Joseph Benavidez def. Henry Cejudo via Split Decision (27-29, 30-26, 29-27)
That’s what you call high-level mixed martial arts.
Rivals Joseph Benavidez and Henry Cejudo put on a show in the TUF 24 Finale co-main event after coaching TUF 24 against each other earlier this year. The pair of flyweight contenders swung for the fences in a technical yet thrilling manner for 15 minutes straight, and it was Benavidez who got the judges’ nod — but just barely.
Cejudo moved camps ahead of this fight and that absolutely showed on Saturday night at The Palms in Las Vegas. He showed off a level of explosiveness we hadn’t seen from him until Saturday, and he was more aggressive than in previous fights. Overall, his striking has clearly come a long way in a short period of time.
Both fighters utilized kicks — Cejudo more so than Benavidez — and a large variety of other strikes on the feet, making for a wild, back-and-forth scrap between two of the best 125-pound fighters on the planet. The exchanges that occurred throughout the bout were spectacular to watch.
Benavidez took awhile to warm up and appeared somewhat overwhelmed by Cejudo’s striking improvements, but he found his groove as the fight went on. Showing off his high output, the veteran flyweight landed a large amount of punches, as well, and ended the fight in good fashion.