UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson
February 26, 2012
Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson
UFC Betting Pick: Benson Henderson (-105)
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Lightweight Championship bout: Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (-115) vs. Benson “Smooth” Henderson (-105)
Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (14-1) is not only a great fighter who is known for his speediness in the octagon but as one of the guys with the biggest hearts in the UFC. Given this, it is only sad to see him fight it out in the lightweight division while he could have much more success as a featherweight.
Edgar is currently the fastest and most agile fighter his division but Benson “Smooth” Henderson (15-2) is also known to be quick, agile and very good on his feet and on the ground—I think Edgar may have finally met his match.
Using both speed and agility, Edgar was able to overwhelm BJ Penn in both their meetings and was able to work his way around a couple of brutal first rounds against Gray Maynard to end up with a draw and KO in their last two meetings. Henderson however is a very good striker with endless energy and should be able to match Edgar’s intensity and pace to give him a serious run for the title, if not walk away with it outright.
When it comes to striking Edgar is very technical and tends to throw his punches in odd angles with great speed to overwhelm his opponents—he was able to stun both BJ Penn and Gray Maynard for the victories. But one must note that Edgar has never really fought a high level striker, let alone someone who is comfortable with it—Penn is a grappler while Maynard is a wrestler and both these warriors only used striking as an afterthought.
If we were to look at Edgar’s record, he has yet to face a pure natural striker—Hermes França, Mark Bocek and Jim Miller are grapplers while Spencer Fisher, Tyson Griffin and Sean Sherk base their skills on wrestling. Edgar was able to use his game to take these fighters BUT Henderson is not like these fighters.
Known for his ability to strike, Henderson has been able use this skill to enhance his MMA game. With a black belt in Taekwondo, powerful precise kicks only augment his comfort in the stand up, and as he is both very technical and powerful, Edgar will have his hands full. With what seems to be an endless amount of energy paired with his aggressive style, Edgar’s game will be matched in this bout and then some.
When it comes to wrestling Edgar is the more technical of the two however, he is the smaller fighter. Besides being bigger and stronger, Henderson was on the wrestling team in college and was twice named an NAIA All-American. Henderson is also a former WEC Lightweight Champion and is known for his ability to escape from deep submission attempts.
A brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under John Crouch who is a black belt under Royce Gracie, Henderson tends to be very aggressive and pushes for a faster game—he does not lay and stall on the ground and as he is the bigger fighter, he will be able to hold Edgar down and do some damage.
Bottom Line: I believe Edgar has met his match in this fight with Henderson. Henderson has the cardio to keep pace with Edgar whose tactic is to use consistent speed to confuse and win his battles. The glaring problem is that Edgar is too small for his division. Though he has been successful the fact remains that he is a decision fighter who wins by outworking his opponent, which will not work against Henderson.
Henderson is going to beat Edgar at his own game and will push the pace of the fight with his aggressive striking landing more punches and with more power.
This fight will definitely go to the later rounds so a bet on the over is good, but the UFC odds have Henderson as the betting underdog at -105. Bet on Henderson to become the new UFC lightweight champion.
Look for Benson Henderson to Become the New UFC Lightweight Champion with a Five Round Unanimous Decision
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