Many wondered if the UFC 192 main event would be one-sided, either in favor of the champion or the challenger.
That was not the case Saturday night in Houston, as Daniel Cormier scored a split decision victory over Alexander Gustafsson in defense of his light heavyweight title.
Cormier earned the bout on two scorecards, 48-47 and 49-46, while Gustafsson claimed the other, 48-47.
For “DC,” it marked his first title defense after winning the vacant belt from Anthony Johnson earlier this year. Officials stripped Jon Jones of the title after his outside-the-Octagon run-in with the law.
In the co-main event, Ryan Bader scored his fifth consecutive victory and positioned himself as a top contender with a decision victory over former UFC champion Rashad Evans.
Evans was making his return after a lengthy layoff due to knee surgery, but was unable to defeat the former Ultimate Fighter winner.
Ruslan Magomedov, Joseph Benavidez and Julianna Pena all completed the main card with decisions, as all five bouts went the distance.
A previously scheduled welterweight title-eliminator featuring Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley was scrapped after Hendricks was forced to the hospital with kidney stones and intestinal blockage a day before weigh-ins.
Yair Rodriguez started a string of six straight decisions when he bested Dan Hooker in the prelim feature bout, while Albert Tumenov and Adriano Martins claimed “Performance of the Night” finishes.
Rose Namajunas, Sage Northcutt, Sergio Pettis and Derrick Lewis all earned wins inside the Toyota Center. The attendance was announced at 14,622.
Along with Tumenov and Martins claiming bonuses, Cormier and Gustafsson were awarded the “Fight of the Night.” All four picked up $50,000 for their efforts.
Complete results can be found below:
Daniel Cormier def. Alexander Gustafsson via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) to retain the UFC light heavyweight championship
Ryan Bader def. Rashad Evans via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ruslan Magomedov def. Shawn Jordan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Joseph Benavidez def. Ali Bagautinov via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Julianna Pena def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Yair Rodriguez def. Dan Hooker via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Albert Tumenov def. Alan Jouban via TKO (head-kick, strikes) at 2:55 of Round 1
Adriano Martins def. Islam Makhachev via KO (strike) at 1:46 of Round 1
Rose Namajunas def. Angela Hill via technical submission (standing rear-naked choke) at 2:47 of Round 1
Sage Northcutt def. Francisco Trevino via TKO (elbows, strikes) at :57 of Round 1
Sergio Pettis def. Chris Cariaso via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
Derrick Lewis def. Viktor Pesta via TKO (strikes) at 1:15 of Round 3