UFC 150 Henderson-Edgar II: The Aftermath
Benson Henderson cops a punch to the chin while having his leg held by Frankie Edgar in their middleweight title bout during UFC 150. Henderson won the bout.
Before we get into the main event, the controversy, and the erroneous “robbery” calls, can we just give it up for a great night of fights? Please?
UFC 149 was a rough one, but UFC 150 delivered in spades. From start to finish, this event was entertaining and full of action, and yes, I’m including the grappling display put forth by Jake Shields too.
The 20 fights on this card brought it, and deserve some praise for their efforts from everyone.
In regards to the main event, I want to start by saying that Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar combined for another highly entertaining 25 minutes of action, and I – like just about everyone who watched the fight I would assume – thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
As for the result, I scored the fight 49-46 for Edgar scoring at home. On my couch. Watching a television broadcast that cuts to the best angle at the right moment every time.
I say that because it gives those of us watching at home an advantage over the officials scoring the fight. They don’t see those angles; they see what is right in front of them, and that can be obstructed or inaccurately interpreted some times.
That’s not meant as a excuse either; just an explanation of how these things happen.
Additionally, two judges scored it the exact same way, 48-47 for Henderson, and plenty of people on Twitter called the middle frames exceptionally close. I thought Edgar dropped the first round and won the rest, but again, I had the benefit of watching at home.
All that being said, Henderson needs to do more next time out. He was far more tentative and wary of getting caught with the counter this time (for good reason, as Edgar landed it frequently), and it nearly cost him the title.
He’s at his best when he’s pushing forward, putting his cardio to work, making guys maintain his pace. I know Edgar is in great shape so that doesn’t necessarily work against him, but Henderson deviated from what had him ahead early, allowing Edgar to do what Edgar does best – stick around, and claw his way back into the fight.
Personally, I see no reason for Edgar to move down to featherweight (from 155lbs to 145). He’s held the lightweight title, beaten some of the best in the division, and you could make a case for him deserving to have the championship around his waist right now. If that’s makes a guy “need” to change divisions, there are a lot of lesser fighters who should have relocated a long time ago.
That being said, I think Edgar will move down. UFC President Dana White has been after “The Answer” to head to 145 for some time, seeing an Edgar-Jose Aldo fight as his best seller in the featherweight ranks.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think Edgar can get an immediate title shot at ’45 now that he’s coming off back-to-back losses.
It doesn’t matter how close they were; casual fans will see a guy with two losses and wonder how he deserves a title shot. You also have to consider the collection of guys who have been working hard to climb the ladder at featherweight already who have established themselves in the queue.
Check out my “What’s Next” column later in the week to see what I think happens for Edgar – yes – I’m including Edgar in my “What’s next for the UFC 150 winners” column later this week.
There will be plenty of time – and column inches – to talk about Henderson-Edgar II, so let’s move on to the rest of the card.
Donald Cerrone earned $120,000 for 76-seconds of work. Not bad, huh? Before you think about changing careers, please note that Melvin Guillard clocked him right out of the gate, and while Cerrone recovered to score a blistering knockout of his former teammate, he still took his share of lumps too. Well, as many lumps as you can take in 76 seconds.
Not sure where Guillard goes from here. He looked a little nervous during the intros, came out hard, but fell victim to the same old mistakes that always trouble him. After he had Cerrone hurt, Guillard went hunting instead of picking his spots and keeping “Cowboy” playing defence.
Next thing you know, Cerrone connects with a headkick that wobbles Guillard, and then launches a straight right down the pipe that puts his lights out. He’s lost three of his last four fights now, and I can’t see him getting a chance to make a run at the top of the division moving forward.
Really liked Jake Shields in his return to middleweight. People will dog him for the lack of a finish, and his willingness to just grind in the final round, but he got the job done and looked good doing it. Ed Herman is a tough kid who is hard to put away, and Shields showed he prowess on the ground, landing in mount a couple different times.
Moving back to ’85 is the right decision for him, and I think he can be a contender in the middleweight division by early next year.
Yushin Okami got a much needed win over Buddy Roberts, going to his grappling after getting picked a couple times by Roberts’ awkward, off-balance striking. Not a lot more to say about it, honestly; it was a workmanlike effort.
Really like the performance from young Max Holloway against Justin Lawrence. The 20-year-old took his time, found his range, and started to land crisp in the late stages of the first round (though I score the first for Lawrence) before burying a knee into Lawrence’s guts early in the second that started the finishing sequence.
The highlight for me was that Holloway dropped Lawrence with a body shot – a nasty, nasty hook to the liver. He’s the youngest fighter on the UFC roster, he’s got two very impressive performances under his belt now, and he’s only going to get better from here on out.
Preliminary Card Quick Hitters
- TUF finalist Dennis Bermudez looked strong again, rebounding from a big knee from Tommy Hayden to earn a first-round finish, and Submission of the Night honours.
He’s a hard-nosed wrestler with solid hands and a big heart, and he could still end up being the best featherweight coming off Season 14 when everything is said and done.
- Both the referee and his corner failed Jared Hamman at UFC 150. Hamman appeared to suffer a torn hamstring while fighting Michael Kuiper in the first, and told his corner as much between rounds, but they sent him back out there for the second.
They shouldn’t have allowed him to continue in my opinion; he was clearly hurt – severely hurt at that – and since he’s never going to back out himself, save him. Furthermore, referee Adam Martinez could have stopped the beating earlier in the second too, as Kuiper was all over him.
Referees and corners need to protect fighters when they won’t protect themselves, full stop.
- Erik “Goyito” Perez set the bantamweight record for fastest knockout, blasting Ken Stone in just 17 seconds.
Stone was out on his way to the canvas, woke up when his face hit first, and looked to continue, but the referee was in quickly and made the right call. Nice showing for the Greg Jackson/Mike Winkeljohn student who now has a first-round submission win and a first-round knockout in two UFC appearances. Remember the name.
- Really, really liked the performance put forth by Nik Lentz in his featherweight debut. He was a tough grinder at lightweight, going unbeaten in six straight at one point before losing two in a row, and the move down looks like a very good one after one appearance.
Lentz clinched with Eiji Mitsuoka quickly, dragged him to the ground, and pounded out a finish in the first round, immediately establishing himself as a potential contender in the division. He’ll need a couple more wins before the UFC warm to him for a title shot, but he should be moved into a top 10, top 15 battle right off next time out.
Follow The Roar’s UFC Expert E. Spencer Kyte on Twitter (@spencerkyte).