UFC 144 Fight Card: Why Benson Henderson Won't Dethrone Frankie Edgar

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IFebruary 25, 2012

Edgar and Henderson face off prior to their fight at UFC 144. Photo by Esther Lin via SBnation.com.
Edgar and Henderson face off prior to their fight at UFC 144. Photo by Esther Lin via SBnation.com.

UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will face touted contender Benson Henderson at UFC 144, looking to make his fourth consecutive title defense.

Some believe that Henderson will be Edgar's sternest test to date, which is a great compliment, given that Edgar's previous two opponents were BJ Penn and Gray Maynard. Both Penn and Maynard were considered top 10 pound-for-pound fighters when Edgar beat them.

It is debatable whether or not Henderson will be Edgar's toughest test, but most would agree that he has the best style to get the job done. He is a much larger lightweight than the champion, with a strong wrestling base, diverse striking and surprising durability.

There's no denying it—Henderson has the tools to win this fight. But, will he win it?

I don't see it happening.

For the most part, Edgar has already dealt with better versions of what Henderson brings to the table.

The champ has bested Gray Maynard, who is a more decorated wrestler than Henderson, and he has also bested BJ Penn (twice), who is a more effective striker than Henderson.

Henderson does have a more well-rounded striking game than Edgar is used to dealing with, and is known for his kicking attacks. However, I believe that Henderson will have more to adjust to than Edgar.

Edgar has not dealt with someone who uses their kicks as effectively as Henderson, granted, but Henderson has never fought anyone as fast as Edgar, or with the boxing and cardio of Edgar.

Expect to see Edgar use his speed and footwork to pop in and out of Henderson's range throughout the night, peppering him with quick combos. Henderson will look to neutralize Edgar's speed with kicks, but the champ will use those kicks to bring the fight to the ground.

History has shown that Henderson is a tough man to finish, and Edgar, who is not particularly known for his finishing ability, will not likely be able to do it.

That said, the champ will walk away from UFC 144 with a decisive decision victory.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8