On Saturday, January 25, The Ultimate Fighting Championship presented their annual trip to Chicago to present UFC on Fox 10. Two highly ranked lightweights met in the main event to determine if one would face current champion Anthony Pettis or the other would continue building his bridge back to a title shot. Along with that fight, a number of other bouts were presented to the mixed martial arts community.
Josh Thomson was slated to face Anthony Pettis for the lightweight title but injuries forced the current champion to the shelf. Instead he faced the former champion in Benson Henderson with a win granting him an eventual shot at the title. At 35 years of age Josh is one of the early pioneers of lightweight MMA and is finally getting the biggest part of the spotlight in his career.
Benson Henderson has been a true test for MMA judging and he once again convinced those at cage side that he did enough to win a split decision.
Thomson started out quickly as he was able to take down the former champion and take his back in less than a minute in the first round. Henderson would fight off Josh's submission attempts and get back to his feet to force the former Strikeforce champion to release the position. Henderson would try to pressure Josh but “The Punk” was willing to exchange and even ended the round with a big slam of Benson right before the buzzer went off.
The second round was very close as both fighters had their moments of succes. Henderson would begin to land his trademark body kicks and knees, while Josh continued to look for takedowns while mixing in striking. Round three would be easier to score for Henderson as the storyline progressed that Josh Thomson may have injured his right hand. Benson pushed the pace of the fight at that point and controlled much of the action to take a round in his favor.
Rounds four and five would be very interesting as Josh would continue to score takedowns and attempting even more to match each of Henderson's attacks. He landed some clean shots as well, but Benson controlled much of the striking exchanges. Thomson landed some important takedowns and was able to control the grappling when the two competitors were on the mat. The action in the fifth round would slow down but not enough to really pick a clear winner.
As the judges complied their scores many watching and commentating online believed that Thomson had won the bout. However, judges would score the fight with two scorecards of 48-47 and one of 49-46 in the favor of Benson Henderson.
Stipe Miocic continued his calculated climb up the heavyweight division as he dominated Gabriel Gonzaga for three rounds in their co-main event fight.
“Napo” put forth his best effort in the first frame but was soon to find himself out of breath against an opponent that is very well conditioned. Stipe would turn his pace up from the second round on to pressure the former title challenger around the cage. As each minute passed, Miocic increased his work rate that drove Gonzaga further and further behind. Stipe looked to pound out a finish in the third round but the Brazilian was able to hold on to the final buzzer. This was Stipe's second straight win and fifth in the Octagon overall.
Adriano Martins fought his second UFC battle against the very experienced Donald Cerrone in a fight that may have been “too much, too soon.” “Cowboy” put his trademark kickboxing skills on display as he peppered Adriano throughout most of the first round.
After getting comfortable with his range Donald would land a massive head kick that would land right under Martins's chin and render the Brazilian unconscious immediately. Even though Donald is well known for his striking skills this is only his third career knockout but is perhaps the best that the 30 year-old fighter has delivered to date.
Jeremy Stephens and Darren Elkins kicked off the main card in the featherweight division. “Lil Heathen” was very impressive in the opening bout and put much of the 145 pound group on notice.
Elkins was forced to eat multiple shots from the former lightweight during their contest as Jeremy stayed active from start to finish. Elkins was finally able to hit a takedown in the second round which created a scramble on the mat, but nothing would come from his effort. Stephens would spend the rest of the fight looking for the big, one shot finish that would elude him. Even still, he was able to earn the unanimous decision victory.
Benson Henderson defeated Josh Thomson via unanimous decision.
Stipe Miocic defeated Gabriel Gonzaga via unanimous decision.
Donald Cerrone defeated Adriano Martins via first round KO.
Jeremy Stephens defeated Darren Elkins via unanimous decision.
Alex Caceres defeated Sergio Pettis via third round submission.
Eddie Wineland defeated Yves Jabouin via second round TKO.
Chico Camus defeated Yaotzin Meza via unanimous decision.
Hugo Viana defeated Ramiro Hernandez via unanimous decision.
Daron Cruickshank defeated Mike Rio via second round TKO.
George Sullivan defeated Mike Rhodes via unanimous decision.
Nikita Krylov defeated Walt Harris via first round TKO.