Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Frankie Edgar got the rematch against Ben Henderson he asked for.
Edgar confirmed the news on Twitter with a message thanking UFC President Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta for making the rematch happen. The news was then confirmed on Twitter by White.
"Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson rematch will be this summer," White wrote.
The decision is a departure from what White had previously indicated was his preferred choice: In the press conference immediately following Henderson's unanimous decision victory over Edgar, White said he thought Edgar should move down to featherweight to challenge champion Jose Aldo, and that Anthony Pettis deserved the next shot at Henderson.
But White has apparently been persuaded by Edgar, who has insisted that lightweight is the right division for him, and by the fans who have asked for Henderson-Edgar 2.
That means Edgar will now be in the unusual position of fighting the same opponent back to back three consecutive times. First Edgar won the lightweight title from B.J. Penn in 2010 and then defended it against Penn later that year. Then Edgar fought Gray Maynard to a draw to start 2011 and then beat Maynard later in 2011. Now Edgar has lost to Henderson to start 2012 and will get another shot at him later in the year.
This also means that Pettis has missed out on a lightweight title shot he thought he had earned for the second time. Pettis beat Henderson to become the last World Extreme Cagefighting champion and was promised a shot at the UFC lightweight title when the UFC absorbed the WEC, but that title shot was taken from him when the Edgar-Maynard draw necessitated a rematch. Now Pettis is once again being passed over.
Pettis's next step is unclear. But what is clear is that we'll see more of the same at lightweight: Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar for the title.
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