UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II – Preview and Main Event Guest Panel Picks
By Dave Carpinello
*Click here for UFC 150 Live Results and Extended Event Coverage*
This weekend the UFC returns to Denver, Colorado, the birthplace of the UFC. It has been nearly 19 years since UFC 1 took place at McNichols Sports Arena, in which Royce Gracie choked out Gerard Gordeau to win the UFC 1 Tournament. This Saturday will also feature a title match as Frankie Edgar looks to win back his belt as he takes on Benson Henderson for the second time in 2012 as Henderson won the earlier fight by decision.
The co-main event should be explosive as Donald Cerrone takes on Melvin Guillard in a lightweight showdown for positioning in the division and Jake Shields is making the move to the UFC middleweight division as he will fight testy veteran Ed Herman. Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the card will be featherweights Justin Lawrence and Max Holloway. They will be followed by a middleweight feature as Yushin Okami looks to stop his losing streak as he faces off against relatively unknown Buddy Roberts.
The preliminary card will be aired lived on FX and the UFC Facebook page. Headlining the undercard will be “The Menace” Dennis Bermudez and Tom Hayden, who is looking to avoid losing his first two UFC fights. Jared Hamman will take on Michael Kuiper and Ken Stone fights Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts fighter Erik Perez. Dustin Pague and Chico Camus will kick-off the FX fights while Nik Lentz versus Eiji Mitsuoka gets the action started on the UFC Facebook page.
Benson Henderson (16-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (14-2-1)
UFC Lightweight Championship
Benson Henderson (4-0 UFC) made a name for himself in the WEC where he compiled a 5-1 record and earned the promotion’s lightweight title. Henderson also holds the honor of competing in the final WEC bout, fighting in a fight of the year performance against Anthony Pettis.
Henderson won his WEC debut by submission over Anthony Njokuani before stopping Shane Roller with strikes. He then won an exciting decision over Donald Cerrone to earn a shot at Jamie Varner. Henderson submitted Varner in the third round with a guillotine choke and successfully defended it in a rematch with Cerrone.
Henderson then lost the title in an exciting decision against Pettis. Since then he has found himself on a four-fight win streak, winning each of his UFC appearances including winning the promotions lightweight title at UFC 144 in Japan. In each of his UFC appearances Henderson has outworked and outclassed his opponents, starting with Mark Bocek. He then put on a ground and pound clinic against Jim Miller, before besting Clay Guida for a shot at Edgar’s title. In what was a very entertaining fight for the fans, Henderson won the fight and the title with a controversial decision.
Frankie Edgar (9-2-1) enters this rematch after losing his title and his seven-fight unbeaten streak. With a trio of wins over Hermes Franca, former UFC champion Sean Sherk, and Matt Veach, Edgar challenged former two-division champion B.J. Penn for the lightweight title.
Edgar edged out a decision over Penn to earn the lightweight title. The two rematched four months later, with Edgar winning another decision. Edgar then met Gray Maynard in a rematch, looking to avenge the sole loss of his career. The two fought an incredible battle ending in a draw. Henderson and Maynard met for a third time over a year and a half later. The third bout started much like the second, but this time ended in the fourth round with Edgar earning a TKO stoppage.
Edgar, who is notably undersized at lightweight, owns four wins by TKO and two by submission. Edgar was an NCAA Div I wrestler and owns a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He holds notable career victories over Tyson Griffin, Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, Deividas Taurosevicius, and Spencer Fisher.
UFC 144: Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II – Guest Panel Predictions:
Duane Ludwig (21-13, Strikeforce and UFC Veteran) – “Henderson will out work him again and retain his belt.”
Paul Daley (30-12-2, Former Cage Rage British Welterweight Champion) – “I reckon that Henderson is going to stop Frankie Edgar this time around. I am going to say it will be a TKO, in the 3rd Round.”
Ricky Lundell (Head Instructor University of Grappling in Utah) – “Benson Henderson over Frankie Edgar again. Long shot on how, but I believe it will be Frankie’s 1st loss by TKO. These crushing blows are adding up and can cause your chin to weaken over time. I think this will be the time.”
Jesse Finney (6-1, Owner of Finney’s H.I.T. Squad Gym) – “Once again I think it will be a great fight with Henderson and Edgar but I am going with Henderson with a KO in the 3rd round!”
Shayna Baszler (14-7, FCF Women’s Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion) – “I will be cheering for Edgar because he is one of my favorite fighters! I LOVE this rematch….”
Elvis Sinosic (The King of Rock & Rumble) – “This fight is a rematch of their previous fight where Benson won the Belt off Frankie. Frankie has a great combination of skills combining his boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu very effectively. His strength is his footwork and his ability to get in and out whether attacking or defending. He predominantly uses his boxing to score and his wrestling for defense though he can be effective with his GNP pound if required. He also uses his wrestling to steal rounds if they are close. Frankie has shown a great chin and come back from some big knockdowns, any of which would be a knock out for a lesser fighter. His cardio is relentless.
