And though Caceres (13-11 MMA, 8-9 UFC) showed glimpses of being able to get something working against Guan (17-1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Guan was too much and took a split-decision win with a pair of 29-28 scores. Caceres got a dissenting 29-28 score of his own.
The featherweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 122 event at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
Guan got his kicking game going early, but Caceres stayed light on his feet and threw a couple kicks of his own from the outside. About 90 seconds in, both fighters threw knees at the same time, and both landed low. Referee Steve Perceval gave them time, and Guan wanted more of it than Caceres did. On the restart, Guan clipped Caceres with a heavy right hand. It wobbled him and he backed up when Guan came forward.
Caceres tried to smile through it, and midway through the round they tied up momentarily. With two minutes left, Caceres just missed a right uppercut, but landed a left hook moments later. An overhand left landed after that, followed by a Superman punch that was just off the mark. Caceres continued to find a home for the left with a minute to go in the round, and his confidence seemed to build.
But with a few seconds left in the round, Guan drilled Caceres with a short left hand and dropped him. Guan pounced on the opportunity and landed heavy ground-and-pound until the horn. Without question, Caceres was saved by the bell – and needed help to his stool. But he was allowed to start the second round.
At the start of the second, it appeared Caceres still was recovering from the onslaught moments earlier. Guan landed again, but stayed patient. Ninety seconds in, Guan again landed with a big right hand and wobbled him. A knee was just off the mark a second after that. And when Caceres landed a kick too low, Guan wanted nothing to do with taking the five minutes, knowing he had Caceres hurt and didn’t want to give him time to recover. Midway through, Caceres just missed a high kick and he tried to work his way back into the fight. With a minute left, Guan again landed the heavy right hand. Caceres didn’t go down, though.
Caceres kicked to the body a minute into the third. But not long after that, Guan’s right hand once again was on point and he knocked Caceres to the canvas. Caceres put together some offense in the final two minutes, but mostly it was too little, too late – especially after being dropped multiple times in the fight. In the final minute, Caceres again landed with a low kick, but didn’t have a point taken away. On the restart, Caceres showed some desperation, but Guan clinched him up late to make sure he couldn’t land a Hail Mary shot.
Guan won for the fifth straight time. Caceres is back in the loss column after a June TKO win over Rolando Dy. He has dropped three of his past four fights.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 122 results include:
- Wang Guan def. Alex Caceres via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Alex Garcia def. Muslim Salikhov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:22
- Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Sheymon Moraes via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 3, 4:30
- Kenan Song def. Bobby Nash via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:15
- Yan Xiaonan def. Kailin Curran via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Song Yadong def. Bharat Khandare via submission (front choke) – Round 1, 4:16
- Shamil Abdurakhimov def. Chase Sherman via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:24
- Gina Mazany def. Yanan Wu via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Rolando Dy def. Wuliji Buren via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
- Cyril Asker def. Hu Yaozong via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:33
(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in China.)