Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
The judges unanimously ruled that Ben Henderson beat Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 to take the UFC LW title. The decision wasn't without some controversy. Both UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva scored it as a win for Edgar, as did our own Brent Brookhouse during his live blog of the fight.
The recent protocol of the UFC after controversial title fights has been to book an immediate rematch. After Lyoto Machida took a razor close decision over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 104, Shogun got a second chance at UFC 113. Rua made the most of that do-over with a KO win.
After Frankie Edgar took a close decision over champ B.J. Penn at UFC 112, Penn was treated to a rematch at UFC 118. Penn lost the second fight emphatically. When Edgar then fought Gray Maynard to a draw at UFC 125, they had another do-over at UFC 136. The second time Frankie won by KO.
So fans wouldn't be crazy to expect that Edgar would get the same courtesy that B.J. Penn got, right?
There's a very simple reason Frankie Edgar won't be getting an immediate rematch. It's bad for business. Frankie Edgar is the worst drawing lightweight champion in modern UFC history. As much as Dana and Joe Silva might think he won the fight, they've got to be immensely relieved at the end of the Frankie Edgar era.
Despite putting in some incredible performances -- the pair of Edgar-Maynard title fights are possibly the best two fight series in MMA history -- Edgar just hasn't clicked with fans. The pay--per-view numbers for UFC 125 and UFC 136 were abysmal and it's no accident that they sent him to Japan to defend his belt.
Rest easy Anthony Pettis fans, you'll get to see your man fighting for the title long before Frankie Edgar gets another shot.
SBN coverage of UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson