Riddle, a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter season 7, has fought his whole pro career in the UFC. UFC debutante Benoist is known as a quick-finish artist who's ended every fight in the first round, including 14 of his 17 amateur wins.
Round 1: Benoist comes out and isn't intimidated at all. Lands a hard left that staggers Riddle. He recovers. He fires a beautiful hook kick but Riddle ducks it. Benoist lands a brutal knee to the groin that forces a break. Riddle gets him down quickly on the restart. Benoist with butterfly guard. Now a closed guard as Riddle forces him into the cage. Benoist sweeps off a kimura attempt and gets full mount. Riddle absorbs some shots and fights back to 1/2 guard. Hammer fists from Benoist. Benoist postures up and lands some big punches then quickly pins Riddle to the mat. MMA Nation scores it 10-9 Benoist
Round 2: They trade pawing jabs from too far out to connect. Riddle shoots and gets the take down. He's dominating the scramble but Benoist fights to escape. Riddle gets Thai plum lands a knee to the nose. Benoist bleeding. They're back up. Benoist shoots and takes Riddle down. He's landing ground and pound from the top. Benoist bleeding all over the place. Benoist's nose is clearly broken. Benoist stands and Riddle lands a sharp upkick. Benoist with more punches. Riddle throwing elbows from the bottom. Riddle swings his hips for an armbar. Benoist resisting. Benoist out. Benoist firing from the top, Ref Dan Miragliotta calls for a doctor immediately to examine Benoist's nose. Very close round. MMA Nation scores it 10-9 Riddle.
Round 3: Riddle is covered in blood. Benoist's nose looks terrible. Straight left. They clinch. Knees to the body from Riddle. Benoist with some punches. Riddle gets the take down, takes side control. Knees to the body. Benoist gets to half guard, impresses Joe Rogan. Full guard. Riddle forces him into the cage, firing elbows. Benoist bleeding badly. More elbows from Riddle. Benoist desperately fighting to control Riddle's posture. Riddle breaks free, rears up and slams Benoist to the face with a savage elbow. Benoist bleeding heavily. Benoist gets rubber guard. Firing elbows from his back. Back to conventional closed guard. Riddle with another elbow. Riddle traps Benoist in handcuff position. More shots from the top. Back to rubber guard as Benoist gets his arm free. Riddle pops out and fires bombs. Benoist gets guard again. MMA Nation scores it 10-9 Riddle.
The judges call it for Benoist. The crowd boos.
Lance Benoist defeats Matt Riddle by unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)