Former NCAA finalist Chad Mendes came out a winner, while two other ex-college wrestlers Jamie Varner and headliner Benson Henderson lost their matches at UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee Saturday, Aug. 31.
Mendes, a two-time NCAA All-American at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, scored a TKO victory over Clay Guida at 30 seconds in the third round of their featherweight match. Mendes knocked down Guida with a right hand to the chin that put the former Illinois high school wrestler on the mat. The referee stopped the bout before Mendes could do further damage.
“My confidence in my hands and my standup is completely different,” Mendes said after the win. “We have a new head coach, Duane Ludwig, and the system that we’re training now at Team Alpha Male is completely different than it was, and I’m excited to get in there and go after it.”
With the win, Mendes – who lost to Ohio State’s J Jaggers in the 141-pound finals at the 2008 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships – is now 15-1 overall in his professional MMA career, and 6-1 in Ultimate Fighting Championships competition. Guida, who had never lost by TKO, fell to 30-14 overall, and 10-8 in UFC.
Benson Henderson, a two-time NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) All-American at Dana College in Nebraska, surrendered his UFC lightweight championship to Anthony Pettis in the top-of-the-card event at UFC 164.
Pettis submitted Henderson with an armbar at 4:31 in the first round to win the title.
“I felt his arm pop, and I heard him say, ‘Tap,’” said Pettis in the post-event press conference.
The two had met each other before in MMA competition. In December 2010, Pettis got a unanimous decision over Henderson at WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis in Glendale, Ariz.
With the loss, Henderson is now 19-3 overall, and 7-1 in UFC matches, while Pettis is 17-2 in his MMA career, and 4-1 in UFC.
It was also a disappointing night for Jamie Varner, former Lock Haven University wrestler. The one-time World Cagefighting lightweight champ lost a split decision to Gleison Tibau. Two of the judges awarded the match 29-28 for Tibau, while the third determined Varner the winner, 29-27. With the loss, Varner is now 21-8-1 overall and 3-3 in UFC, while Tibau has built an overall record of 28-9, and 13-7 in UFC.
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