On Saturday, Aug. 31, the UFC hosted UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis 2 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

In the night’s main event, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson looked to defend his belt against Anthony Pettis. The pair met previously at the final WEC event in December of 2010. Pettis defeated Henderson by decision and claimed the promotion’s 155-pound title in the process. Pettis looked to repeat that feat in the confines of the Octagon.

Also on the main card, former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir welcomed another former champion Josh Barnett back to the promotion, featherweight Chad Mendes looked to earn another title shot against the energetic Clay Guida, Brandon Vera returned to heavyweight to face Ben Rothwell, and featherweights Erik Koch and Dustin Poirier met in a long-awaited match-up.

The 12-fight event will kicked off at 5 p.m. ET with three bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Four additional bouts followed on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, with the five-fight, pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Pettis claims lightweight title with first-round submission of Henderson

In a rematch of their epic WEC 53 title fight, Anthony Pettis once again reigned supreme over Benson Henderson. Unlike the first meeting, which saw the scorecards, Pettis needed just one round to submit Henderson and claim the UFC lightweight strap.

Henderson immediately clinched with Pettis and searched for a takedown along the cage. Pettis fought it off, but absorbed a variety of knee and leg strikes from the Henderson. Pettis freed himself and delivered four straight kicks to the body of Henderson. As Pettis threw a fifth strike, he slipped on Henderson landed in his guard. Pettis quickly attacked with an armbar and forced Henderson to tap.

Barnett demolishes Mir

Former UFC champion Josh Barnett’s return to the Octagon was a successful one as he demolished another former champion in Frank Mir.

Barnett quickly closed the distance and began to unload on Mir along the fence with knees and uppercuts. Mir fired back and the pair jockeyed for position in the clinch. Barnett overpowered Mir and pinned him against the fence. A serious of uppercuts and elbows appeared to rock Mir and Barnett delivered a massive knee that saw Mir crash to the mat like a ton of bricks. Referee Rob Hinds had seen enough of the onslaught and halted the bout.

Mendes becomes the first to stop Guida via strikes

No. 1-ranked featherweight Chad Mendes earned his fourth straight stoppage by strikes, becoming the first to stop the granite-chinned Clay Guida with a third-round TKO.

The two 145ers traded single strikes to kick off the fight. Guida shot for a takedown which Mendes stuffed and countered with a power guillotine choke. Guida escaped and the fight returned to standing. Mendes’ first shot was stuffed, but he muscled Guida to the mat in the final minute of the round, ending the frame inside Guida’s guard.

Guida pressed forward early in round two. A low blow from Guida momentarily halted the action. Once the fight resumed, the fighters traded takedown attempts, but each successfully sprawled. Mendes was able to take Guida’s back along the cage after Guida failed at a takedown attempt, but Mendes could not capitalize. The round closed with the fighters seeking a home for their punches near the fence.

Down two rounds, Guida rushed forward to start round three and Mendes greeted him with a massive right hand. Guida dropped to a knee and Mendes pinned him against the cage. Another right hand stunned Guida and Mendes went for the kill, forcing referee Yves Lavinge to waive off the bout.

Rothwell stops Vera

“Big” Ben Rothwell spoiled Brandon Vera’s return to the heavyweight division, scoring a third-round TKO in front of his hometown crowd.

Vera looked to utilize his speed advantage from the beginning of the fight. He stayed on the outside, delivering kicks to the legs and body of Rothwell. Undeterred, Rothwell marched forward, looking to land counterstrikes. Vera delivered a vicious left hook flush to Rothwell’s jaw, but Rothwell continued to chase Vera around the cage until the bell sounded.

Round two was eerily similar to the first, as Rothwell continued to chase Vera around the cage. Rothwell managed to pin Vera against the cage, but Vera tied up his arms to prevent the larger fighter from unloading with his hands. Neither fighter mounted significant offense during the frame.

In the final frame, Rothwell continued his forward march, but finally found a home for his strikes. A kick to Vera’s liver appeared to stun the smaller fighter and Rothwell went for broke. Cornering Vera along the cage, Rothwell unloaded with uppercuts and scored with a big knee strike. Vera collapsed to the mat and Rothwell swarmed, forcing Herb Dean to halt the contest.

Poirier outworks Koch, claims decision

A pivotal fight in the featherweight division saw Dustin Poirier get back in the win column and hand Erik Koch his second straight defeat in a back-and-forth war.

After a brief feeling out process, Poirier dropped Koch with a left hand followed him to the ground. Koch countered with a deep triangle choke attempt that Poirier managed to escape. The fight returned to the feet and Poirier again dropped Koch, but with a right hand. Poirier looked for the finish, mounting Koch and switching to a D’arce choke in the final minute of the frame. Koch survived to the send the fight to the second round.

