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UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson Preview

February 24, 2012

With the exception of Allen Iverson, there’s no other athlete more fitting of the nickname “The Answer” than Frankie Edgar (14 – 1 – 1). The UFC lightweight champ found the answer to beat future Hall of Famer B.J. Penn not once, but twice. In his most recent match Edgar exorcised his demons and finally vanquished nemesis Gray Maynard, the only fighter to hand him a defeat.

Edgar outboxed Penn, who is considered the best boxer in the UFC, and outfoxed him every time the fight hit the mat. His two matches against Penn showed how underrated his jiu-jitsu  was. Lastly, Edgar has great boxing and a sturdy chin.

But Ben Henderson (15 – 2 – 0) is as good as they come. After competing in the WEC, Henderson has proven his mantle in the UFC. He defeated Mark Bocek, Jim Miller and Clay Guida and hasn’t lost in the UFC yet.

Physically, Henderson has distinct advantages over Edgar. He’s bigger, a southpaw, and has more power. The MMA Lab product likes to pin opponents against the fences and wear ‘em down. We can expect Henderson to neutralize Edgar’s footwork by trapping the champ against the cage and leaning on him. He’ll have to work extra hard to achieve this given Edgar’s elusiveness. If Henderson can maintain his high work rate, he can hope to tire out Edgar.

Prediction: We expect the fight to go the distance with Edgar outlasting Henderson in an action-packed fight. If Henderson decides not to go for any takedowns and chooses to slug it out, Edgar will walk away with the belt still strapped around his waist. His constant head movement and darting in-and-out footwork is second to none in the UFC. Edgar follows game plans religiously and we’re sure he already has one drawn up for Henderson.