Another night, another controversy. I enjoyed UFC 150 overall, though I was a bit put off by the decision in the Edgar vs. Henderson fight. I thought Edgar clearly won three rounds and could have taken a fourth as well, but as Dana White was so fond of saying last night at the press conference – “I’m not a judge”. He said he had it even going into the last round, but wouldn’t tell the media who he thought actually won. Well apparently, he told a bunch of other people that he thought Edgar won. So take that for what’s it’s worth (basically nothing). Anyway, let’s get on to the winners and losers from the show.
Ben Henderson: Regardless of people’s opinions of the fight, he’s still the champ and will be meeting Nate Diaz next. He admitted that he didn’t put enough pressure on Edgar, but a win’s a win. Every UFC lightweight champion has now defended their title at least once. I loved the way he was kicking Edgar low and changing up his stance so much. He’s clearly a very smart fighter and he has improved so much since his WEC run. It’s almost unbelievable. I’m not sure if he can become a huge draw or not, but Diaz vs. Henderson is going to be an insane fight whether millions are watching or not.
Donald Cerrone: I’ve never seen Cowboy that hurt before, but he showed good composure and retreated well enough to get his legs back. It’s kind of funny that he only has two career TKO’s, because he clearly has power. I know that he’s set up a few submissions by stunning his opponents first and all that, but still. It certainly appears that his trash talk in the direction of Anthony Pettis worked and we’ll see that bout next. I’d love for that to be on the same card as Diaz vs. Henderson – four ex-WEC lightweights headlining a UFC card. All Hail The WEC.
Yushin Okami: He needed a win and he got it. Instead of trying to strike with someone that was doing quite well on the feet, he showed off his versatility by switching gears and dominating Roberts on the floor. It certainly won’t do much for his career, but he did the best he could with what he was handed and I think he’s still a guy that can hang with almost every middleweight in the world.
Jake Shields: I certainly debated whether Shields belonged in this category or not, but in the end I put him here because his conservative performance really isn’t going to hurt him that badly. The fans had every right to boo the clinch war in the first, but Shield mounted Herman late and at least tried to finish the fight. Despite the “boring” label, Shields is still clearly a main card fighter and I think people get too riled up about stuff like this.
Nik Lentz: That was quite the featherweight debut. Lentz has 10 fights in the UFC and every single one was on the undercard. Mitsuoka isn’t a well-known fighter, but he has a solid resume and he’s a good wrestler. And Lentz just steamrolled him. The bout was shown on FX (it originally aired on Facebook) and he impressed a lot of people tonight with his performance and post-fight interview. I think he can be a force at featherweight and if he keeps fighting like that, the main card might beckon one day.
Losers after the jump.
SBN coverage of UFC 150: Henderson vs Edgar II
Frankie Edgar: He has now fought Ben Henderson twice, might have beaten him both times (this one seemed a lot more clear-cut than the first one) and he’s 0-2. He’s temporarily out of the title picture at 155, and seems iffy about a move to 145. He’s really at the biggest crossroads of his career. The drop to 145 seems pretty simple, but that’s an easy thing to say for people like me. Edgar enjoys a lot of advantages at 155, the biggest of which is speed. He might just be better suited to be a lightweight, who knows. Where he goes from here isn’t clear but he’s still a top-two lightweight in the world to me.
Melvin Guillard: Another man at a crossroads. He didn’t make weight for a co-main event bout and he’s lost three out of his last four (and was finished in all three). What does the UFC do with him? He walks through lower-level competition and gets stomped by high-end competition. He did hurt Cerrone and he will always have that fight-changing power, but it even seems like his chin is getting a bit dented. He’s still only 29 but after 44 pro fights, including a lot of slugfests, maybe it’s all starting to catch up with him? I don’t know. One thing I do know is you’re not going to be seeing him in the co-main event of a PPV for a long time.
Ed Herman: And the Jorge Gurgel award for worst fight strategy goes to – Short Fuse! Seriously Ed, what the hell was that? You would have enjoyed a large advantage on the feet, and all you do is clinch up immediately? It made no sense at all. Maybe he thought his size advantage could wear Shields down or something, but wading into Jake’s wheelhouse just seemed like a terrible idea and it ended up costing him the fight. I like Herman and have enjoyed his comeback thus far, but man – that was bad.
Ken Stone: He has now been on the wrong end of three brutal knockouts in his last five fights, and this one came in just 17 seconds. That can’t be good for career longevity. He was clearly out cold when the referee moved in to stop the fight, and the last punch actually woke him back up. Stone has some legitimate skills but they’re not exactly going to be put on display when he gets knocked out before they’ve even posted the graphic showing what color shorts he’s wearing.
Jared Hamman and his cornermen: Hamman clearly has the heart of a lion. Coming out for the second round with a torn muscle in his leg took a lot of chutzpah, but it was an absolutely terrible decision by his corner. I know that fighters want to keep going no matter what, but a responsible corner has to put the safety of their fighters before anything else and they didn’t do that. Hamman needlessly took a massive amount of damage in the second round of a fight he was never going to win on a bad wheel. Sticking his chin straight up and not blocking punches didn’t help either, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Sometimes you have to know when to fold. This was one of those times.
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