Benson “Smooth” Henderson (16-2-0) vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (14-2-1)
Frankie is the master of rematches, but this is the only time he does it as the challenger. Benson won the belt from Frankie in Japan earlier this year, and it took some hard campaigning on Edgar’s part to get his shot. The match was close, but this fight will settle it once and for all. Dana White said no matter how close the fight is the winner will fight someone else. That someone else is Nate Diaz, who has been waiting for his title shot since he defeated Jim Miller earlier this year. He will have an opponent after this weekend.
Prior to the Zuffa merger, many fans thought the fighters at lightweight in the WEC could not compete with those in the UFC. Well, that all changed when Benson started picking off top contenders on his way to the title, as he finished off all doubt with a win over the former champ. Benson is an absolute monster at 155. He is huge, has great striking, phenomenal wrestling, and a solid ground game. He weighs anywhere up to 190 before fight camps, and that is a big difference come fight time when Frankie cuts a minimal amount of weight.
Frankie Edgar is pretty much the real Rock Balboa. If you have not seen his fights with Gray Maynard you do not know the meaning of heart, or what a true comeback is. Edgar is an excellent boxer, and he is just as well rounded as Benson. The story will always be he is too small for 155, despite continually proving the critics wrong. If he can make the right adjustments to his game he will be winning his belt back this weekend.
The Bottom Line: It was a close fight the first time as they threw down in Japan. This time around it’s going to be in the high of altitudes of Colorado, meaning stamina will play an even bigger factor. I really felt Frankie would win this fight, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that Benson will retain the belt. The problem is Frankie is equal to Benson everywhere except in size, and unfortunately that is the deciding factor in Benson getting the W.