UFC 150 results, analysis, bonuses: Champ Henderson ekes out split decision vs. Edgar

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isk
8/12/12 1:00:25AM
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At least on the scorecards, Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II was closer than the first.

But in the end, two of three judges scored the bout in favor of champ Henderson, who defended his title for the first time in another close fight with Edgar.

The bout served as the main event of Saturday's UFC 150 event at Pepsi Center in Denver. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

The audience erupted in boos at the announcement of the decision, which was read 49-46 in favor of Edgar and 48-47 twice for Henderson.

"Of course, you're always concerned whenever it goes to the judges," the champ defended as the audience voiced its displeasure. "I fight for all MMA and UFC fans. I come here and bring it! I try to finish fights!"

Disgust turned to dejection for Edgar as he was asked for his reaction to the score.

"It don't matter," Edgar said after an ovation from the crowd. "I thought I brought it to him."
isk
8/12/12 1:01:02AM
Decent card overall. My thoughts -

== Henderson / Edgar ==

First champion ever to come out to Christian crossover music? If nothing else, that shows some balls. Super intense staredown as well, especially from Edgar. Here's how I scored the rounds during the fight, along with the notes I took at the time.

1st round - awesome leg kicks from Henderson. Felt like he could've mixed it up more with body shots, as his other shots appeared to be warding and measuring shots without much commitment. Very good guillotine defense by Edgar at the end, both heart and technique. I had Henderson 10-9.

Was this a bit of a preview of Aldo / Edgar? Aldo's leg kicks might just ruin Edgar. As good as Henderson's leg kicks have become, Aldo's been kicking that way for much longer - even before the UFC, when he played soccer for years.

2nd round - Through mid of R2, Edgar seemed to have issues with distance - until he landed a hard overhand right at 2:16. A lot of it was Henderson being off-balance, as he was lucid after the shot, but it was still very clean. Edgar pinned Henderson against the cage like he should, timed his shot, then applied pressure with chokes. Henderson's sub defense is outstanding, but Edgar did what he needed to do there. Edgar's defensive wrestling continues to excel. He sprawls so well even against bigger guys, and he usually makes them pay for it. I gave it to Edgar, 10-9.

3rd round - Slight advantage for Henderson on the feet. Landed solid shots, but nothing that put Edgar in trouble. I had Henderson winning it 10-9 due to volume.

In between rounds, it was funny that Henderson's corner told him to turn it up, and that Edgar's corner said that Henderson was fading. Henderson doesn't fade, but he might've become a bit perplexed with Edgar's timing and counters.

4th round - Edgar's pressure with the submission was significant, even though Henderson's defense remained excellent. Henderson had some nice counterpunches in the second half of the round. Curious why he abandoned the leg kicks - fear of getting taken down? Henderson seemed a bit frustrated at the end, calling Edgar to come at him and yet losing the exchanges there. Edgar 10-9 in my book, but it could swing either way, or even a 10-10 draw.

5th round - First minute, Henderson pretty much let Edgar do his thing, landing combos and getting out quickly. Henderson threw a standing elbow that was just short. I think it would've landed nicely had it been a punch. Edgar just seemed to have the more accurate punches, but that's just perception. I had it 10-9 Edgar, for a 48-47 reclamation of the belt...

...but the stats at the end of the fight told a bit of a different story. Henderson outlanded Edgar by about 20 significant strikes, though he had zero takedowns and only 1 submission attempt. Edgar had one knockdown and a couple nice submission attempts.

Flip a coin for this one, fellas. While two of the judges may have dropped the ball here, I don't think it was a robbery on the level of Beebe / Easton, and the LW division moves on.

What happens in the fight with Nate Diaz? I think Henderson's best chance is in the clinch and through takedowns. He must absolutely maintain that submission defense, along with keeping his posture high and/or his base wide to avoid sweeps. I think it's very possible that Henderson gets punched in the face over and over, and I'm looking forward to the fight.





Other fights I'd like to call out -

== Cerrone / Guillard ==

One of the most entertaining comebacks I've ever seen. I was yelling for a solid minute afterwards.

The key here was that Guillard backed off after the initial swarm. Was this the lack of swagger discussed right before the fight, or was it Guillard trying to be more measured and disciplined in his attack? That's how fickle the fight game is, and it's why Cerrone is one of my favorite fighters. That final punch of his was correct, and Guillard was finished mentally as much as physically.