It was more of the same in round two as Poirier continued to press the action. Koch looked to counter, but Poirier closed the distance and tossed him to the mat with a hip toss. Poirier quickly moved to mount and proceeded to batter Koch along the cage. Koch worked back to his feet in the final minute of the stanza, but was clearly exhausted from the earlier action.

Clearly up on the scorecards, Poirier’s attack was more reserved in the final frame. He pressed Koch against the cage, working for a takedown. As Poirier dropped for a lateral drop, Koch reversed it and landed in Poirier’s guard. Koch rained elbows until the final minute when he took Poirier’s back. Koch desperately sought a rear-naked choke, but the finish would not come.

The judges all scored the fight for Poirier, with two of the judges rewarding him a 10-8 round on their scorecards.

Preliminary Card Summary

In the night’s final prelim, veteran lightweight Gleison Tibau outlasted former WEC champion Jamie Varner to claim a split decision win. After trading early, Tibau earned a takedown late in round one to likely seal the round. Varner attacked with a guillotine to open round two, but Tibau escaped and battered Varner from the top position for the remainder of the round. In the final frame, Varner went for broke against a visibly tired Tibau, but it was too little, too late, as Tibau earned the judges’ nod.

Flyweight Tim Elliott put on a clinic against TUF alum Louis Gaudinot en route to a lopsided, unanimous decision win. Elliott’s size and strength advantage was apparent from the opening bell as he manhandled Gaudinot and battered him from the top position. The pace and aggression from the Kansas fighter was simply too much for Gaudinot, as Elliott landed more than 250 strikes and six takedowns. Two of the three judges scored the dominant performance 30-26 in Elliott’s favor.

Korean welterweight Hyun Gyu Lim earned his second UFC win, demolishing Pascal Krauss by first-round TKO. Lim and Krauss traded early on the feet, with Krauss looking to overcome Lim’s height and reach advantage. Lim connected with a right hand that put Krauss on rubber legs, but Krauss somehow managed to survive. It was short-lived as Lim delivered a massive knee along the fence that put Krauss out for good at the four-minute mark.

Bantamweights Chico Camus and Kyung Ho Kang put on a show in the first televised prelim on Fox Sports 1, with Camus eking out the decision win. Kang spent a large portion of the fight in the top position, but Camus showed an active guard from the bottom. Camus finished round two strong by reversing position and nearly finished the fight in the final frame with a late upkick, earning the unanimous nod from the judges.

In a battle of heavyweights with 33 combined finishes, Australia’s Soa Palelei outlasted promotional newcomer Nikita Krylov to score a third-round TKO. Palelei was dominant in the opening frame, but could not finish Krylov. Krylov bounced back in round two as Palelei complained about a rib injury in between rounds. With both fighters clearly exhausted, Palelei dug deep in round three, forcing the referee to intervene.

TUF Live veteran Al Iaquinta put on a display of crisp boxing and takedown defense to best fellow lightweight Ryan Couture. Iaquinta overcame a reach disadvantage to batter the Strikeforce veteran on the feet from start to finish. Couture’s only offense came in the form of kicks, but paled in comparison to Iaquinta’s assault with his hands. All three judges awarded Iaquinta for his strong performance.

Swedish middleweight Magnus Cedenblad needed less than a minute to secure his first Octagon win over veteran Jared Hamman. After a brief feeling out process on the feet, Hamman shot for a takedown, but left his neck exposed. Cedenblad capitalized by securing a guillotine choke and rolling to mount. Hamman tapped at the 57-second mark of the opening round.

FULL RESULTS
Anthony Pettis def. Benson Henderson by submission (armbar). Round 1, 4:31 – for UFC lightweight title
Josh Barnett def. Frank Mir by TKO (knee and punches). Round 1, 1:56
Chad Mendes def. Clay Guida by TKO (punches). Round 3, 0:30
Ben Rothwell def. Brandon Vera by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 1:54
Dustin Poirier def. Erik Koch by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Gleison Tibau def. Jamie Varner by split decision (29-28, 27-29, 29-28)
Tim Elliott def. Louis Gaudinot by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 20-26)
Hyun Gyu Lim def. Pascal Krauss by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:58
Chico Camus def. Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Soa Palelei def. Nikita Krylov by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 1:34
Al Iaquinta def. Ryan Couture by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Magnus Cedenblad def. Jared Hamman by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 0:57

Photo: Anthony Pettis (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)