Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar will look to make his fourth consecutive title defense at UFC 144 later this evening (Sat., Feb. 25, 2012) when he takes on top contender Ben Henderson at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The main event will headline a card of "Godzilla-like" proportions, as the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion makes its return to Japan for the first time since the year 2000.
Henderson currently holds a spotless (3-0) record fighting inside thein the Octagon, but Edgar is no stranger to giving fighters their first UFC loss. In fact, Jim Miller, Tyson Griffin, Mark Bocek, Matt Veach and Gray Maynard all have something in common: They were all perfect inside the Octagon before they collided with "The Answer."
After the jump, we'll elaborate on the statistical variables that separate the two men fighting in the main event at UFC 144: "Edgar vs. Henderson."
The razor-sharp researchers at CompuStrike went to the trouble of analyzing 16 of Frankie Edgar's fights, as well as six of Ben Henderson's and made some key observations about their respective fight habits and patterns. We're passing that knowledge on to you.
We know both of these fighters have a bent towards wrestling, but they've also shown that they have no problem getting into striking battles.
This war will start on the feet just like they all do. Let's dig in and see whose striking is favored by the numbers:
Edgar -- 95 of 189
Henderson -- 71 of 123
Edgar -- 50 percent
Henderson -- 58 percent
Total Power Strikes Landed:Edgar -- 68
Henderson -- 37
Total Non-Power Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 27
Henderson -- 34
"Bendo" is a little bit more precise with his strikes, according to the data. Yet, Edgar has been shown to "answer" with a much larger number of power shots.
To go one step further, it's important to try and discern whose arm strikes (punches and elbows) are more accurate, as well as more powerful.
This is what we came up with:
Total Arm Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 49 of 120
Henderson -- 12 of 40
Percentage of Arm Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 41 percent
Henderson -- 30 percent
Power Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 34
Henderson -- 5
Non-Power Strikes LandedEdgar -- 15
Henderson -- 7
Yikes. It may be understating matters to declare that Henderson should avoid an outright boxing match. But you probably already knew that.
When you say the word "kick" around "Bendo," he may possibly duck for cover and make sure Anthony Pettis is not running off a cage wall at him.
It's ironic, because he actually has a very good pedigree in Taekwondo. Throwing kicks is a big part of his arsenal. Edgar is also not afraid of burying a shin bone into the side of an opponents thigh or the tiny cartilage on the side of his knee.
When push comes to shove, who has the better leg strikes? Glad you asked:
Total Leg Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 11 of 17
Henderson -- 21 of 29
Percentage of Leg Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 65 percent
Henderson -- 72 percent
Power Leg Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 6
Henderson -- 9
Non-Power Leg Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 5
Henderson -- 12
Pretty close, but Henderson definitely takes the lead in this neck of the race.
Last, but not least, there is the ground game. As previously mentioned, both fighters have a strong wrestling background. They're also both brown belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).
You'd think it'd be pretty even on the mat. Let's see if you'd be right:
Ground Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 35 of 52
Henderson -- 38 of 54
Edgar -- 67 percent
Henderson -- 70 percent
Power Ground Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 28
Henderson -- 23
Non-Power Ground Strikes Landed:
Edgar -- 7
Henderson -- 15
Edgar -- 38 of 82 (46 percent)
Henderson -- 18 of 40 (45 percent)
Edgar -- 5
Henderson -- 5
Edgar -- 24
Henderson -- 6
Very slim margin, but the disparity in "dominant positions" is definitely intriguing. Edgar appears to be a good deal more active on the ground, but this rings true for the rest of the categories as well.
Top to bottom, the tale of this tape appears to back up what most fans expected: This should be one nail-biter of a title fight!
What say you, Maniacs? Is this what you expected or does any of the data throw you for a loop? Who ya' got in this epic lightweight battle?