Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
If you thought the first Benson Henderson-Frankie Edgar fight was close, then you hadn't seen anything yet.
In a repeat of their memorable five-round February battle in Japan, Henderson and Edgar went toe-to-toe for 25 minutes Saturday night in the main event of UFC 150 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Like the first time around, Henderson took the decision. He defeated Edgar via split decision to keep the UFC lightweight title he won from the former champion in February.
Tony Weeks scored the bout 49-46 for Edgar, giving him the final four rounds. Mark Van Tine and Dave Hagen had it at 48-47 for Henderson, as both gave him rounds 1, 3, and 4.
Henderson clearly won round one, peppering Edgar with solid leg kicks and getting the former champion into a tight guillotine over the final 20 seconds of the round. Edgar just as clearly won round two, dropping Henderson with a big right hand and then controlling him on the ground for much of the stanza.
Then things got a little tighter.
Round three was one of the closest rounds seen in a UFC championship in quite some time, with both men active but neither doing major damage. In rounds four and five, both fighters scored, with Edgar scoring with strikes off the breaks and also ducking many of Henderson's strikes and answering with counters. But Henderson's strikes landed more heavily.
Henderson (17-2), who has now won 14 of his past 15 fights, felt he earned the decision.
"You always have a concern whenever it goes to a decision," Henderson said. "Frankie's tough. We all know how tough Frankie is. ... They always bring it in rematches."
Though many felt Edgar (14-3-1) earned the decision, he's now faced with the reality that he's dropped back-to-back fights to the champion. A drop to 145 pounds might be necessary, but that wasn't on his mind Saturday.
"It don't matter," Edgar said. "I thought I brought it to him. I don't know if I can watch that fight. It don't matter. I'm upset, man. What are you gonna do?"
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