UFC 150 – Henderson Defends Lightweight Title in Controversial Win

UFC 150 featured a rematch between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar for the UFC Lightweight Title. The fight was scored 49-46 for Edgar and two 48-47′s in favor of Benson Henderson earning the split decision win over Edgar for the second time.  Henderson may have walked out of the cage the champ, but the Pepsi Center crowd in Denver had chanted “Edgar” throughout the night and continued booing the decision as Henderson got the strap wrapped around his waist.

Once the decision was announced, Frankie Edgar threw his hat to the canvas in disbelief of the decision. The crowd had erupted in roaring boo’s while Henderson tried to give his post-fight speech in which he stated: “I fight for all MMA and UFC fans. I come here and bring it! I try to finish fights!”

Later in the post-fight press conference, both Frankie and Benson were asked their thoughts on the decision.  Frankie said, “It doesn’t really matter what I think at this point. You know, I could be pissed off, but the decision’s not going to change.” He later added that he thought he had done enough to win the fight. “I thought I pushed the pace. I thought I brought the fight to him. You know, but here we are.”

Benson said he thought he did enough to get earn the victory and hold onto the title. “I thought I did enough to get my hand raised, earn the victory.” The only thing Benson said he wished he had done differently was to push the pace against Edgar a little more.

UFC President Dana White had already said prior to fight night that there would not be another rematch for the 155 title and that Nate Diaz would fight Benson next. He stuck firm to that decision in the press conference and would not disclose whether or not he thought the decision was a controversial one. All he simply said was you cannot leave the fight in the hands of the judges. He also added both fighters had asked him who won the fight and Dana answered both of them with he’s not a judge.

Much talk has been made about whether Frankie Edgar should drop to featherweight and White has said several times that he thinks Frankie would be a beast at 145. Last night at the post-fight press conference, White confirmed that notion, but said the decision was Frankie’s to make. He added that if Frankie did move to 145, he wouldn’t get an automatic title shot.

“No, I think Frankie would have to fight somebody at 145,” White said. “We’ve got that thing backed up. We’ve got all these backed up titles right now. I don’t want that backed up, and if I know Frankie like I do, I’m sure he’s gonna want to get in there and fight right away.”

Nate Diaz was named the next contender for the lightweight title and was cageside watching first hand. Chances are Diaz will want to avenge his training partner’s loss and won’t let the fight go to a decision. Edgar and Diaz had both said they’d hoped to dodge having to fight each other in interviews with MMA Fight Corner. Cesar Gracie has been Nate Diaz’s mentor and manager for years and Frankie trains with Ricardo Almeida who got his black belt in BJJ from Renzo Gracie.  Renzo is Cesar Gracie’s cousin, meaning Diaz and Edgar are close and have trained together on occasion.

White also confirmed with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting following the post-fight press conference that he would make Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis happen. He added that it would be a #1 contender fight.

As for the bonuses, Donald Cerrone took a page out of Joe Lauzon’s book and took home both Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night honors for his win over former teammate Melvin Guillard.  Of course that means Guillard also took home an extra $60,000 as well. Submission of the Night went to Dennis Bermudez for his round one standing guillotine finish of Tommy Hayden.

UFC 150 also brought in the lowest attendance since 2007 with only a reported $650,000 gate and a live gate of about 15,000. A DirecTV outage is certain to have lowered the amount of Pay Per View buys.

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