We are rapidly approaching the start of UFC 150, which means Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II is well within our sights. Given the competitiveness of the first fight, as well as the considerable skills and willpower of each fighter, it is difficult not to be anxious for this bout to begin.
But before we all kick off our shoes, plant ourselves down and ready our eyes for a night of spectacular entertainment, it's time to take a last look at the match and provide the final word on how the contest will go.
Frankie Edgar first captured UFC gold in 2010 by defeating then champion, B.J. Penn. The contest was a tight one, and Penn was awarded an immediate rematch to clear the air. To the surprise of most, it was Edgar who did that for everyone, leaving little doubt who the rightful champion at 155 was.
After putting his rivalry with Penn to rest, Edgar turned toward Gray Maynard, who he had previously lost to. Though it took a draw and two considerable scares, Edgar finally defeated Maynard and transitioned on to new things.
That is when he first met Ben Henderson.
Henderson, a former WEC lightweight crown-wearer, jumped into the UFC by reeling off three straight wins over high-level opponents. His winning streak garnered him a title shot against Edgar, and the 28-year-old made no mistake. The fight was a close one, though Henderson ended up walking away with the win in a unanimous decision.
If he hopes to remain the UFC lightweight champion, he'll have to do something at UFC 150 no other fighter has ever done—beat Edgar twice.
When we look at this bout, we can use the first fight as a template. That can only take us so far, but there were elements of that contest that will almost certainly factor into UFC 150's main event.
Perhaps more so than anything else we can take from the first bout is that Henderson will have a tremendous size and strength advantage over Edgar. Henderson dwarfed Edgar in the first fight and used his lengthy limbs to prevent any wrestling offensives the champion was hoping to launch. Even when Edgar was able to catch one of Henderson's legs off of a kick, he was unable to get close enough for a trip or a punch, and simply had to let go.
Don't expect that to change this time around. Edgar may approach his size disadvantage differently than last time, but it will likely still play a factor in the match.
Besides the size and strength story, we can expect this contest to take place predominantly on the feet, just as the last one did. I believe both fighters will attempt to work in a bit more wrestling than last time out, but for the most part, standup will be the focus at UFC 150.
Aside from these key elements of the fight, we can expect that the championship contest will be an entertaining one. Neither Henderson or Edgar have much experience boring a crowd, and given what is on the line, it is only logical that the resulting fight will be a barn-burner.
Though I am not predicting a blowout, I believe Henderson vs. Edgar II will be more one-sided than the first fight. I think that Henderson is growing beyond Edgar and I expect that he will score a more decisive result this time around.
It might be a clear-cut decision, but I am going out on a limb and picking Henderson to stop Edgar in Round 3 of UFC 150's main event. I'm even going to go out a bit further on that limb and say that Henderson, a fighter not known for his power, will be the first man to knock Edgar out.
Aside from a hunch, this prediction is based on Edgar's tendency to flirt ever so closely with disaster, and that Henderson is quietly building a very dangerous striking arsenal.
Ben Henderson defeats Frankie Edgar via (T)KO in Round 3