Joseph Benavidez Outguns Ali Bagautinov In Houston

Joseph Benavidez Blames Conor McGregor

Two former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight title challengers did battle at UFC 192 to determine who would move up the 125-pound ladder. Joseph Benavidez (23-4) met Ali Bagautinov (13-4) at the Toyota Center on Oct. 3, 2015.

The two flyweights were rather patient at the start of the fight. Benavidez landed a short uppercut to Bagautinov. “Puncher” whiffed a hook, but Benavidez couldn’t capitalize. Benavidez looked for an overhand right, but he couldn’t do much damage. Bagautinov landed an uppercut and a cut formed over the left eye of Benavidez. Team Alpha Male’s best 125-pounder missed two high kicks and it appeared the blood from the cut was hindering him.

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The second stanza saw Benavidez connect with a straight right hand. The two-time title challenger kept head hunting with high kicks to “Puncher.” A thudding body kick landed for Benavidez. Bagautinov landed a left hand to Benavidez as he got away from the cage. With 20 seconds left in the round, “Puncher” timed a leg kick and took Benavidez down momentarily.

Like the previous rounds, neither competitor could get in a solid takedown and the fight remained standing. Bagautinov landed a jab and Benavidez stepped in with a knee. Benavidez blocked a body kick and connected with a knee to the head of “Puncher.” Bagautinov looked to be less active than his opponent until he grabbed a hold of Benavidez for a takedown attempt. Benavidez landed a knee to the body on the break and the horn sounded about 20 seconds later.

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All three judges gave the nod to Benavidez.

Final Result: Joseph Benavidez def. Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)