The UFC 144: "Edgar vs. Henderson" pay-per-view going down last night (Sat., Feb. 25, 2012) in Japan culminated with a thrilling main event lightweight championship showdown pitting titleholder Frankie Edgar putting his belt up for grabs against Ben Henderson.
It had all the makings of a battle for the ages. Both men both well known for their propensity to battle through adversity and find a way to win close fights, both nearly impossible to finish. So who would wilt?
As it turns out, neither man. Both fought valiantly until the very end, all five rounds and 25 minutes they were contracted to. When the final horn sounded, no one was sure who won. Until Bruce Buffer read the scorecards, of course, and announced to the world that Ben Henderson had dethroned the lightweight king to win the 155-pound title.
It was close and scores will vary around the MMA world. Immediate rematch anyone?
Henderson opened the fight throwing kicks, one of which Edgar caught. So what did "Bendo" do about it? He attempted a freaking Enzuiguri. If you don't know what that is, it was Henderson launching a head kick with his free leg while Edgar held the other one.
He missed but it looked incredible.
The rest of the round played out in a manner befitting how close a fight many thought it would be. They exchanged kicks and punches with neither taking the advantage. Takedowns happened, sure, but guys popped right back up.
It was very close to say the least.
The second round was exactly the same, though Edgar landed a late takedown. It looked like that would score the round for him, too, until Henderson landed an upkick straight to "The Answer's" nose that had him squirting blood like a leaky faucet.
After two, it was still close.
Henderson stayed aggressive in the third, scoring shots and even landing a takedown or two. He looked as fresh as could be, not a mark on him, while Edgar's nose continued bleeding and his eye closed up more and more.
He was still bouncing around the cage, though, always moving. He was also landing a few punches of his own, keeping it close. Not only that, he made sure to get a late takedown just to score some more.
That's three rounds, still extremely close.
Round four saw much of the same action. In and out with punches and kicks, many times too close to call comfortably. At one point, "Smooth" locked on a tight guillotine but Edgar slipped out.
More punches and kicks and more unease through the mixed martial arts world on who the hell was winning.
The final round opened with both men looking to throw hard. It was Edgar who landed with a big shot first, tagging Henderson with a strong left hand that stopped "Bendo" short.
They continued trading shots, neither man backing down. Henderson went to his ass at one point but that may have been a slip. As the bout came to a close, Henderson landed blows from top and the Japanese crowd exploded with glee.
It was a great fight between two awesome competitors.
How did you score it, Maniacs?
Remember, too, to check out all our UFC 144 fight night coverage with blow-by-blow of all the night's action by clicking here.