This is the UFC 192 live blog for Joseph Benavidez vs. Ali Bagautinov, a flyweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Benavidez, who has won four of his past five fights, will face Bagautinov, who has won three of his four UFC fights, on the main card.
Check out the UFC 192 live blog below.
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Round 1: Kerry Hatley is the third man in this flyweight bout. Bagautinov quick to center, and Benavidez circles. First 30 seconds are a feel out, but Benavidez comes in and lands a huge right hand that caught Bagautinov pretty good. He comes in again, and that time Bagautinov kissed a counter punch off Benavidez's chin. Bagautinov a little cautious early, respecting Joe's power. Left hand by Bagautinov, but he peels out of there. Now it's Benavidez at center pushing forward. Bagautinov already has swelling on his face from that initial punch. Head kick from Benavidez is partially blocked. Benavidez is changing levels, threatening to shoot in it looks like, but so far none of that. He circles, and again moves in with an overhand right, which is errant. Leg kick from Bagautinov, and there's a blasting uppercut from the Russian. That lands. Benavidez walks through. There's a cut on Joe's eye, now. Left side. Nice exchange there, and Bagautinov scored the better, more flush punches. Joe misses with a high kick with his left leg. Benavidez ducks in, but can't make it happen. Does it again other side of the cage. Nothing doing. Blood streaming down Benavidez's eye. Might be affecting him here. They'll have to look at it between rounds. Joe trying to land that kick still. Bagautinov backs way, and trying to time out a counter. First round ends there. Tough, tough round to score. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Benavidez, 10-9.
Round 2: That uppercut that Bagautinov hit Benavidez with was nasty, and caused the cut. But Benavidez is able to continue. Bagautinov comes in close, then drifts away from Benavidez. Joe moves in with that overhand right and again Bagautinov tags him with a counter. Benavidez is trying to throw off Bagautinov with feints while he then deploys that big right, but so far he can't land. Head kick from Bagautinov is blocked. Head kick from Joe, and he's countered with a leg kick that nearly drops him. Both guys trying to make their strikes/kicks count her. Body kick from Benavidez, and that was loud. Redness immediately appears on Bagautinov's body. They plant and trade, but neither connects. Both are opening up now. Joe with a straight left, and an overhand right from the hip misses from Bagautinov. Again Benavidez comes in with a combo, and Bagautinov moves away — then counters with a left. Benavidez pushing the action, but missing on the bulk of his punches. Bagautinov punishing him a bit on those fits of aggression. Big exchange there are center, and Benavidez clips him with a left. Nice punch to high kick combo from Joe, but it glances off Bagautinov. Quick single leg attempt from Bagautinov, nothing doing. Joe stalks him down. Bagautinov waits for Benavidez, times out the kick and takes Joe down for a quick moment. Again, hard round to score. Could go either way. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Benavidez, 10-9 (20-18 overall).
Round 3: Final round, and the score could be anything. Joe rolls straight towards Bagautinov, but he backs away as he's met in the middle. Straight right hand from Bagautinov, and that lands. Joe fires back, but misses. A big exchange and it looked like Bagautinov got the better of that; these exchanges are pretty even. High kick from Benavidez, and Bagautinov pushes him to the ground for a moment. Benvavidez switching stances, and when he scores it's usually because Bagautinov gets confounded for a brief second. Nice overhand left there from Bagautinov, and then a knee. Benavidez continues to change levels, lots of looks to deal with. Both guys have been trying to knock the other out, not nickel and diming. Head kick from Bagautinov, as crowd begins to boo. Spoiled from the earlier action maybe. Spilling backkick from Bagautinov doesn't fool Benavidez. Joe acts like he's going to shoot then whaps Bagautinov with a looming right hand. Bagautinov unloads back, then time a one-two. Bagautinov moves in, and for a moment has Joe on the ground, but Benavidez bounces back up. They go to fence, and the separate. Right hand from Benavidez. Spinning kick from Bagautinov at the end, and Joe ducks under it and tackles Bagautinov. That's it. Coin flip. MMA Fighting scores R3 for Bagautinov, 10-9 (29-28 for Benavidez overall).
UFC 192 official results: Joseph Benavidez def. Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).