I was baffled that people went as far as saying the first fight between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar "wasn't close" as I'd scored the fight three rounds to two in favor of Edgar. But, in that fight I could at least see a case for Henderson having won. I can not see it with tonight's rematch at UFC 150 as I don't really see a case to be made for Henderson.
He threw leg kicks and landed an occasional punch, but I thought it was quite clear that Edgar was doing the better work by slipping Henderson's punches and landing counters before getting back to the outside. From rounds two to four I can not see a case for Henderson winning a round. The fifth was close, but I still think Edgar won the round. Regardless, as close as I could see to a Henderson scorecard is still 48-47 Edgar.
Alas, my views don't matter. Only those of the cageside judges, and two of them found a way to score the fight for Henderson.
I've now scored the two fights a combined 97-93 in favor of Edgar, but Henderson has two victories.
This tweet actually best sums up my thoughts on the fight:
Now, for a rundown of the night's action:
- I don't really understand why Henderson abandoned the low leg kicks that worked so well in the first round. He continued to throw leg kicks the rest of the fight but was aiming more at the thigh and Edgar was able to catch the kicks. If Edgar wasn't blocking the kicks to the calf, and they were clearly affecting him, why abandon it?
- Edgar's slick boxing was on display with the way he slipped inside Henderson punches and landed his own quick combos. I just wonder if the judges at cageside aren't able to pick up on that level of nuanced technique.
- Donald Cerrone's win over Melvin Guillard was spectacular. Guillard had him hurt, but as soon as he didn't finish, it seemed like a countdown to Cerrone cashing in. The head kick was grazing but it buckled Melvin's legs and then Cerrone threw a badass running KO punch that puts him back just outside a title shot. Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis would be the best idea now to determine who gets the shot at the winner of Henderson against Nate Diaz.
- Jake Shields just has no real value in the UFC. He's boring even against a mid-tier fighter like Ed Herman. He's too talented to bury, but too boring to feature. I just have no clue what you do with a guy like that.
- Yushin Okami had a little more trouble on the feet with Buddy Roberts than I expected, but he went back to the basics, working takedowns and position. Roberts just seemed to give up after he had his back taken again in the second round. He couldn't figure out a way to prevent it, so he stayed in the position, covering up and waiting for the stoppage.
- I am a big fan of Max Holloway. His fight with Justin Lawrence was a little ugly at times but Holloway has some nasty to his striking. He kept looking to the body and when he started to land it was affecting Lawrence. Eventually the body shot folded him and left him covering up as Holloway flurried for the finish. Holloway isn't yet a complete fighter and he has a lot of developing to do before we start dreaming about title shots or anything crazy like that. But he has a lot of upside and some of those "unteachables."
- Dennis Bermudez against Tom Hayden turned into a nice little surprise. Hayden caught and hurt him early, but Bermudez got a little bit mean and eventually took the guillotine choke to get the tap. I expected Bermudez to run through him, but Hayden had a little more fight to him.
- Jared Hamman's corner should be ashamed of themselves. Hamman was getting badly hurt in the first round against Michael Kuiper and took a leg kick that had him unable to walk very well. In the corner, Hamman said that he thought he tore a muscle but his corner sent him back out to fight. As Hamman was beat around the cage, repeatedly rocked by big shots from Kuiper, the corner sat back and waited until Jared was knocked down hard enough for the ref to stop the fight. It was an awful job of looking out for their fighter and the should have stopped the fight between rounds. If not between rounds, they should have thrown in the towel for a stoppage during the second round when it was clear that all that was happening was him getting hurt more and more with big punches. It's a problem in MMA culture that, despite the rules clearly saying a corner can stop a fight at any time, they always wait for the fighter to be put down and the ref to stop it.
- I'm glad there was no controversy over the Erik Perez knockout of Ken Stone. Stone was put out cold by the shots from Perez but brought back by follow-up shots. It made the stoppage look bad to some initially, but the replays seem to have cleared that up.
- Nik Lentz looks like an absolute monster at 145, but it's worth noting that it was just against Eiji Mitsuoka and we should wait to see what happens when he fights some of the better featherweights out there.