Early in the AM here in the states the UFC kicked off Fight Night 79 which featured a main event between Benson Henderson and Jorge Masvidal. The card delivered some java induced fireworks with most of the battles taking place on foot. The prelims provided KO’s and split decisions and the main card was right on par. In the main event Benson Henderson was able to edge out Jorge Masvidal in a close battle. The co main showcased a quick finish for “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim as he was able to thwart the effort by Dominic Waters. It was an early but action packed event from Seoul, Korea.
The main event may have went the distance but it was a closely contested match. Neither Benson Henderson(23-5) or Jorge Masvidal(29-10) really gained an edge on their feet but so it became a match up of pressure and grappling. Benson was able to land takedowns and show his championship fortitude. After some strong clinch work and a few decent strikes between both fighters you could tell early this fight could go anyway. In the second round the fight called for more heavy leg kicks and the fight gets stopped by a few illegal knees. The final rounds went similar as Henderson started to to find an edge and you could tell it started to wear on Masvidal. It was a really great match of countering and sweeps that ending up earning Henderson the split decision.
One of the fights that could have been more a grappling affair was the co main between Dominic Waters(9-4) and Dong Hyun Kim(21-3). The two fighters clinched early which would prove to be the crucial mistake for Waters. During the clinch the skilled judoka landed a beautiful takedown on Waters that immediately put him in side control. From there he used his legs to lock up the arms of Waters and put him in the crucifix. From there “Stun Gun” rained down fists and the referee gave Dominic every opportunity to escape but he was unable to do so. The fight was stopped in the first and Stun Gun now has the seventh most victories in the the UFC welterweight division.
Korea witnessed a treat in the fight between Yoshihiro Akiyama(14-6) and Alberto Mina(12-0). Unfortunately they were not happy with the outcome. Akiyama laid into the leg of Mina early and caused some early difficulty as he tried to take the fight to the ground. Since he was not successful there he ramped up his striking which is what provided the most entertaining moments of the fight. Akiyama started to find his footing late in the match but it would be to no avail. Without his legs Mina was able to withstand the final barrage from Akiyama and pull off the unfavorable decision. It was a good showing of resolve from the undefeated Brazilian fighter.
It didn’t take long for hometown favorite Doo Ho Choi(13-1) to remind the UFC why he has such an amazing upside. He took on the a gifted striker in Sam Sicilia(14-6) and from the start these two traded in the pocket. Choi dropped Sam early but he was able to recover in time to get off a few good shots himself. After a flying knee followed up by heavy combo the “Korean Superboy” connected with another right and left to drop Sam then pounce on him for the early finish. This kid is dangerous and seems to handle the pressure well as possibly one of the next great fighters from Asia.
Up next for the UFC is UFC Fight Night Namajunas vs Van Zant on December 10th exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. The complete results from UFC Fight Night 79 are listed below.
Benson Henderson def. Jorge Masvidal via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Dong Hyun Kim def. Dominic Waters via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:11
Alberto Mina def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Doo Ho Choi def. Sam Sicilia via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:33
Dongi Yang def. Jake Collier via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:50
Mike De La Torre def. Yui Chul Nam via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tae Hyun Bang def. Leo Kuntz via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Seo Hee Ham def. Cortney Casey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Fredy Serrano def. Yao Zhikui via TKO (arm injury) – Round 1, 0:44
Marco Beltran def. Ning Guangyou via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Dominique Steele def. Dong Hyun Kim via knockout – Round 3, 0:27