slips. De La Rocha follows him down and takes mount, then the back. Both hooks in. De La Rocha fighting for the choke. Two minutes in. Coulter handfighting well so far. Coulter explodes to his feet and immediately rocks De La Rocha with punches. Coulter throwing heat. De La Rocha gets his wits back and separates, bleeding freely. Two minutes to go.
Coulter cracks him with another right hand, hurling haymakers. Coulter stumbles back, perhaps hurt. De La Rocha doing work on the fence. Coulter suddenly blasts him with an overhand right. Another one in the center. Coulter throwing with reckless abandon, lands another booming right. Coulter appears to have punched himself out with a minute to go, eats a 1-2. De La Rocha takes him down into half guard. 10-9 Coulter.
Round 2: Coulter sticking out his jab. Right cross stumbles him. De La Rocha digs a right to the body, eats a 1-2 in return. Another right hand from De La Rocha, who grabs double unders. Takedown follows. De La Rocha in mount against the cage, takes the back a minute in. De La Rocha cranking on his neck, can’t get it. De La Rocha landing left hands, grabbing the fence to do it. Coulter looks like there’s nothing left. Two minutes to go. De La Rocha bears down for another crank without success. Coulter’s done, man. De La Rocha too tired to put together the huge flurry he needs to get the ref moving. Two minutes to go.
More ground-and-pound. De La Rocha moves to mount and starts dropping elbows. More shots and it’s over.
Final result: De La Rocha def. Coulter by TKO (punches and elbows)
205 lbs.: Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith
Round 1: Low kicks from Smith, who counters a takedown attempt with a trip. Evans continues to drive. Smith frames Evans’ head with his forearm and cracks him with a knee that has Evans out on impact.
Final result: Smith def. Evans by KO (knee)
125 lbs.: Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis
Round 1: Low kicks from Benavidez to start. Straight left follows one of them. Pettis cracks him with a right cross as Joe B advances. Pettis working behind the jab, drops Benavidez with a counter right. Uppercut drops him again. Pettis patiently pursuing, gets bowled over by a knee tap. Benavidez on top in guard. One minute in. Pettis works his way up against the fence. Benavidez trying a few different approaches, can’t get the takedown. They separate two minutes in. Body shot from Benavidez, jab from Pettis. Overhand right connects for Benavidez, body shot. Pettis stuffs a takedown. Two minutes to go.
Benavidez left hand, Pettis right. 1-2 from Benavidez, who gets popped with a right cross. Pettis sharpshooting with his right hand, catching Benavidez coming in. Pettis stuffs another takedown with a minute to go. Benavidez shoots in off a Pettis head kick. One minute to go. Back to the center. Hard right hand by Benavidez, then to the body. 10-9 Pettis.
Round 2: Pettis lands an early right hand, avoids a flurry. Kick exchange, both land on the inside. Benavidez tries another knee-tap and takes Pettis to the cage. One minute in. Pettis slips out of a low single and they separate. Benavidez still pursuing, runs into another right hand. Body kick from Benavidez and he flurries into a takedown attempt. Two minutes in. Knee from Pettis and Benavidez changes levels. Pettis separates, avoids a wheel kick and tries a head kick. Two minutes to go.
Leg kick by Benavidez. Pettis right hook. Benavidez shoots again. No success. One minute to go. Hard left hand by Benavidez, stuffed again. Pettis cracks him with a jab. Benavidez takes him back to the cage. 10-9 Pettis.
Round 3: Counter right from Pettis, overhand right from Benavidez, who finally lands the spinning back fist he’s been looking for. Back to the fence. Pettis lands a right hand on the break, then a counter after taking a left hand. One minute in. They trade in the center. Pettis pops him with a jab as Benavidez marches forward behind haymakers. Pettis stuffs a low takedown. Body kicks from Joe B. Two minutes in. Pettis with a counter right and body kick. Pettis nearly catches Benavidez with a knee, then threatens a guillotine. Benavidez shoots in once again. Two minutes to go.
Counter left from Benavidez after he blocks a head kick. Pettis stuffs yet another takedown. Benavidez staying aggressive, if nothing else. One minute to go. Benavidez hits his first takedown since the first round, can’t keep him down. They separate. Pettis tries a wheel kick and eats a succession of right hands. 10-9 Benavidez.
Final result: Pettis def. Benavidez by split decision
155 lbs.: Clay Guida vs. Charles Oliveira
Round 1: Oliveira flicking out kicks as Guida advances. Left hook lands for Oliveira, then they trade low kicks. Guida counters a leg kick with a right hand a minute in. Guida leg kicks. Oliveira tries a jumping front kick, lands a combo. Overhand right, spinning kick attempt. Guida tries a hook. Knees and a right hand from Oliveira, who snags Guida in a guillotine when the latter tries to shoot. The tap comes soon after.
Final result: Oliveira def. Guida by submission (guillotine choke)
145 lbs.: Dan Ige vs. Mike Santiago
Round 1: Ige fakes a level change, cracks Santiago with a flurry, then drives through for a takedown. He moves directly to mount, takes the back, and starts pounding on Santiago. He flattens Santiago out and drills him with punches until the ref steps in.
Final result: Ige def. Santiago by TKO (punches)