Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar: 5 Things We Learned About Edgar
The former UFC lightweight champ came up short once again in his showdown with Benson Henderson in another five-round decision. Things were much closer this time out, with one of three judges scoring the bout 49-46 in favor of Edgar.
Boos erupted throughout the arena as UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer read the verdict. Edgar didn't even need to speak after the fight. The look on his face told everything. He had given his all to recapture the world title, but it still wasn't enough.
In the days to follow, some will attempt to discredit Henderson's reign due to the controversial decision, but it's tough to erase consecutive defeats.
Regardless of one controversial decision, Henderson has back-to-back wins over Edgar.
There won't be any immediate rematch. Edgar will be forced to go back to the drawing board and mull over his UFC future.
Is a drop to featherweight a possibility, or will Edgar decide to remain in the lightweight hunt?
Here are five things we learned about Frankie Edgar.
Improves in Every Outing
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Regardless of whether he wins or loses, Edgar seems to get better every time he competes.
It's scary to think he has yet to reach his full potential.
In the lightweight division, Edgar's boxing is second to none, and he continues to build upon his already world-class grappling skills.
The only thing truly lacking in Edgar's overall fight game is knockout power.
Despite his ability to outland opponents, Edgar's strikes seem more suited for point scoring than finishing. This could be due to Edgar typically being the smaller fighter in all of his bouts.
Still, an Edgar with improved knockout power would terrorize the lightweight division.
His knockout wins over Gray Maynard and Mark Bocek prove he is more than capable of making the necessary adjustments.
Remains a Top Pound-for-Pound Fighter
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No one will ever question Edgar's heart.
He continues to fight off and hold his own against gargantuan opponents. The term "pound-for-pound" was created for fighters like Edgar.
He may no longer be the lightweight champion, but it would be hard to deny him a spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.
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Edgar has maintained a cool head in abnormal circumstances.
He never complained about having to give back-to-back immediate rematches to BJ Penn and Gray Maynard, and he remains a class act after losing consecutive controversial decisions to Henderson.
Most fighters would have lost their heads by now. Edgar's actions really highlight his genuine and honest personality.
Undersized at Lightweight
Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Edgar is tremendously undersized at lightweight.
However, this isn't to say he can't compete against the upper-echelon stars of the 155-pound division.
There will always be that handicap.
Against Henderson, Edgar landed more strikes. However, given the size disparity, his shots didn't do the same amount of damage.
At 145 pounds, Edgar could finally add power to his incredible speed and technique.
Immediate Threat to Jose Aldo’s Reign
Jose Aldo - Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Things won't get any easier for Edgar if he decides to drop to featherweight.
Jose Aldo is ranked as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world for a reason. It will be an uphill battle for anyone looking to oust him.
With that said, Edgar may be the only legitimate challenge to Aldo's reign at 145 pounds.
Aldo has never faced a fighter with the well-rounded abilities of Edgar. Having said that, some Aldo insiders have claimed the Brazilian's ground game is just as good as—if not better than—his striking.
Against Edgar, that notion would be put to the ultimate test.