DENVER, August 11 - The championship rematch between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar was supposed to quash any controversy ignited by their topsy-turvy battle earlier this year. Instead, Henderson’s split decision win in the UFC 150 main event at the Pepsi Center on Saturday only inspired even more questions about whether the right fighter had his hand raised.
Henderson, who snatched the title at UFC 144 in February via unanimous decision, has ties to Colorado and treated the hometown crowd to a methodical but convincing first round that saw him relentlessly whack away with low kicks that caused Edgar’s calf to turn colors. Edgar later caught a kick and retorted with a crisp right hand. The 30-year-old New Jersey native also scored a takedown, but found himself trapped in a Henderson guillotine until the horn expired.
But Edgar, the undersized former title-holder, stepped up big in the second, flooring Henderson with a lightning-quick right hand, and threatening with a guillotine choke and front headlocks during the most memorable stretches of the round. Among cageside reporters, it was clearly an Edgar round.
Round three seemed to be the most pivotal and hardest to score. It was an underwhelming round as far as action goes, and the definitive blow was a hard Henderson kick to Edgar’s body that produced a loud THWACK!! and prompted many in the crowd to collectively go “Ohhhhh!”
Rounds four and five saw Edgar (14-3-1) heating up with right hands and low kicks. His speed seemed to give Henderson trouble, but late in the fourth Henderson – who inexplicably veered from the low kicks that had worked so magnificently early in the fight – started attacking and scoring more with his punches. At one point the champ taunted Edgar and stuck his face out; Edgar responded with a precisely placed right hand as the final seconds of round four struck.
Some wondered why Henderson, much bigger than Edgar, did not choose to assert his size and muscle advantage and attempt to bully Edgar more with clinchwork and wrestling. Most of the fight was a standup affair, as Edgar rebuffed the few takedowns that Henderson attempted.
Two judges scored it 48-47 for Henderson; a third judge gave Edgar the nod 49-46.
“I was a little bit confused by the scores,” Henderson (17-2) said afterward. “49-46? I didn’t think it was that close, but it is what it is … Frankie’s tough. We all know how tough Frankie is. Hats off to him and his coaches.”
Edgar initially seemed to be in disbelief at the judges’ scores. He believes he won the fight – just as he believes he prevailed in their first meeting – but tried to be gracious toward the champ.
“It don’t matter. I brought it to him but congrats to him. I’m not going to watch that fight; it don’t matter. What can you do?”
Bendo Ekes Out Second Win over Edgar - UFC 150 Main Event Results
By Frank Curreri August 11, 2012