I still want more head movement and/or footwork from Cerrone. He has the frame to be a devastating counterpuncher, and it'd add another layer to his sharp Muay Thai and iron chin. If Pettis is healthy relatively soon, let's put him in against Cerrone. I think they're both technically on similar enough levels (experience vs creativity), and Cerrone's aggressive enough to both keep the fight moving and to force Pettis to rise as he did against Benson (or at least put on a spirited performance). I want these guys to go 5 rounds.

Melvin won his previous fight, and really he's still too talented at this point in his career to go anywhere else. I think he should've kept the pressure on Cerrone, but I'll still watch him fight anyone, anytime.

My favorite fight of the night, totally delivered.

== Shields / Herman ==

Went as expected, and that's not a bad thing. Shields has an awesome chin, but I think if Herman had been more accurate in his R3 swarm, I think he could've taken it. What I like about Shields is that he acknowledged his mistakes, but it seems like he's too reactive. He was underestimating Herman's skill up until a couple weeks before the fight, and he also underestimated the effect of Denver's altitude on his cardio. He's got to be more proactive at this point in his career - which is hard when a guy's been fighting for a long time and has been as successful as he has, but it's necessary for him to be a legit contender at 185.

== Okami / Roberts ==

Man, Buddy's got some skill in the standup, but he pretty much sat there after Okami got mount. He wasn't dazed, he wasn't disoriented, and while he was under a guy with strong top control, it seemed like he gave up.

== Holloway / Lawrence ==

Clear enough to analyze - Lawrence had trouble with the range after the first couple minutes, and his takedowns were getting stuffed as well. Might not last long in the UFC, but that's okay. He may need more seasoning on the regional circuit, and he's got the time for that.

Presuming that Aldo defends the belt (which is likely), I'd like to see Koch against Holloway. Both young guys with similar frames, with awesome striking and game attitudes.

== Bermudez / Hayden ==

I want to give Cerrone / Guillard the Fight of the Night, but this is a contender as well. Beyond that, the fight's clear enough - just wanted to mention that it was fun to watch.

== Perez / Stone ==

Serious need for a style change here (as with Jared Hamman), or in the very least some key adjustments. Ken Stone is talented with some good overall skills, but that upright stance of Dutch kickboxing just isn't working for him in MMA. I'd like to see him either be more evasive on his feet or more active with head movement, along with tucking in that chin. His target is too exposed.

The stoppage was 100% justified - though Stone recovered extremely quickly, his legs went limp twice.

== Lentz / Mitsuoka ==

I saw 3 things in this fight.

--Japanese fighters struggle in the UFC, especially at the lighter weights.
--Lentz could be an animal at 145, showing the grappling pressure of a Brookins with smoother striking.
--That Mike Dolce guy knows what he's doing.
kopower
8/12/12 1:07:49AM
I thought the 3rd round of Bendo/Edgar could have been a 10-10.

Holloway looked good, but I wish Lawrence would have wrestled a bit more. He landed some decent strikes, but Holloway was just a little faster. I get so frustrated when one fighter has the significant edge somewhere, but chooses to ignore it. Take Okami/Roberts for example. Okami was getting hit with some shots, so he took the fight to the ground, and finished. Holloway has some decent td defense, but is still a little green on the ground. I love the way Max punishes the body though. That knee and body punch was beautiful.
isk
8/12/12 1:08:07AM
Bonuses - $60k each

Cerrone / Guillard - Fight
Cerrone - KO
Bermudez - Submission

Article link
Goatenstein
8/12/12 1:31:06AM
Knees on the ground should be allowed and Edgar should be champion.
prozacnation1978
8/12/12 7:10:49AM
I thought the fights delivered last night.
Honestly I had Frankie winning the fight
jlock003
8/12/12 7:38:54AM
I had it 48-47 for Henderson but would have been ok with a 48-47 for Edgar. Definitely a close fight and much closer than the first fight. I'm worn out on immediate rematches though. If anybody deserved one it was obviously Frankie based on his prior 4 fights, but in reality 155 is so stacked right now all it did was hold up the division and provide for additional controversy. I saw a lot of valid comments on twitter/facebook/whatever other social medium you enjoy about the fight regarding what the judges were giving the most weight to. Jon Anik talked about the aggression vs strikes landed side of things as well as the strikes landed vs significant strikes landed side of things. On that note I do have a question for some of your guys who have a closer connection to the inner workings than I do...How in the world does fightmetrics keep up with the stats? There are shots I see during the fight that look like bombs that nail a guy that turn out to be close shots that either grazed or missed in slow mo. How does fightmetrics calculate? I saw the stats that Edgar outlanded Bendo in 3 of the 5 rounds (honestly can't remember which ones) but that Henderson had a substantial amount more of significant strikes. Anybody have some input? Regardless it was an entertaining fight and really an entertaining card overall minus a fight or two.
Kpro
8/12/12 7:56:56AM
Everything is a "significant" strike to Fightmetric, even a grazing jab or a checked leg kick, so the term doesn't even have meaning anymore but in total strikes they do show Frankie landing more in 3 of the 5 rounds. Neither guy outlanded the other by more than a couple strikes in any round though. This one is all about the eye test with numbers as close as they were each round.
Budgellism
8/12/12 10:44:00AM

Posted by Goatenstein

Knees on the ground should be allowed and Edgar should be champion.





