By: Mike Thorwart
By now you all know that the “talk of the town” is last night’s UFC 144 main event between former champion, Frankie Edgar and the new UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson.
Now, when it comes to close fights, Edgar knows all about it. When Edgar won the UFC lightweight title from B.J. Penn, UFC President Dana White gave Penn an immediately rematch due to the fact it was a great fight and it was close in the end. When Edgar and Maynard fought for the 2nd time, the fight came to a draw in which once again, Dana White made an immediate rematch for Maynard. Now, that is two opponents right in a row that Dana White made Edgar rematch with due to the controversial close decisions. In my opinion, once again this has happened but only the decision went to Edgar’s opponent, Benson Henderson which caused Edgar to lose his UFC lightweight title.
At the post fight press conference Frankie Edgar simply said: “I had to do 2 immediate rematches, so what’s right?” Well, I completely agree. Edgar had to rematch his last two opponents when it was close. Why can’t they give Edgar a rematch himself when it’s close?
Below is my breakdown of last night’s UFC lightweight title fight between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson.
Right before the decision was announced I honestly had Frankie Edgar winning the fight 3 rounds to 2 I knew it was going to be close, possibly even a split decision. The judges thought differently as they gave the unanimous decision to Benson Henderson, (49-46, 48-47, 49-46).
By looking at those scores, you can see that two of the judges gave Henderson, 4 out of 5 rounds and one gave him 3 out of 5. I’m not arguing so much with the 48-47 but 49-46? You have got to be kidding me.
I decided to re-watch the fight again after a good night sleep and clearing my head and this is what I saw after re-watching the fight and why I think Frankie Edgar deserves a rematch before anyone else get’s to fight Henderson.
In the 1st round, Edgar was clearly pushing the pace and besides the kick that caught Edgar low, Edgar caught most of Henderson’s kicks that he threw. I would say that 75% of the 1st round Henderson was back peddling and couldn’t really do much to Edgar. With about a minute remaining in what could have been considered a close round, Edgar got a takedown on Henderson. On top of that, which were not considered takedowns, Edgar basically threw Henderson to the ground another two times as well. According the Fight Metrics, both Henderson and Edgar landed 13 strikes overall and 13 significant strikes were landed by both as well. However, Edgar threw in to the ground twice and had one registered takedown. You honestly have no choice but to give round one to Frankie Edgar. 10-9 Frankie Edgar.
In the 2nd round we saw Frankie Edgar come out with a swollen eye but that by no way means that Henderson is winning the fight. Just because he gets one good shot in doesn’t give someone the round. Edgar is continuously catching every single kick that Henderson throws at him. Henderson is landing some shots but so Edgar as well. I would say the Octagon control in round two was about even and then with about two minutes left, Edgar took Henderson down for about 30-40 seconds and even basically got his back. Whether you think that a takedown doesn’t count if they don’t inflict damage it doesn’t matter. That’s not how it’s scored. Look at Bisping vs. Sonnen. With 47 seconds left in the round, Edgar once again takes Henderson down and gives him some great ground and pound. With about 10 seconds left in the round Henderson connected with an up kick that clearly rocked Edgar and had about 7 seconds to do something with it but I personally don’t think that was enough to give Henderson the round. But then again the judges obviously saw it differently. Once again according to Fight Metrics, Henderson landed 29 overall strikes to Edgars 26 strikes with Henderson getting in 23 significant strikes to Edgars 17. However, Edgar was 2 for 2 in takedowns. I still gave the 2nd round to Edgar. 20-18 Frankie Edgar.
The 3rd round was actually the first round that I gave to Henderson. After the brutal up kick that Edgar received, you could see that Edgar was a little timid at that point but was still mixing it up with Henderson. The first two minutes of round 3, it was pretty even but I think Henderson got a little better in the stand up. With out 2:30 left in the 3rd round, Henderson got Edgar to the mat which was short lived as Edgar was back to his feet within 20 seconds. So, if your stating that Edgar’s takedowns shouldn’t matter, neither should that one from Henderson right? Wrong. In the last few seconds of round three, Edgar once again took down Henderson. Round three was very close but I gave it to Henderson. According to Fight Metrics, Henderson landed 19 total strikes to Edgars 13. In significant strikes, Henderson landed 15 to Edgars 13. Edgar was 1 for 4 in takedowns and Henderson was 1 for 1. However, you can argue the fact that Edgar took Henderson down twice in that round. 29-28 Frankie Edgar.
I also gave the 4th round to Henderson as well. Henderson was connecting more shots but Edgar was still landing some really nice shots. The fact that Henderson sunk in a nasty looking guillotine is the biggest reason why I gave him the round. However, Edgar escaped and ended up on top and almost getting Henderson’s back. With about 45 seconds left in the round, Edgar almost go another takedown but couldn’t quite finish it off. According to Fight Metrics, Henderson landed 22 total strikes to Edgars 17. In significant strikes, Henderson landed 20 to Edgar’s 13. There were no registered takedowns in round four but the submission attempt by Henderson sealed any question about that round. 38-38 All tied up.
At this point last night, I said to myself, whoever wins this round, will win the fight as I have it all tied up right now, and had it all tied up last night as well.
In the 5th and final round, by shear looks alone you would think that Edgar was losing. However, if you judge fights based on how someone looks, it’s probably a good thing your not a judge. Edgars face looked the way it did from literally 2 or 3 shots, that’s it. It’s not like Henderson smacked him around in every single round to make it look that way. It was from an up kick and a shot that landed in the 1st round. That’s why Edgar’s face looked the way it did.
Edgar connected some really good shots in the 5th round. Whether they stunned Henderson or not is completely besides the point. Some people have really tough chins and just because you have a good chin, shouldn’t give you the win. With about 3:30 left in the final round, Edgar got Henderson down and almost got his back but it was short lived. Moving past the mid-way point of the final round, not a lot of action is really happening. A few shots are thrown but not a lot is landing. However, with 1:45 left in the round, Edgar dropped Henderson with a shot which in my opinion sealed the round for Edgar. Now, right at the end of the round, Edgar went for a takedown and Henderson went for the submission attempt and ended up on top for a last few seconds. However, with Edgar dropping Henderson and getting a takedown on him, I had to give the round to Edgar. Honestly, I thought the 5th round was the closest of them all but gave it to Edgar. Fight Metric stats for round five were Henderson landing 17 strikes to Edgars 12. Henderson landing 16 significant strikes to Edgars 12. Edgar achieved one takedown and Henderson got none. Also, Edgar also knocked down Henderson with a punch which is not mentioned on Fight Metrics. 48-47 Edgar.
Now, as I stated earlier, two out of the three judges gave four rounds to Henderson which I thought was completely ridiculous. Edgar’s face looked beat up but like I said, it was only from a few shots and not the entire fight.
Let us know what you think about the UFC lightweight title and if Edgar should get a rematch!