UFC 144: Ben Henderson dethrones Frankie Edgar in Japan

After five grueling rounds, Ben “Smooth” Henderson dethroned Frankie Edgar, and is now the new UFC Lightweight champion.

Beaming with confidence, Henderson dominated Edgar during all five rounds, giving the champ the worst beating of his MMA career. Edgar responded with his second to none heart and endurance, but it was not enough to withstand Ben Henderson physical power and size advantage throughout the fight.

Edgar and Henderson threw an equal amount of strikes, but once again, it’s the challenger’s power that was responsible for the champ’s swollen eye and broken nose.

The judges scored the bout unanimously in favor of Ben Henderson, as Frankie Edgar shook his head in disbelief. Edgar perhaps went toe-to-toe with Henderson during all five rounds, and was never out of the fight, but there’s no doubt that Henderson not only won the decision, but also the fight itself.

Henderson improves his MMA record to 16-2, and will now face, most likely, the man who dethroned him as the WEC Lightweight Champion – Anthony Pettis. “Showtime” KO’d Joe Lauzon with a vicious head kick, which gave him the right to cash in the title shot cheque he never used since merger between WEC and the UFC.

Ben Henderson could also find himself in the cage against the winner of UFC on FOX 3 encounter between Jim Miller and Nate Diaz, who are both fresh off important victories inside the Octagon.

As for Frankie Edgar, the former champ has no choice but to move down to Featherweight, where could set himself a superfight with the reigning champion Jose Aldo.



54 Comments

  1. Profile photo of asdf

    asdf

    February 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I had Frankie winning that fight. It was very close, but i still had Frankie edging it out.

  2. Profile photo of HunterB

    HunterB

    February 26, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Congrats Benson

  3. Profile photo of moots

    moots

    February 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Frankie did not win that fight, there were a few close rounds but Ben took at least three rounds by landing huge shots and being dominant throughout the round. Frankie was outsized but not outclassed in my opinion – hope to see him at 145.

  4. Profile photo of Milt

    Milt

    February 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

    judging by the “weaks” it looks like most people disagree asdf but I totally agree with you, I was surprised to see the decision go to henderson.

    Also, @Anton: “Henderson dominated Edgar during all five rounds”

    Are you serious? You didn’t give any of the rounds to Edgar? Not even the first? I must have been watching a different fight…

  5. Profile photo of ahhhhhhhhhhhh

    ahhhhhhhhhhhh

    February 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

    if it was a streetfight, he lost, bad, but as a sport i thought he just clinched it.. as the article says there was an equal amount of strikes and surely edgar completed more takedowns, so the judges must be looking at 1 upkick and 1 guillotine attempt as massive massive round-winning events?

  6. Profile photo of Leon8220

    Leon8220

    February 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Congrats to Benson Henderson on a dominant performance. well deserved, Finally someone takes down Frankie edgar, i always thought frankie was not one of the best p4p fighters, i respect his skill and i think he’s fast and his footwork is amazing but i never considered him one of the best, hes just “good” not “great” like some people made him look.

    Very good fight though, i enjoyed it a lot

  7. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    February 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Damn betting site wouldnt take my card I would of won 920 dollars on a Hunt, and Bendo parlay

  8. Profile photo of codemaster

    codemaster

    February 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I had Benson winning that by far. MMA has to recognize that not all punches are alike.

    It is not like CompuStrike has any computing or judgement in it. Pitter patter punches are not significant strikes.

    And there are significant strikes and SIGNIFICANT strikes. Frankie was beat up bad–not only to the face, but to the body. Each kick he caught–he received a heavy shot–and knees and upkicks and ….

    Frankly, I didn’t see how one could see that as a close fight at all.

  9. Profile photo of MereDictum

    MereDictum

    February 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Asdf: you are delusional. Not so surprised at Frankies comment to Rogan; he got his ass kicked so he wasn’t thinking straight. But I’m so sick and tired of Rogan’s outright bias. How many times do have to hear he has the biggest heart? Every time Frankie “landed” a strike he’d comment but most of Ben’s went without comment. Goldberg even called him the”true champion” as he walked out after the fight. Ridiculous.