They need to drop the fingers on the ground rule. I can understand the no knees to a downed opponent, especially with them being on Fox now but that hand thing is just stupid.
Svartorm
8/12/12 1:34:13PM

Posted by jlock003

I had it 48-47 for Henderson but would have been ok with a 48-47 for Edgar. Definitely a close fight and much closer than the first fight. I'm worn out on immediate rematches though. If anybody deserved one it was obviously Frankie based on his prior 4 fights, but in reality 155 is so stacked right now all it did was hold up the division and provide for additional controversy. I saw a lot of valid comments on twitter/facebook/whatever other social medium you enjoy about the fight regarding what the judges were giving the most weight to. Jon Anik talked about the aggression vs strikes landed side of things as well as the strikes landed vs significant strikes landed side of things. On that note I do have a question for some of your guys who have a closer connection to the inner workings than I do...How in the world does fightmetrics keep up with the stats? There are shots I see during the fight that look like bombs that nail a guy that turn out to be close shots that either grazed or missed in slow mo. How does fightmetrics calculate? I saw the stats that Edgar outlanded Bendo in 3 of the 5 rounds (honestly can't remember which ones) but that Henderson had a substantial amount more of significant strikes. Anybody have some input? Regardless it was an entertaining fight and really an entertaining card overall minus a fight or two.



Agree on the score. I personally had it 48-47 Henderson, but if Edgar got 48-47, i'd have been totally fine with it.

As for Fight Metric, they're terrible. I was playing Kountermove for awhile and quit because their scoring is abyssmal when it comes to sub attempts, takedowns and the whole "significant strikes" issue Kpro brought up.

A possible solution would be to score grazes or light strikes differently than flush and power strikes, similar to scoring amateur boxers vs professional boxing, and the same should be applied to MMA. I don't agree with having those stats affect the actual fight anyways though, so it's a somewhat moot point.
bigrand826
8/12/12 4:02:20PM

Posted by kopower

I thought the 3rd round of Bendo/Edgar could have been a 10-10.

Holloway looked good, but I wish Lawrence would have wrestled a bit more. He landed some decent strikes, but Holloway was just a little faster. I get so frustrated when one fighter has the significant edge somewhere, but chooses to ignore it. Take Okami/Roberts for example. Okami was getting hit with some shots, so he took the fight to the ground, and finished. Holloway has some decent td defense, but is still a little green on the ground. I love the way Max punishes the body though. That knee and body punch was beautiful.



I thought that Herman trying to clinch with Shields rather than keep distance and use his obvious standup edge was worse than Lawrence-Holloway.
bigrand826
8/12/12 4:04:52PM
Lentz did look impressive. Not sure how far he'll be able to climb, but he looked pretty good for his divisional debut.
machodog76
8/12/12 5:05:26PM

Posted by bigrand826


Posted by kopower

I thought the 3rd round of Bendo/Edgar could have been a 10-10.

Holloway looked good, but I wish Lawrence would have wrestled a bit more. He landed some decent strikes, but Holloway was just a little faster. I get so frustrated when one fighter has the significant edge somewhere, but chooses to ignore it. Take Okami/Roberts for example. Okami was getting hit with some shots, so he took the fight to the ground, and finished. Holloway has some decent td defense, but is still a little green on the ground. I love the way Max punishes the body though. That knee and body punch was beautiful.



I thought that Herman trying to clinch with Shields rather than keep distance and use his obvious standup edge was worse than Lawrence-Holloway.

That was killing me! I think Herman had a good chance if he'd tried to stay on the outside a bit more. Most baffling game plan I've seen in a while.
bjj1605
8/12/12 5:27:58PM
Agree with those above who say Fight Metric is terrible.

I personally scored it 48-47 for Edgar but it was close enough that I could see Benson winning.

