Flyweight title contender Henry Cejudo easily defeated Sergio Pettis on the UFC 218 main card.
On the UFC 218 main card, flyweight contenders Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis squared off in what was billed as a title eliminator, with the winner in line to fight reigning champion and #1 pound-for-pound fighter Demetrious Johnson. The Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling proved to be too much for Pettis, who didn’t take a beating, but was not even remotely close to picking up the win. It was an easy unanimous decision in Cejudo’s favor, although the crowd wasn’t enthused by his workmanlike performance.
Cejudo took Pettis down just over a minute into the fight, and he was immediately in side control. Pettis neutralized Cejudo’s offense briefly, but then took some knees to the body as Cejudo sought control of the back. Cejudo didn’t have any hooks in, and Pettis stayed calm as he got to his feet. Henry got a front headlock and dragged Pettis back down. Pettis kept his legs active and minimized the damage Cejudo was managing on the ground, that is until the final few seconds happened and he ate a hard right hand, hammerfists, and a knee to the body.
Pettis threw a couple of solid body kicks to start round 2, off the advice of his coach Duke Roufus. Cejudo popped Sergio’s head back with a straight right hand, then pettis answered with two good punches of his own. Pettis fell in a collision and Cejudo pounced off the stumble, right into full guard. Cejudo advanced to half-guard, had a few ground strikes, but it was mostly a battle for position. Pettis threatened with an armbar that wasn’t all that threatening, and Cejudo was back in control. Henry nearly slammed Cejudo down, but he kept his hands around his waist and maintained top position. Pettis managed to get back to his feet with under a minute to go in the middle frame. A nasty uppercut scored for Cejudo, as Pettis didn’t do much of note to try and “steal the round.”
In the final round, Pettis found some success with his hands and tagged Cejudo more than a few times, but it was all for naught because Cejudo picked him up and dumped him on his backside, much to the crowd’s annoyance. Cejudo literally jumped into Pettis’ guard and socked him with a right hand, then in a scramble he used the headlock to push him down to guard. Pettis got to his feet with over a minute left in the fight, but immediately ate a left hook for his troubles. Sergio showed almost no urgency to try and get a comeback finish, and for some reason he ended the fight shooting for a takedown.
Official results: Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)