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ufc fight night 59

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson caused some stirring when he mentioned a possible move to welterweight.

Now, “Smooth” sounds as if he is focused back on making a run at the 155-pound title.

Henderson returns to action this coming Sunday night against Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 59. He has twice defeated Cerrone while the two were in the WEC.

“I like ’55,” Henderson said, in an interview with MMAjunkie.com. “If there were some good, intriguing, nice matchups at ’70, like talking about getting a title shot immediately, I would be open to that.”

Henderson (21-4) is 2-2 in his last four, including an August knockout loss to Rafael dos Anjos. Prior to that, he had defeated Rustam Khabilov and Josh Thomson after losing his title to Anthony Pettis.

Cutting to 155 has always been a concern for Henderson, but he seems content with it for now.

“It does get a little bit harder and harder to make weight the older I get,” he said. “Getting down to ’55 is definitely not a fun process. It takes a toll on your body.

“All that being said, we’ll see.”

ronda rousey

Cat Zingano is currently locked into Ronda Rousey’s radar, as the female bantamweight champion will defend her title in February at UFC 184.

However, that doesn’t mean Rousey isn’t paying attention to others in the 135-pound division.

“I’m keeping an eye on Bethe Correia,” said Rousey, during a recent interview on UFC Tonight. “She’s undefeated right now. And Holly Holm, I’m looking forward to her debut.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jessica Eye do well this year, too. So all three – I’m very interested to see how the year plays out for them.”

Rousey will be competing for the first time since defending her title vs. Alexis Davis last year. Correia has earned two wins over her “Four Horsewomen” teammates, calling out the champion after each performance.

Holm is a former world boxing champion who was injured late in 2014, delaying her Octagon debut.

As for her current challenger, Zingano carries an unbeaten mark into the planned fight. The two were expected to square off previously, but a knee injury sidelined “Alpha.”

“Cat is an extremely unique fighter,” she said. “Not only is she undefeated, she’s shown an amazing ability to deal with a lot of adversity. There’s been a lot of times in her fights where she’s been down, but she’s never been out.

“There’s been times when he’s close to losing, but there’s never been a time when she didn’t come back. That makes her an extremely dangerous opponent. I have to entirely put her away to the very end. She’s the most risky opponent I’ve never had.”

Rousey does have company in terms of being a female champion in the UFC, as the promotion crowned Carla Esparaza the strawweight champion recently. “Rowdy” believes the division is still growing, but welcomes the addition.

“It’s good and it’s been around a while with Invicta building it up. But it’s little bit younger than the bantamweight division,” she said. “It’s a little striker heavy, so the grapplers have the advantage at the moment and it doesn’t surprise me that Carla is the champ because she has the style advantage over everyone at the top of the division.”

ronda rousey

With a win over Nick Diaz later this month, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will jump ahead of Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Luke Rockhold and the rest of the 185-pound division.

UFC president Dana White confirmed during an appearance on “UFC Tonight” that “The Spider” can become the next contender to the belt by defeating Diaz at UFC 183.

Current champion Chris Weidman is set to defend his title vs. Vitor Belfort next month. Weidman has already defeated Silva twice, including a win in 2013 that left the Brazilian with a broken leg.

“If Anderson wins that fight, and whether Vitor or Weidman win, then you have Anderson Silva vs. either one of those guys,” White said. “It’s an interesting fight. After the injury, where is Anderson going to be mentally? He does the right thing and is going to be in shape, but will he throw leg kicks the way he used to?

“Nick Diaz hasn’t fought in a while. So who knows. We’ll see what happens.”

cm punk

Phil “CM Punk” Brooks headed north to Milwaukee earlier this week to begin his MMA and UFC journey with the fighters at Roufusport.

That includes current UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, his brother, Sergio, former Bellator and current ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.

Brooks, who is transitioning from a successful pro wrestling career with the WWE, is expected to make his Octagon debut in 2015.

ufc 182

The time is now, as UFC 182 will take place tonight from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Featuring the much-hyped main event between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and No. 1 contender Daniel Cormier, fight fans will ring in the new year with a good old-fashion grudge match. Bouts are set to air on UFC Fight Pass, FOX Sports 1 and pay-per-view.

Jones (20-1) has made seven successful and consecutive title defenses, topping the likes of Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Cormier (15-0) has remained perfect since moving down from the heavyweight ranks, earning a technical submission over Dan Henderson this past May. He’s also topped Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva during his career.

