Henderson retained the UFC's lightweight championship after earning a split decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47), but many in attendance and watching at home felt that Edgar did enough damage in the later rounds to earn the title.
Is it really a debate?
Here's what White had to say about the decision following the fight (via Chuck Mindenhall of ESPN):
Again, it’s one of those controversial decisions, let me just say this: I’m not a judge. Ben Henderson won the fight tonight. He retained his title, and that’s the end of it. I know there were a lot of people that scored the fight differently, and I tell these guys all the time, 'If you don’t like the way the judges score, don’t let it get there.'
The UFC head man could not be any more dead-on correct with his assessment. Henderson was the champion coming in. Therefore, Edgar knew he had to knock him down a size in order to walk away as the newest lightweight champion.
When fighters exchange blows like Henderson and Edgar did this past weekend, the decision is up in the air. When it's left to the judges, as White pointed out, anything can and will be decided.
There is little if any controversy to the judges' decision in my eyes, but instead unfinished business on Edgar's side. He failed to finish off Henderson the way a true lightweight title-holder should be capable of, and now he must live with the result.
Simply controlling the later rounds does not decide the better fighter through the bout's entirety. Henderson could produce an identical argument if the judges gave the fight to Edgar.
In the end, both fighters had their moments, and the edge will always side with the champion. There is no denying that Henderson is still the best the UFC lightweight division has to offer after watching him square off against Edgar.
Edgar is a worthy adversary, sure, but that's all he proved on Saturday night in Denver, and Dana White was wise to point that out.
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