Ben Henderson edged out Jorge Masvidal by split decision in the main event of UFC Fight Night 79 after five close, competitive rounds in Seoul, South Korea.
The main event in Seoul is underway. Henderson pulls out of an early leg kick and misses with another. He finally lands at the third attempt though.
Henderson pulling out of a body kick now. Masvidal with a quick jab. Another leg kick from Henderson. One-two find a home for Henderson and soon after lands a body kick.
Masvidal pressing forward and lands a body kick. Henderson punches to the head. Masvidal continuing to press forward which isn’t his standard style.
Strike from Masvidal knocks Henderson off-balance momentarily. Masvidal backs up his opponent and a lands a body kick. Exchange in close and Henderson lands the right hook.
Henderson marauding forward trying to land a body punch, but doesn’t connect. Masvidal almost leaps into a body kick, but eats a hook on the way and it drops him. He pops right back up though and they clinch for a moment. Masvidal lands a very nice body shot and they separate.
Masvidal starting to work some heavy kicks up and downstairs now. Henderson with a body punch. Henderson kicks to the leg.
Henderson with a right hand. Lands a body kick and Masvidal with a couple of his own. Henderson catches a kick and presses forward holding onto it as he looks for a takedown. Masvidal hops on one leg and stays upright though as the round comes to a close.
Leg kick for Henderson to start the second round. Front kick to the head attempt from Masvidal that doesn’t pay off. He lands a powerful kick now. Henderson with a short flurry.
Another front kick misses for Masvidal who’s continuing to move forward more often than not. Couple of body kicks for Henderson and he stumbles off the second one. Masvidal follows him to the mat off of that. Henderson stands and Masvidal unleashes a good combination of strikes.
Now the clinch up and Masvidal walks Henderson back to the cage. Henderson reverses the position and has double underhooks. He works a few shoulder shrugs and then knee strikes.
Masvidal out and back to striking. Henderson blocks a head kick attempt. Henderson with a punch and kick off of it. Masvidal with a strike of his own landing. Masvidal misses with a front kick to the midsection and Henderson counters with a puunch.
Very hard kick for Henderson and a couple of punches. Henderson in on the takedown attempt, but has to settle for pushing him to the cage instead. He still wants a takedown, but it’s Masvidal who tries to sweep Henderson off a guillotine hold. Henderson scrambles well though and ends up on top as the final seconds tick down.
Henderson with a front kick to the face. He comes forward with a short flurry of punches and a kick. masvidal with a body kick and then to the leg.
Masvidal upstairs with a kick, but it’s blocked. Henderson with a heavy leg kick. Exchange in close and Henderson lands a right hook. Now a body kick.
Right hand gets through for Masvidal. Henderson punches to the body. Nice left-right from Masvidal.
Henderson with two body punches to set up a takedown and presses Masvidal against the cage while he continues to work for it. He lands a few nice backwards elbows to the head while still working for a double leg.
They continue to jockey for position against the cage. Masvidal now thinking about the guillotine again, but then lets it go. Henderson still crushing him against the cage while thinking about a single leg.
Eventually they break apart and Henderson lands to the groin on the way which forces a brief stoppage while his opponent recovers.
Leg kick for Henderson. Body kick for Masvidal. Another one connects for him. Head kick blocked by Henderson. Right hand gets through for Masvidal. He lands a body kick and eats a counter.
Right hand lands for Henderson. Good knee to the body and ducks some return-fire strikes. Final 10 seconds and a good body kick from Masvidal. Another kick lands, but that one lands to the groin. That forces a stoppage, though it happened just as the bell sounded and the cornermen are already coming into the cage. The ref sends them back out, Henderson recovers quickly and they get back to it for the final second before the break.
Left hand gets through from Henderson and then a right. High kick for Masvidal. Exchange in close and Henderson finds a home for that right hook.
Henderson in on a takedown, but again Masvidal is doing well to stuff it against the cage. Henderson continues working for the single while landing a couple of knee and heel kicks. He abandons the takedown, but remains clinched. Masvidal reverses the position though and looks to strike which allows Henderson to break away.
Masvidal with a couple of nice kicks and looks to let his hands go, but Henderson goes back into the clinch. This time he gets Masvidal off-balance enough to briefly bring him down, but Masvidal is immediately back up and it’s his turn to clinch.
Masvidal lands nice elbows as they separate. Henderson with a well timed takedown in the center of the Octagon this time, but Masvidal is right back up again and now he’s looking to bring Henderson to the canvas.
Masvidal moves to the cage and does manage to slowly bring his opponent down. Henderson looking to set up a submission from his back, but they end up back on the feet soon after.
Masvidal off-balance as he tries a spinning kick to the head. Big jumping knee to the head from Henderson that at least partially lands just as the round comes to a close.
Henderson starts the final round with a leg kick and then a side kick to the body. Body punch for Henderson and almost eats a knee. Still, Henderson goes back to the same punch shortly afterwards.
Another jumping knee from Henderson, but Masvidal backs up. Henderson continues the forward momentum into a takedown and briefly has his opponent to his knees before he stands again. Henderson remaining in the clinch.
Masvidal tries for the guillotine and wrangles Henderson to the mat with this. Henderson able to escape that attempt, but Masvidal looking to go for a guillotine again. Doesn’t work out though and Henderson gets his back to the cage and stands. Masvidal remaining in the clinch, pushing up against the fence.
Just over two minutes remaining and he lands a couple of kicks to the body. That gives Henderson room to get away and then is into the clinch himself. Masvidal with one hand on the mat and Henderson landing some knees to the thighs.
Masvidal looks to roll, but Henderson ends up almost in a high mount. Masvidal scrambles to get out of that dangerous spot. Masvidal sitting on the canvas with Henderson on him. He stands, but not for long as he gets dragged back down. Henderson winning the late grappling battle here as the fight comes to an end and we’re headed to a judges decision.
Close fight here and that’s reflected in a split decision verdict and it’s Henderson who gets the nod from two of the three judges to win the fight (48-47, 47-48, 49-46).