  10. Profile photo of DaddyLongStrokes

    DaddyLongStrokes

    February 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I thought Edgar won too. Looked like Edgar outstruck Bendo, but Bendo landing the more visibly damaging shots. But apparently fightmetric says Bendo landed more….Guess the multiple combinations and kicks Edgar landed were lies.

    I had lying eyes for this fight….apparently.

    Edgar should get an instant rematch since he had to rematch against his will twice lol.
    That or have Pettis avenge Edgar and this time Pettis kicks Bendo’s head off

  11. Profile photo of knn03

    knn03

    February 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

    WTF! Cecil Peoples had it for Frankie Edgar via 1st round armbar.

  12. Profile photo of falcon4917

    falcon4917

    February 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Looking ahead I am more excited for the next strikeforce event than the next UFC.

  13. Profile photo of rabble

    rabble

    February 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Well, it’s hard not to admire a guy with such HEART, DETERMINATION AND WILLPOWER!

  14. Profile photo of godsofwararise

    godsofwararise

    February 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

    And I had to lol at the line about Edgar taking the worst beating of his career. TBH I think Bendo just about edged it but the ass whupping Frankie took at the hands of Maynard in round 1 of their 2nd fight was way worse than anything he took from Bendo tonight.

  15. Profile photo of thealex

    thealex

    February 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

    edgar won. some wierd decisions in this card

  16. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    February 26, 2012 at 10:50 am

    lol at you getting a weak for saying “Congrats Benson”

  17. Profile photo of jamo

    jamo

    February 26, 2012 at 10:52 am

    i was rooting for frankie and i didnt give him any rounds and the rounds were’t that close. henderson’s strikes were way more devastating and he landed a lot. i was going to give the last round to frankie as a charity round, but then he ended up on his back getting smashed.

  18. Profile photo of ksooner76

    ksooner76

    February 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    yeah I had Frankie 1 2 and 5 I know he got kicked and took hella damage but had the round won and because he got up kicked last sec doesnt give
    him the round the fight was close no way was he dominated every round
    thats crazy did you watch the fight granted the 5th could of went either way
    but to make it sound like Edgar got his ass handed to him is crazy..and Frankie should get a rematch

  19. Profile photo of InfiniteEnigma

    InfiniteEnigma

    February 26, 2012 at 10:55 am

    true true, you admire it, and it can save your ass in a fight, but its not gonna finish it decisively, that falls on strikes in this case of which it seemed frankie was a little faster , but all those were insignificant, half point hits, bendo was landing crit shots, and power shots often, scoring 2 or 3x per blow than a simple pawing jab that just made contact. it is probably that, that score the points in fave of hendo, and that is well deserved, because, its obvious who won the fight, and would have been upset if it went to frankie cause hit hit bendo 3x more a round , albeit none of which put a scratch on him…

  20. Profile photo of MMAMachine

    MMAMachine

    February 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

    If Ben’s shots were so significant, why didn’t he finish the fight? The swollen eye occurred in the first round and the nose was an upkick in the second. Two shots won a five round fight? This is supposed to be a sport, not a street fight. Frankie dominated in every aspect of the fight, even tho Ben kept it competitive.

  21. Profile photo of FE4

    FE4

    February 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I wished I knew how they judge the fights in all actuality. I mean I know how they say that they judge them but with some decisions I’m left completely confused. i thought it was closer than 49 to 46 for sure. Bendo obviously did more damage but as far as “point” scoring I thought Edgar. People say that Bendo dominated because he “controlled” the center of the octagon but if thats the case than Diaz beat Condit until he tests positive for marijuana. The 55 division is going to see decisions so I would like to see more consistency with the judging. Weak me if you want but thats how I see it.

