Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Ben Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar by split decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47)
The second five rounds looked a little different than the first five, but the decision was just as controversial. Ben Henderson retained his UFC lightweight title with a close split decision victory over Frankie Edgar. It appeared that Edgar did enough to take three rounds, but it was very close and it's hard to call it a robbery or anything. Edgar used good counters and speed, while Henderson relied on leg kicks. In the end though, Bendo will take the title back to Arizona with him.
As expected, Henderson started with a kick. Edgar responded with a night right and low kick. Henderson landed two nice leg kicks that stumbled Edgar a bit. Edgar tried to catch a third kick but went down with Bendo on his back. They quickly got back up though. Edgar caught the next kick and took it to the floor, and Henderson locked up a guillotine. Edgar rode out the round in the choke, but was never in any real danger.
Henderson went back to a low kick that tripped Edgar briefly. Edgar caught another kick and landed a punch and head kick. They finally waded into striking range and Edgar knocked Henderson down with a right. He looked for a front choke but Henderson popped out. Edgar grinded away with a front headlock for a minute and caught Henderson with a knee when he finally released it. Bendo shot in for a takedown but got stuffed. Henderson landed a big body kick to end the round.
Henderson landed a glancing head kick at the start of round three. Edgar landed a nice counter right but ate a knee. Edgar opened up his kicking game a little more, landing to the body and legs. Bendo was landing his jab well. Frankie caught two kicks in a row and landed counters. Henderson landed a nice punch late, and the round was very close.
Edgar caught another kick right away in round four and the fighters exchanged rights. Bendo landed a big kick but Edgar countered. Edgar got a takedown and kicked at Henderson's legs. Henderson landed a kick of his own from his back and scrambled up, but went right into an Edgar front headlock against the cage. Henderson escaped halfway through the round. Edgar landed to the body but Henderson responded with two good jabs. Frankie ended the round with a solid right.
Frankie landed the first good strike of the final right, a right to the jaw. Edgar charged forward and pushed Bendo to the ground briefly. Edgar was doing an excellent job of ducking Bendo's punches and landing to the body. Henderson wasn't as aggressive as he was earlier in the fight. Edgar landed two leg kicks, one of which wobbled Bendo a bit. Henderson landed a solid left that almost knocked Edgar's mouthpiece out. Frankie missed with a headkick and Henderson landed one of his own. That's how the fight ended.