In another typical Frankie Edgar performance, the New Jersey native failed to disappoint a sold out and adoring Japanese crowd at the Saitama Super Arena last night.
There, Edgar was looking to successfully defend his title for a third time against former WEC star Benson Henderson. The two dynamic lightweights engaged in a memorable five round thriller which rightfully earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
Edgar managed to take down Henderson several times over the course of the bout, though the Arizona fighter turned the tide early on rocking and dropping Edgar with a vicious up kick.
The action remained tight and hard-fought throughout, though, in the end, the "Smooth" one did just enough to edge Edgar in the eyes of the judges and eventually walked away with the contentious decision win.
Fans and pundits alike have been split as far as whom deserved the victory on the score cards and now more than ever, people are expecting that Edgar could move down to more comfortable surroundings in the 145-pound class.
However, out of any champion before him, the pride of Toms River has had the longest and most arduous road to stay atop the lightweight mantle.
In his initial endeavor into the title mix, Edgar edged then champion BJ Penn in a controversial decision that ultimately warranted the Hawaiian an immediate rematch. In their next excursion, Edgar dominated the "The Prodigy" over the course of 25 minutes, solidifying his spot as the best fighter in his class.
Shortly thereafter, a heated rivalry between Edgar and perennial contender Gray Maynard ensued. The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 veteran in Maynard managed to rock and drop Edgar in their second match, though the spirited and wily champion stormed back in the later stages and made the fight even after five rounds of action.
In their rubber match, Maynard looked to be every bit as animated as in their previous outing, hurting Edgar early and was seemingly in striking range of the decisive finish.
The determination of Edgar helped him persevere as he managed to secure his own "Knockout of the Night" victory in the fourth, hurting Maynard with an uppercut and successive right hands that ended the bout in dramatic fashion.
Having to prove yourself time and time again would be taxing for most, but Edgar was up for the challenge.
The UFC afforded guys like Maynard and Penn their respective rematches with "The Answer," will they do the same for a champion who's only recent blemish is a hotly contested decision?
The question remains without a suitable response.
But does he deserve his rematch against Henderson?
Without a doubt.