Joseph Benavidez maintained his status as the flyweight division’s No.1 contender tonight at UFC 192 with a unanimous decision win over Ali Bagautinov.

Round One:

Benavidez moving on the outside to start. cautious start from both men then Benavidez surges forward with a brief combination of punches.

Heavy right hand hits home for Benavidez, but Bagautinov seems unphazed. Lots of fakes from Bagautiunov, but not letting his hands go just yet.

Benavidez lands again. A couple of hard hooks from Bagautinov just miss. Then another couple, but not quite finding his range yet. Benavidez starting to take the center of the Octagon now. Leg kicks from each. Another one from Benavidez, higher this time.

Another leg kick from Benavidez. He tries to wing in the right hand again. Good low kick from Bagautinov. Uppercut lands. Well placed right hand from Benavidez, but that uppercut opened up a little blood to the left side of his face from a cut to his eye.

Benavidez looks for a takedown, but it doesn’t pay off and he has to scramble back up again. Benavidez continuing to be the more offensive, but the cut to his eye is bothering him a bit.

One last exchange in close from both men as the round comes to a close.

Round Two:

Quick leg kick from Bagautinov. Benavidez tries to find a home for one of his own. He scores with a right hand. Now he gets another one and Bagautinov loses his footing momentarily.

Kick to the side and then to the head from Benavidez. Left hand. Really hard right body kick from Benavidez. Bagautinov winging shots, but not finding the target.

Benavidez with kicks and a left hand. Overhand right from Bagautinov. Now a left hook from him. Benavidez with a kick attempt upstairs that misses and Bagautinov connects with a left hand.

Another left for Bagautinov. Left kick to the body from Benavidez. Series of punches to the body and head from Benavidez.

Benavidez rushes forward with a left hand then lands the right. Bagautinov catches a kick and attempts the takedown, but his opponent stays upright.

Leg kick from Benavidez, but Bagautinov counters and takes him down, though they get right back up to their feet as the round come to an end.

Round Three:

Right hand for Bagautinov in the early moments of the third round. Solid right hand from Benavidez and one in return from Bagautinov.

Another right from Joe B as he rushes in. Body kick from Bagautinov. Leg kick sneaks in from Benavidez as he just keeps out of range of his opponents punches.

Bagautinov with a left hand. Benavidez rushes in with punches, but it’s the knee strike to the head that really finds a home.

A little lull and then Bagautinov tries to go upstairs with a head kick. Benavidez a little short with a few punches. Bagautinov tries a spinning back kick, but it doesn’t find the mark. Overhand right misses for Benavidez and Bagautinov lands a punch.

Benavidez steps in with a winging right hand, but Bagautinov ducks, grabs him and goes for the takedown. Benavidez keeps up and they move to the cage. Good knee from Benavidez. He lands a nice right hook.

Decision:

Relatively comfortable victory for Benavidez here, proving to the be the quicker, craftier striker on the night and he gets a unanimous decision verdict from the judges (30-27 x2, 29-28).

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