Benson also brings all of these skills and a very similar game but he also brings it in size & power. Benson has a wider variety of strikes, punches, kicks, knees and uses them effectively. He has great takedown defense as well as the ability to score takedowns if needed. In the end I think Benson’s power and variety of attacks will give him the edge. I pick Benson to win. It’s hard to call any result other than a decision, not because Benson doesn’t go for the finish, but because Frankie is so difficult to finish.”
Andy Main (5-1-1, Ultimate Fighter Alum) – “I love watching both of these guys, and fans get a treat to get to see them fight each other again. Frankie has to keep pressure on Benson, if that’s even possible. Again, it is an incredible matchup. It’s too bad someone has to lose.”
Paul Bradley (20-4-1, Strikeforce and UFC Veteran) – “I have got to go with Henderson again by decision for this fight. I believe his size and fighting style present problems for Frankie. It will be another hard, fast-paced fight but I believe Henderson will pull it out once again.”
Mike Reilly (Team Bison, MMA Coach, Jiu-Jitsu and Judo Black Belt) – “I will say Henderson again because he is just too much athlete for Frankie.”
Donald Cerrone (18-4) vs. Melvin Guillard (30-10-2)
Donald Cerrone (5-1 UFC) enters his bout with Guillard coming off a win against Jeremy Stephens, after suffering his first UFC loss against Nate Diaz at UFC 141. After avenging a previous loss to former WEC champion Jamie Varner, Cerrone won his last WEC appearance over Chris Horodecki by submission. Since joining the UFC, Cerrone has earned impressive wins over Paul Kelly, Vagner Rocha, Charles Oliveira, and Dennis Siver. Melvin Guillard (11-6 UFC) steps into Saturday’s fight coming off a win over Fabrício Camões to halt a two fight losing streak at the hands of Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller.
Guillard, who had joined Greg Jackson’s team, kicked off 2010 by out-pointing Ronys Torres. He followed it up by stopping Waylon Lowe with a knee to the body before edging out a split decision over the tough Jeremy Stephens. Guillard then stopped Evan Dunham inside the first round before knocking out WEC stand-out Shane Roller. After the loss to Lauzon, Guillard moved from Greg Jackson’s team and joined the Blackzilians. Guillard split training time between Jackson’s and Imperial for the Lauzon bout, but then decided to join the Blackzilians full-time.
Jake Shields (27-6-1) vs. Ed Herman (20-8)
PunchDrunkGamer’s Match-Up of the Night
Jake Shields (2-2 UFC) joined the UFC as a hot commodity. Regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world, Shields made the most of his final Strikeforce opportunity by defeating Dan Henderson to claim the promotion’s middleweight title. Shields then joined the UFC mix where he won his promotional debut in a lackluster split decision against Martin Kampmann. Shields then challenged Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight championship, but lost a five round unanimous decision, breaking a fifteen-fight win streak. After losing to Jake Ellenberger, Shields found himself on the first two fight losing steak of his career.
In his most recent bought though, Shields was able to rebound with a decision victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144. Ed Herman (7-5 UFC) enters Saturday’s bout on a three-fight win streak after stopping Tim Credeur with strikes, then submitting Kyle Noke with a heel hook and most recently at UFC 143 where he choked out Clifford Starks in round 2. Despite a shakey UFC career, Herman has established himself as a strong fighter in the middle of the division, owning additional career wins over David Loiseau, Joe Doerksen, and Scott Smith.
Yushin Okami (26-7) vs. Buddy Roberts (12-2)
Yushin Okami (10-4 UFC) has established himself as one of the greatest Japanese fighters the sport has seen. Okami, who joined the UFC in 2006, won his UFC debut with a decision over Alan Belcher. He then stopped Kalib Starnes early in the third round, before submitting Rory Singer with punches. Okami then met up with former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, losing a close decision. Okami rebounded and won a decision over Jason MacDonald before knocking out former UFC champion Evan Tanner. After a decision win over Dean Lister, Okami lost a decision to Chael Sonnen. Okami then found himself on a three-fight win streak with a second round doctor’s stoppage against Lucio Linhares before edging out a split decision over Mark Munoz and then earning a unanimous decision over former King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt before he was brutally knocked out by Anderson Silva at UFC 134.
Following the loss to Silva, Okami was again viciously knocked out, this time in his home country of Japan by Tim Boetsch at UFC 144. Buddy Roberts (1-0 UFC) comes into this fight riding a seven-fight win streak after winning his UFC debut with a decision over Caio Magalhaes at UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall. The Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts fighter is definitely stepping up in competition this weekend as prior to his win over Magalhaes, Roberts’ fighting career was made up of only local and regional promotional fights. Despite his lack of experience, Roberts does hold a win over Tony Lopez and he has displayed excellent takedown defense.
UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II – Fight Card:
Main Card (PPV):
Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar – UFC Lightweight Championship
Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard
Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman
Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts
Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway
Preliminary Card (FX):
Dennis Bermudez vs. Tom Hayden
Jared Hamman vs. Michael Kuiper
Ken Stone vs. Erik Perez
Dustin Pague vs. Chico Camus
Preliminary Card (UFC Facebook):
Nik Lentz vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
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