On Saturday August 23, the UFC hosted UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. dos Anjos from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In the night’s main event top five lightweights, Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos, stepped in the cage with their sites set on moving closer to a title shot. Henderson was entering into his eighth straight main event fight. The former lightweight champion had won back-to-back fights over Josh Thomson and Rustam Khabilov since dropping the title to Anthony Pettis last Fall. Dos Anjos was entering the main event spotlight for the first time after previously fighting fifteen different times for the promotion. Dos Anjos had only lost one of his last seven fights and most recently scored a TKO victory over Jason High.

The night’s other two marquee match-ups featured well known names as well. The night’s co-main event featured a welterweight fight with a very intriguing story. Jordan Mein and Mike Pyle went toe-to-toe to cement themselves as top ten welterweights. Mein is fourteen years Pyle’s junior, but still held more professional fighting experience. Both men had been on hot streaks as of late with both fighters’ most recent loss coming at the hands of Matt Brown. The third fight from the top was a middleweight battle between Thales Leites and Francis Carmont. Leites entered the fight on a six bout winning streak and was unbeaten in his three bouts since beginning his second stint with the UFC. Carmont was at the opposite end of the spectrum. “Limitless” entered the octagon on a two fight skid after winning his first six under the Zuffa banner.

The rest of the main card featured a featherweight bout between Max Holloway and Clay Collard, a lightweight battle between James Vick and Valmir Lazaro, and featherweights, Chas Skelly and Tom Niinimaki, kicked off the main card.

The six fight main card aired on Fox Sports 1 starting at 10 pm ET. Four preliminary bouts aired on Fox Sports 2 at 8 pm ET with one preliminary contest preceding that on UFC Fight Pass at 7:30 pm ET.

A full recap of the fights as well as full results are below.

Main Card Summary

Rafael dos Anjos picked up the biggest win of his career by stopping Benson Henderson in the very first round. Both men traded hard leg and body kicks early on. Henderson also landed a big uppercut to the midsection. Dos Anjos wasn’t deterred and put Henderson on his heels. He landed a double flying knee. Dos Anjos kept the strikes coming with a big left hook. Henderson fell to that mat. He looked like he still had his bearings about him, but John McCarthy saw things differently and stopped the fight.

Jordan Mein came out guns blazing and scored a violent stoppage victory over Mike Pyle. The fight was over before either fighter really had their bearings about them. Mein nailed Pyle with a left hook as the veteran was beginning to throw a right hook of his own. Mein pounced and landed a few follow up shots until the referee pulled him off.

Thales Leites got his fourth straight win since returning to the UFC. This time he knocked out Francis Carmont in the second round. The first round was back-and-forth between the Brazilian and Frenchman. Carmont didn’t have the crazy strength and size advantage that he usually does in his middleweight bouts and it showed. Leites was able to defend takedowns and land strikes from range. Early in the second Leites expolded. He stalked Carmont and landed an overhand right that buckled him. Leites followed with more and more strikes and Carmont was out for the count.

Max Holloway continued his march back up the featherweight rankings by taking out Clay Collard in the third round. Collard was certainly a game opponent for Holloway and he brought the pressure early on. Collard’s style made for some very entertaining sequences against the cage where both fighters landed big hooks. That early pressure and exchanges took some out of the gas tank of Collard. The UFC newcomer was stepping into his UFC debut on only two weeks notice. Holloway pulled away more as the fight wore on. In the third Holloway took the back of Collard and flattened him out. The Hawaiian was relentless with his strikes and the referee stepped in and ended the fight.

James Vick returned after an over a year-long layoff to best Valmir Lazaro in an entertaining lightweight bout. Fight fans love when fighters just go at it on the feet and that is exactly what Vick and Lazaro gave them in this bout. Vick admitted to feeling rusty after the bout and he looked slightly off in certain moments. Vick was aggressive and landed a great number of strikes, but the Texan did look sloppy in moments. Lazaro landed some very solid punches throughout as he tried to counteract Vick’s right hands and headkicks. But it was clear to fans and judges alike that Vick was the man who deserved to have his hand raised at the end of fifteen minutes.

 

Chas Skelly was very impressive with a quick submission of Tom Niinimaki to kick off the main card. Skelly went for the takedown very early on. Niinimaki was doing a decent job of defending, but eventually ended up with his back on the canvas. Niinimaki wasn’t out of it though and went right for a guillotine choke. Skelly pulled his head out of danger and went right into the mount. Skelly then took Niinimaki’s back and locked in the rear-naked choke for the victory.

 

Preliminary Card Summary

Neil Magny became the first UFC fighter to pick up four wins in 2014 with a somewhat controversial decision win over Alex Garcia. It was Magny’s technique and control that ended up prevailing over Garcia’s explosiveness. Magny was in side control for a good portion of round one and landed some solid ground-and-pound. The moment that had the biggest impact on the fight happened in the second. Magny nailed Garcia with a jab and Garcia tweaked his knee when it buckled when he tried to plant it down. In the third Garcia took the fight to the ground, but Magny was still the more active fighter from the bottom and earned the judges’ decision.

Beniel Dariush survived getting his nose broken in the  first round and submitted Tony Martin in the second round. Both men had their moments in the striking realm in the first round. Dariush preferred to punish Martin’s body, while Martin went to the head; hence Dariush’s broken nose. In the second Martin looked to take the fight to the ground, but Dariush ended up on top. Dariush moved to side control and locked up an arm triangle choke for the victory.

Matt Hobar proved once again that wrestling is one of the best bases in MMA with a dominant decision win over Aaron Phillips. Hobar took Philips down early and often. Philips tried to be active off of his back, but Hobar was just that much more active with his striking in top control. Philips was successful for periods in the second round when he was able to control the distance and strike from the outside, but ultimately Hobar was able to close that distance and take the fight back down to the mat late in the second and for nearly the entire third round to secure his victory.

It had been nearly four years since Ben Saunders had stepped inside the octagon, but he certainly made Joe Silva great for bringing him back. Saunders was taken down early by Chris Heatherly, but he immediately went to work from his back. He looked to set up a triangle choke, but he eventually transitioned into a modified omoplata and got Heatherly to submit with his face down to the mat.

Wilson Reis proved to be a force at flyweight with a unanimous decision victory to kickoff the night against newcomer, Joby Sanchez. Reis’ success early was with his striking game. He landed a stiff leg kick to Sanchez’s lead leg multiple times in the early going. Sanchez’s aggressiveness was certainly halted by those kicks. In the second round Sanchez let Reis know he was there to fight. He dropped Reis with a headkick, but the Brazilian was able to recover quickly enough to stay alive. The fight was up for grabs in the third and Reis turned in a dominant round where he took the back of Sanchez and came close to a submission on numerous occasions.

FULL RESULTS

Rafael dos Anjos def. Benson Henderson by knockout (punch). Round 1, 2:41
Jordan Mein def. Mike Pyle by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:12
Thales Leites def. Francis Carmont by knockout (punches). Round 2, 0:20
Max Holloway def. Clay Collard by TKO (strikes). Round 3, 3:47
James Vick def. Valmir Lazaro by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Chas Skelly def. Tom Niiminaki by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 2:35
Neil Magny def. Alex Garcia by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Beneil Dariush def. Tony Martin by submission (arm triangle choke). Round 2, 3:18
Matt Hobar def. Aaron Phillips by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Ben Saunders def. Chris Heatherly by submission (omoplata). Round 1, 2:18
Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.