UFC 164 has come and gone, with four of the five main card fights ending in spectacular knockouts and submissions. Any concerns that the last two UFC on FOX Sports 1 events were going to take away attention from this PPV were put to rest from the word go. All the fighters delivered excitement for the fans in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The PPV card kicked off in the featherweight division with hometown fighter, Erik Koch against Dustin Poirier. And what a fight it was! Early in round one Koch catches Poirier in a triangle choke and looks very close to submitting Poirier, but he escapes. Poirier then catches Koch with a right hook and looks to almost finish Koch. He locks in a d’arce choke but Koch escapes. End of round one. Poirier immediately pressures Koch and takes it to the ground, after attempting multiple submissions and ground & pound the very tough Koch survives. Round three shows Poirier is very tired and Koch takes it to the ground. He survives all submission attempts from Poirier and he spends the last one and a half minutes of the round looking for a rear naked choke but is unable to sink it in. So Poirier takes a big step in the featherweight division, after dominating the former number one contender. Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch by unanimous decision!
Then it’s time for the big boys with “Big” Ben Rothwell against Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Vera smartly uses his movement to stay away from the cage and Big Ben’s powerful punches. Rothwell chases Vera around the cage, utilizing good foot movement himself. The first two rounds are fairly even. Then midway through round three Rothwell tries some unusual showboating, by rolling his head and dropping his hands. Maybe this got in Vera’s head, as he chose not to move away from the cage and Rothwell hammered him with uppercuts and right hands, until a turtled up Vera could not fight back. Rothwell evens out his UFC record with three wins, two by knockout and then calls out number five ranked heavyweight in the world, Travis “Hapa” Browne. What a fight that would be! Ben Rothwell TKO’s Brandon Vera at 1.54 in round 3!
Next up is number two ranked featherweight, Chad “Money” Mendes and the always energetic, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida. The first two rounds show Guida pushing the pace early, mixing up his takedowns with his fast combinations. Mendes deals with the pressure well, securing Guida’s back a few times and landing his own punches. Then in round three a massive overhand right from Mendes lands flush on Guida’s chin as he comes forward, Mendes turns Guida towards the cage and with another flush right hand Guida goes down. It’s the first time in his career Guida is stopped due to strikes. WOW! Mendes’ fourth consecutive knockout in a row, since losing to Jose Aldo shows once again that he is deserving of another shot at the champion. That rematch would be very highly anticipated. Chad Mendes TKO’s Clay Guida at 0.30 of round 3!
Then it’s time for the Co-Main event of the evening, between former UFC heavyweight champions, Josh Barnett and Frank Mir. Immediately Barnett pushes forward and gets Mir to the cage and leans on him. He lands some big punches on Mir while Mir is able to fire back with his own uppercuts and hooks, catching Barnett as well. Barnett then uses his right forearm to push Mir’s face in line for a knee that lands flush. Mir goes limp and before any punches are thrown the fight is stopped. An incredible return to the UFC for the “War Master.” It is very disappointing for Mir who feels the fight was stopped too early and argues with the referee. It is a shame to see such a long anticipated fight end prematurely, but a perfect result for Barnett as he hands Mir his third straight loss. Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir at 1.56 of round 1.
Now it is time for the main event of the evening! UFC lightweight champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson against the last man to defeat him, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Henderson immediately pushes forward and tries to take Pettis down and is unsuccessful. Pettis pushes him off but Benson gets close to another takedown and can’t finish it. Benson pushes away and as he starts to back off he is hit with four nasty liver kicks like the ones Pettis finished Donald Cerrone with in February. As Pettis goes for a flashy cartwheel knee to the liver he is taken down by Henderson. As Henderson tries to get good position Pettis locks in an armbar, Henderson tries to roll his body towards the direction Pettis is pulling in so Pettis cranks it the other way. With Benson face down on the canvas he verbally submits after his arm is already snapped. AAAAND NEW Lightweight champion of the world, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC Lightweight Champion by breaking Benson Henderson’s right arm at 4.31 of round 1.
An incredible night with incredible finishes! With the two main fights expected to go deeper than round one it shows once again that MMA is unpredictable and anything can happen. For the second time this year we have a new UFC champion, who after the fight called out UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo. Champion vs Champion would be amazing!
Profightingfans.com Staff Writer