Another Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view (PPV) event is in the books after another, let's call it, "interesting," night (Aug. 11, 2012) of mixed martial arts (MMA) action played out inside the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar headlined UFC 150, with the Lightweight title on line once again just like it was back at UFC 144 when the pair first collided in Japan earlier this year. The result was the same, with "Smooth" walking away a winner -- albeit via split, not unanimous, decision -- and so, too, was the controversial nature of the outcome.
For what it's worth, my unofficial scorecard had Henderson the clear-cut winner in their first fight. I didn't think an immediate rematch was attractive, much less necessary. Nonetheless, Edgar campaigned to have the promotion run it back and UFC President Dana White obliged. Edgar clearly felt that he could make adjustments and do things different in a rematch, which would prove that he was the rightful winner and is ultimately the better fighter.
I'm fairly certain he accomplished the former last night, but the latter was again proved false much to his chagrin because "The Answer" let the judges decide the result once again.
It wasn't for lack of spirited effort: Edgar pushed the pace, landed strikes, secured several takedowns and, as always, appeared to be the busier fighter. Henderson, naturally, was equally game and had a few bright spots of his own, including a handful of submission attempts, as well as leg kicks, that most likely scored big with the judges.
Not this judge, but as we all know, my opinion means absolutely nothing. However, I thought that Edgar had this one in the bag before a close round five even concluded. And I shared his disgust when the official decision was read and he flung his cap to the Octagon floor in astonishment.
Unfortunately, it's just the nature of the beast in such a subjective sport.
The good news, at least for the promotion and fight fans, is that we don't have to endure another trilogy match that freezes the division for an entire year. Nate Diaz is up next for Henderson and I'm pretty sure that we can all agree that it is going to be one solid, Stockton-style scrap.
I'm not right about many things, but I nailed the Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard bout in my patchwork "UFC 150 predictions, preview and analysis" piece prior to this weekend. I had a funny feeling that this was going to turn into an all-out brawl and I was right.
I just didn't expect it to happen so fast ... I don't think anyone did, actually.
Cerrone confidently swaggered into the Octagon with the knowledge that he had, for all intents and purposes, owned Guillard in training for years when they both worked with Greg Jackson. Guillard didn't really deny it, saying that a real fist fight and a practice fight are two different animals.
He was right.
Guillard came out swinging from the opening bell and buckled "Cowboy" straight out the gate. Cerrone did a wobbly square dance, in the process absorbing a devastating knee to the body, before he was somehow able to get some space and clear the cob webs. "Young Assassin" eased off the gas just for a bit, perhaps not wanting a repeat of the overzealousness that ruined him in the Joe Lauzon fight, which most likely proved to be another big blunder.
Balance ... it's hard to find, especially in the heat of the moment.
And especially when Cerrone lands a kick to the head, which is exactly what happened when the two fighters were coming off a break. It appeared to be just a glancing blow to the temple, but it apparently was way more than just that -- Guillard was standing on spaghetti legs. And pretty soon he wasn't even standing after Cerrone drilled him with a clean, straight right hand.
It took less than two minutes to play out when all was said and done, but it's safe to say those two minutes saved the PPV broadcast.
Giddyup, Anthony Pettis.
Jake Shields and his performance against Ed Herman certainly didn't help save the PPV. Quite the opposite, really. Shields was making his Middleweight debut inside the Octagon, attempting to do at 185-pounds what he couldn't really do in the Welterweight division: Win, and win decisively.
He won via uninspired unanimous decision, snapping a two-fight skid, which could have very well been three, but it was painful to watch. It's hard to pin full blame on Shields, however, because Herman appeared to be the one closing the distance and looking to clinch, which is right in Shields' wheelhouse.
Instead of winging punches and attempting to dust Shields on the feet -- a place where he is very uncomfortable and vulnerable -- Herman opted to get in close and do nothing besides get taken down and rode for basically 15 minutes.
Herman deserved to lose this fight for implementing such a terrible gameplan. It's just too bad Shields couldn't figure out a way to submit him, or at the very least, make it look somewhat exciting.
Speaking of exciting (sarcasm), Yushin Okami and Buddy Roberts went to WAR (more sarcasm) in a 185-pound fight that was supposed to feature Rousimar Palhares. With the Brazilian leg crusher out with an injury, however, Roberts was charged with the unenviable task of trying to topple the tough Japanese import.
Roberts was just completely outgunned sans putting up a little bit of a fight in the opening frame. Okami just did what Okami does, using his strength and wrestling to get fights to the floor and then just slathering opponents with healthy helpings of ground and pound. Roberts only defense was to roll to his belly, cover his ears and hope it stops.
It stopped after round one because it was over, but he wasn't so lucky in the second stanza when the referee had to mercifully pry off "Thunder" even though it didn't really appear that Roberts was in that much trouble -- he was just in a terrible position from which he could not escape. In fact, he bounced right to his feet the moment the fight was stopped.
Last, and certainly least, Justin Lawrence was eager to build off his sensational head kick knockout win over John Cofer when he locked horns with Max Holloway in the first fight of the PPV broadcast. It was actually a pretty decent tussle, but it definitely did not go the way in which Lawrence envisioned.
On the contrary, Holloway -- who has to be among the tallest Featherweight fighters (he's definitely the youngest at just 20-years-old) -- used his length and speed to his advantage. He also managed to leverage perhaps the least sexy and underutilized tool in the sport, the body blow, to painful precision.
That's right, Holloway ended Lawrence's night with a perfectly-placed liver shot, two of them it appeared, which sucked the life out of the former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 cast member and momentarily derailed any immediate plans of advancing up the 145-pound ladder.
That's enough from us. Now it's your turn to discuss UFC 150: "Henderson vs. Edgar 2" in the comments section below.
Did Edgar get robbed this time? How will Henderson dissect Diaz? Is Anthony Pettis next for Cerrone? Will Shields ever find his groove inside the Octagon? Can we find Okami some competition, please!?!?
Let's hear it, Maniacs.
Be sure to also check out our complete UFC 150 blow-by-blow coverage of the entire "Henderson vs. Edgar 2" event right here. Last, and certainly not least, check out our complete UFC 150 results recap of the Facebook/FX "Prelims" right here.