  22. Profile photo of InfiniteEnigma

    InfiniteEnigma

    February 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    still after the eye and nose shots, there was clearly more power behind his kicks to the body, and his counter punches and elbows had more force behind the impact, when frankie would jump in with a light fast punch sometimes bendo took it, some times dodged it, and many times, stepped forward driving a stiff forearm or elbow with much more impact than the light grazing (point scoring only ) shot…did he finish edgar, no…who has, he is strong in heart and determination, ben knew he wouldnt quit, if he rocked him enough, he would jump on the opportunity to finish, but most likely he knew he wouldnt finish frank, so best to punish him, make him feel like he was in a real fight. for every 2x punches frankie threw that were not power strikes, worth say a half a point to judges, ben countered with something more solid, he followed thru and drove it home, not just pounce in, touch oppenent , pounce out.

  23. Profile photo of OperationCWAL

    OperationCWAL

    February 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I told u he was gonna win with a Showtime kick. Even though he missed it it was still a spectacular kick hopping on 1 leg.

  24. Profile photo of InfiniteEnigma

    InfiniteEnigma

    February 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

    controlling the octogon also means imposing will, making your opponent play your game, not necessarily octogon real estate or forward movement. nick, yes, always moved forward, but as predicted threw boxing punches , and taunts, to the untrained eye, it seems as if diaz is in control because he is moving forward, but it was carlos who actually utilized a strategy of stick n move, instead of standing and trading and getting backed into a corner like nick is used to doing…carlos broke nicks game plan and implemented his own becuase he refused to play nicks game, and instead made him play his own game of walkdown , which looks like he is in control, but not , when he is made to walk, only to be hit with a counter after is flush missed.,

  25. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    February 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

    @MMAMachine- “If Ben’s shots were so significant, why didn’t he finish the fight?”

    Are you serious?Most of Frankie’s shots were to Bendo’s face, and a very large portion of Henderson’s offense was to Edgars body. Despite that fact, look at the condition of both fighters’ faces after the fight. Are you telling me that with as busted up as Edgar’s face looked, Henderson’s offense wasn’t significant because he failed to finish a man that has never been finished in his entire career?

  26. Profile photo of BigAlRIz

    BigAlRIz

    February 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Did no one see how many counter strikes Bendo landed during each exchange? Edgar didn’t even have dominate position on the ground. Every time Frankie got on Bendo he was up within seconds, taking little to no damage.

  27. Profile photo of OperationCWAL

    OperationCWAL

    February 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Did u see how Ben was freaking aiming his upkick for the headshit? reminds me of a “quick scope”

  28. Profile photo of OperationCWAL

    OperationCWAL

    February 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Headshot I mean. Typing on iPhone sucks!

  29. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    February 26, 2012 at 11:40 am

    @ahhhhhhhhhhh- Round 1- Uneventful striking, about even, Edgar gets takedown. Edgar wins round.
    Round 2- Similar striking output again. Edgar gets two takedowns, but Bendo has a deep guillotine for half a minute and breaks Edgar’s nose with an upkick. Bendo wins round.
    Round 3- Henderson has slightly better striking, and both fighters score a takedown. Bendo wins round.
    Round 4- Henderson has slightly better striking, no takedowns are scored, and Henderson attempts another guillotine. Bendo wins round.
    Round 5- Henderson has better striking, Frankie gets a takedown, Ben tries another guillotine. Toss up as to who won the round.

    Both fighters had similar ammounts of aggression throughout the fight, so that’s probably a wash. Aside from that, neither really put a lot of control on the other, but Bendo had the center of the octagon for longer than Edgar, though not nearly enough to win him the fight based on octagon control. So depending on how you score the 5th round, it’s either 49-46 Bendo, or 48-47 Bendo, which echo the judge’s scorecards exactly. Where is the issue?

  30. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    February 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Ironic that you that this as proof that Edgar’s not one of the best p4p fighters. Especially since Edgar is a natural lightweight and Henderson is…. definitely not.

  31. Profile photo of Leon8220

    Leon8220

    February 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

    i’m sure i’ll get weaked for this but judging from the weaks people receive for supporting ben henderson, it looks like theres a lot of edgars fans here that are pissed because he lost. but lets be realistic here, FRANKIE EDGAR LOST!!! if you think otherwise, you’re completely delusional. The fight was one-sided. Bendo destroyed edgar, get over it, and i hope he gets a rematch to see the same outcome.

