Photo of Ben Henderson kicking Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 by Susumu Nagao via ESPN.com.
And -- surprise! -- it was a close decision.
Edgar and Henderson exchanged blows for five rounds and 25 grueling minutes of back-and-forth action. At the end, the challenger's face was "Smooth" as a baby's bottom, looking none worse for the wear. The champion, meanwhile, had a busted and bloodied nose and his left eye was swollen shut.
The scorecards reflected a similar story as "Bendo" was awarded the unanimous decision to become the new UFC lightweight champion. But was it really that clear cut?
"The Answer" says he felt as though he did enough to win and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter show that quite a few fans, pundits and fighters agree with him. But just as many seem to think the judges got it right and Henderson deserves the title that is now wrapped firmly around his waist.
Thankfully, Fight Metric, the official statistics provider of the UFC, has released its report on the fight (read it in full here) and the preliminary numbers show the rightful winner was declared. Let's take a look at the breakdown:
Henderson scored more in the striking across the board, save for leg strikes. It was close but it's important to note that not only did "Bendo" have the edge in volume but it's also quite clear he did more damage.
Just look at his face compared to his opponents.
On to the grappling report:
Edgar successfully took Henderson down five times in 12 attempts but was never credited with a guard pass or a submission attempt. That's because "Smooth" was strong in getting back to his feet and minimizing damage on the floor. He also used one of those takedowns to lock on a guillotine, one of his three submission attempts throughout the fight, that nearly ended it in the third.
Finally, the performance ratings:
As you can see, Fight Metric awarded the bout to Henderson on a score of 49-46, giving him rounds two through five while scoring round one for Edgar.
What do you think, Maniacs, do you agree with the cold hard numbers?