Either way I'm glad Benson did win because I don't like Frankie and I'd rather have Ben be the champ. Also, I picked Henderson.
telnights
8/12/12 6:30:59PM
I also scored it 48-47 Henderson. But I wouldn't have been shocked if it had gone the other way or even been a draw. Find it funny some people think Edgar got robbed. Its was a close fight and no one got robbed.
Kpro
8/12/12 7:47:53PM

Posted by telnights

I also scored it 48-47 Henderson. But I wouldn't have been shocked if it had gone the other way or even been a draw. Find it funny some people think Edgar got robbed. Its was a close fight and no one got robbed.



That's funny because in the first fight I had Benson 49-46 and you had Frankie 48-47 if I remember right. This time you had Benson 48-47 and I had Frankie 48-47. At least we know we're not biased. haha
jlock003
8/12/12 11:21:08PM

Posted by Kpro


Posted by telnights

I also scored it 48-47 Henderson. But I wouldn't have been shocked if it had gone the other way or even been a draw. Find it funny some people think Edgar got robbed. Its was a close fight and no one got robbed.



That's funny because in the first fight I had Benson 49-46 and you had Frankie 48-47 if I remember right. This time you had Benson 48-47 and I had Frankie 48-47. At least we know we're not biased. haha



That's actually pretty funny, and good to see. I'm pretty taken back by all the people who were in an uproar about Edgar getting robbed too, but I think a lot of that is just people not really understanding how much the division has evolved truthfully since Penn. B.J. was represented as this sort of unbeatable lw when he trained and then this Edgar guy came in and beat him twice so clearly in the public's eye he had claimed the throne. I remember when Rampage knocked Chuck out I was absolutely in denial. I mean I would have argued for days that it was an early stoppage (clearly it wasn't) and then he got robbed in the Jardine fight, and then Rashad hit him with a lucky shot, and then with Shogun it was early stoppage etc... Obviously at some point over that run I had to acknowledge that the guy who I had viewed as sort of "unbeatable" for a significant stretch had not only lost his chin, but had been figured out and surpassed in the sport. The reason people didn't jump on the Rampage is on the top 5 p4p list, or Shogun is on the top 5 p4p list like they did with Frankie is because at that point in time 205 was viewed as the most stacked division in the sport, so there were a lot of guys there who could have been the next big thing (No lesnar reference intended). When Frankie beat B.J. people hadn't realized how much talent was in the 155 division and it felt like to most people at the time that B.J. had run through seeming everyone so clearly when Frankie beat him he was superior to all in that division. It just so happens that there is an incredible amount of depth at 155, B.J. hadn't even come close to cleaning out that division, and with the growth of the sport the UFC has to put great fighters in with their cash cows in order to put on good fights. As mma moves into the mainstream more fully and casual fans begin to see the depth that exists in the division I think they'll appreciate good fights more and more. Right now I think their is still a lot of that naive loyalty that I had toward Chuck toward a lot of guys. GSP is a great fighter, but he can lose, A. Silva is amazing but he can be beaten, Bones Jones is incredible, but he's also beatable. Hopefully by the time those guys lose people will have a better understanding of how the game works and realize that all fighters are beatable, the guy who knocks off "The greatest fighter in the world" didn't robb the champ, or get lucky, or get a home cooked decision, but simply fought a good hard fight. The fight last night was incredibly close and I hope Henderson has great fights with many more guys to come, and I'm not trying to take away from the status Edgar should have had and certainly not trying to diminish Anderson Silva's status, but I do think that the only logical explanation for such outrage over Henderson winning a close decision is naive loyalism and I guess having related to it in the past I figured I'd give my assessment.
GSPCanada
8/13/12 1:49:17AM
I actually didn't bother scoring after the second round. I personally thought neither guy really wanted it. I thought edgar won but neither guy did much. edgar was just waiting and waiting to counter and looked like he was trying to win by decision which is why i don't feel all that bad for him. Benson wasn't much better refused to really put combinations together and was discouraged by his few takedowns. IMO not a good fight because I just felt there wasn't enough aggression. Even the best counter fighters will engage or at least land the big shot on the way in. neither guy did so and in the end the the decision to me is irrelevant because if either guy fights like that against diaz they won't win. plain and simple.
Wolfenstein
8/13/12 4:24:43PM
Felt Edgar had pulled it off twice now...but from the people I've spoken to that watched it live...they felt Henderson was the clear winner. The big difference being that Frankie's strikes just have no pop on them, but when Henderson struck Frankie the damage behind them was pretty apparent.

Had it 48-47 Frankie, but it's just one of those fights that can go either way, and I also think it's a bout that may appear a little different live compared to watching it on TV.