  32. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    February 26, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Octagon control barely figured into the judging I think. They both landed about the same number of shots, with Henderson edging Edgar out in a few rounds. On top of that Henderson’s shots were very significant, whereas most of Edgar’s seemed to do very little at all. This wasn’t just that Edgar’s a smaller man, but he was having to come in through a reach disadvantage and was getting countered a lot.

    I think of all the criteria fights are scored (effective striking, grappling, takedowns, aggression and octagon control), the only one you can definitively say Edgar won is takedowns. They were pretty even in a lot of the categories for most of the fight, with Henderson edging out Edgar’s offense with more significant damaging shots.

    Also, Diaz did not have octagon control. He was certainly the more aggressive fighter (a separate category), but Condit controlled where the fight took place and returned to the center of the octagon at will. But since we’ve brought Diaz into this, I vote we just use Stockton Rules. Look at both fighters’ faces, declare that whoever’s face is more f’ed up lost the fight, declare Bendo the winner, and call it a night.

  33. Profile photo of moots

    moots

    February 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    It is funny how many people are all of a sudden on the Edgar bandwagon right after the same people were claiming he was overrated, went to decision too often, etc. etc. etc.

    I saw a comment up there that said he gave Edgar round 2. ROUND 2?! Bendo DESTROYED Edgar in round 2, and in round 4. The only rounds I would consider giving Edgar were round 1 and possibly 3, I can’t remember exactly but there are some seriously sore butts around here claiming nonsense in defense of Edgar. I’m a huge fan, but Bendo outsized him, outstruck him, and dominated the majority of the fight!

    A rare occurrence: the judges actually got it right!

  34. Profile photo of AJY

    AJY

    February 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I think you must’ve been watching a different fight man, I saw Edgar get beaten up everywhere pretty badly. No diss to Frankie , ofcourse he showed hisdetermination hanging in there. I may have given em one of the later rounds but even thats debateable imo. But look at Frankie’s face I mean he got dominated, doesnt matter if strikes landed is close vwhen one guys strikes break you nose while you jab em, ya kno?

  35. Profile photo of AJY

    AJY

    February 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Iagree with the above post, I’m really surprised so many ppl even thought it was close. We saw edgar get battered by hard shots for 5 rds, a near guillotine and he looked out out of it near the end. His face tells the story.
    Wheres the props for Bendo’s performance, he’s dominant everywhere and actually looked more dynamic than Edgar in his attacks, thats no small feat.

  36. Profile photo of Spyridon

    Spyridon

    February 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Man, looking thru the posts here you see exactly why the fighters give props to the fans in japan… you guys who are putting down the fighters are rediculous.

    Why argue? It was an AWESOME fight! At the end I would not have been surprised no matter who got the decision, it was down to a matter of perspective because they BOTH did enough to win the fight!

  37. Profile photo of TheEnforcer

    TheEnforcer

    February 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    totally agree, dont give a shit who won but i had frankie winning first 3 lost 4 and even winning 5, frankie was winning the 5 and all ben did was win the last 10 secs, even the up round with the up kick from ben i still gave that round to frankie, people have short memorys, its a 5 minute round and if a fighter wins say 4 mins of a round say with light punches and kicks and the other fighter lands one haymaker that rocks the other fighter i still think 4 min of winning should till win a round

  38. Profile photo of falcon4917

    falcon4917

    February 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I just meant ufc on fx vs next strikeforce event. I am looking forward to it. I am not comparing tonight or the average UFC event.

  39. Profile photo of david522

    david522

    February 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    id give bendo a winning bonus!!! ;D

  40. Profile photo of david522

    david522

    February 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    something just for him hehe ;)

  41. Profile photo of Daviesman

    Daviesman

    February 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    1.as many, i thought frankie out-pointed and won this fight…what was it, ‘to be the champ, you gotta beat the champ’ … i would’nt say ben ‘beat’ the champ (i am an edgar AND henderson fan btw)

    2.if ufc give pettis the rematch next, thats total BS…they made frankie rematch bj AND they made him rematch maynard twice … no offense to pettis as i like him to but, pettis was on the bottom of the pile tonite and as good as his fight was last nite and as his fight against bendo, but IMO frankie deserves an instant rematch

  42. Profile photo of highkick12

    highkick12

    February 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    what a nasty up kick. Id love a rematch where that almost certainly won’t happen again.
    But then again henderson vs pettis 2….
    and frankie looked tiny in there he might as well go for aldo’s belt.