Other main card bouts include Donald Cerrone vs. the unbeaten Myles Jury, Brad Tavares going up against former No. 1 contender Nate Marquardt, flyweights Kyoji Horiguchi and Louis Gaudinot, and ex-Bellator champion Hector Lombard vs. former World Series of Fighting titleholder Josh Burkman.

To discuss the fights, follow FightLine reporter Dana Becker on Twitter.

Now, on to the action! Remember to keep hitting “refresh” for the latest results:

PRELIMINARY CARD

Alexis Dufresne vs. Marion Reneau

We open up the first fight card of 2015 with a female catch-weight bout, as Alexis Dufresne (5-1) faces off against Marion Reneau (4-1). Dufresne came in two pounds over for the 135-pound fight, forfeiting 20-percent of his purse.

Round 1: Stiff jabs to the face by Reneau as we start action, followed by a perfectly-placed kick. Another right lands and the striking is on-point for Reneau. Counter-right this time and Dufresne already has blood pouring from the nose. Dufresne’s head rocked back by another shot, forcing her to shoot for a takedown. Reneau shows her takedown defense, backing up and staying upright. Two straight kicks by Reneau and she has Dufresne guessing where the next attack is coming from. Reneau has her rocked after a series of lefts and rights, gaining the clinch and landing knees. Dufresne, though, appears to have survived for now.

FightLine scores the round 10-8 for Reneau

Round 2: New round, same result for Dufresne, as Reneau catches her with a right. No offense for Dufresne at all, as she is getting picked apart with lefts, rights and kicks. Pair of kicks and more punishment by Reneau, as Dufresne pulls guard. However, after some quick shots, Reneau allows her back to the feet to continue her attacking style. Dufresne is flat-footed and getting beat on, but has survived two rounds to date.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Reneau

Round 3: Joe Rogan stated he believes the fight should be stopped, and both the referee and cageside physician checked over Dufresne. But, we will head to the third. Dufresne landing a few leg kicks and is trying to push forward, but that is leading right into power shots by Reneau, including a high switch-kick. Incredible how Dufresne has managed to stay standing throughout the shots being thrown – and landed – by Reneau. She continues to put combinations together, both with her hands and feet. Two straight rights back Dufresne up and she tries to sucker her in on the ground.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Reneau

Marion Reneau def. Alexis Dufresne via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)

Omari Akhmedov vs. Mats Nilsson

Two welterweights hit the Octagon with Omari Akhmedov (13-2) meeting up against Mats Nilsson (11-3-1). These two have a combined 14 first round finishes, including 10 by Akhmedov, who now trains at Jackson’s MMA.

Round 1: Nilsson comes right out and cuts off the cage, avoiding a big right by Akhmedov. Nilsson pulls guard and is eating several head and body shots for his decision. Nilsson survives and they are back to the feet. Akhmedov with a pair of nasty leg kicks. Akhmedov stuffed on a takedown attempt, but he isn’t bothered by it, working with his hands. Takedown for Nilsson as we head under two minutes. Good takedown defense by Akhmedov and he gets to his feet. Akhmedov with a takedown, powering through on a double-leg. Another takedown for Nilsson to close out the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Akhmedov

Round 2: Akhmedov looking very sluggish after using a lot of energy in the first. Nilsson moving much better, cutting off the cage and backing him up with lefts and rights. Straight right lands by Nilsson, and Akhmedov scores with a takedown. Nilsson waited for the right time and tried for an armbar, but was unsuccessful. Another takedown for Akhmedov, who is quickly in the guard as we head under a minute to go. Good elbows from Nilsson, Akhmedov responds and they stand back up. One more takedown for Akhmedov, and he might just have stolen back the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Akhmedov

Round 3: Sprawl allows Akhmedov to gain the clinch and land several knees, just missing on a huge uppercut attempt. Inside leg kick from Nilsson followed up by a takedown with two-plus to go. Akhmedov to his feet, but quickly taken back down. Again, he gets to his feet but is trapped by Nilsson. Kimura attempt by Nilsson is defended and Akhmedov gains his back, but gets thrown back down. Guillotine with 15 seconds left locked in by Nilsson, who rolls, mounts, switches to a D’arce and sees the clock expire.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Nilsson

Omari Akhmedov def. Mats Nilsson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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