  43. Profile photo of Krogan

    Krogan

    February 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    After that fight I felt 100% sure that Ben had won it convincingly. I myself scored the fight 50-45 but its possible Franke got either 3rd or 4th but it seemed at the end of most rounds Frankie was being saved from a bad position by the bell.

    Frankies takedowns did no damage and he never held Ben down for any real amount of time, Frankies strikes did no damage at all during the fight and he was unable to really control the center of the octagon for any part of the fight.

    Very dominant victory for Ben.

  44. Profile photo of IChokePeople

    IChokePeople

    February 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I couldn’t watch the whole fight (bad replay) but what I saw looked even so I can see it being controversial if the other two fifths looked the same. That said I f\/(king hate fightmetric and these other computerized ref aps. They are all garbage and get it wrong most of the time.

  45. Profile photo of Daviesman

    Daviesman

    February 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    no, it’s not a fencing match but benson did’nt ‘finish him’ (mortal kombat voice-over please), so, the fight has to be scored on other factors…
    did you forget that frankie took benson down quite a few times through the 5 rounds…IT DOES’NT MATTER (cue ‘the rock’ song) that he did’nt ‘do anything’ while he had him down…how many fights have got scored the same way…a take-down is a take-down.

    people are biast in their opinions, this was one of those fights i did’nt want to see as i like both fighters very much…it was just my opinion that i thought frankie won, not benson…im sure if the fight was in america,whichever state,i think frankie would’ve walked asway with the win

  46. Profile photo of godsofwararise

    godsofwararise

    February 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    @jamesmma

    Did you not see the 3 knockdowns in one round that Maynard scored against him? How many knockdowns did Benson score? The fact is that Maynard was way closer to finishing Edgar in both title fights than Benson was at any point in their fight so to say Edgar suffered his worst ever ass whupping is ridiculous.

  47. Profile photo of Thang

    Thang

    February 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I think Frankie Lost because Randy Predicted He’ll Win. Another one for Randy ! If I bet $1,000 Against all of Randy’s Pick I would have a Million Dollars by Now.

  48. Profile photo of griffin

    griffin

    February 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    close fight but bendo won 2,3, and 5 so hopefully there wont be an immediate rematch because they are getting very old with frankie. Dana will probably tell him to move down to 145 now

  49. Profile photo of Billy Jack

    Billy Jack

    February 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Bendo,congrats to first Korean American UFC champion.
    Man that Korean hybrid power is no joke!!!!

  50. Profile photo of David Saucier

    David Saucier

    February 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    :-0 {=======

  51. Profile photo of FE4

    FE4

    February 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I really don’t know. If we go stockton rules like JTalbain suggests then definitely Benson.lol I wasn’t really going for one guy more than the other so it didn’t really matter too much to me but I gave Frankie the 1st and the 2nd. I know Benson landed that huge upkick but to me it didn’t change the last 4 and a half minutes of the round or whatever was left. I know Frankie was messed up but I thought it was closer than 49 to 46.

  52. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    February 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

    The difference being that Maynard knocked him down 3 times in one round. Henderson kinda pummelled him the whole fight.

  53. Profile photo of JTalbain

    JTalbain

    February 27, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Wow, I got weaked for that? People must not realize what p4p means. Most people agree that GSP, Anderson Silva, and Jon Jones wouldn’t be nearly as dominant if they fought at their natural weights, but that doesn’t stop them from topping the p4p list every time.

  54. Profile photo of MMAMachine

    MMAMachine

    February 27, 2012 at 2:49 am

    You’ve clearly missed the fact that my comment was a reply. I was posing the same question that was asked by the person I was responding to. He said that Frankie’s heart doesn’t finish fights, but nor did anything Ben did. Read, think, write. Thanks.

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