Henderson-Edgar 2: Lightweights, High Stakes

By Raphael Garcia

Whenever a combat sports card is put together the main event is expected to carry the entire show. Months of build-up, marketing, and advertising dollars are put behind presenting the athletes that are fighting in the main event as the reason why we should spend our hard earned money to watch the card. The main event at UFC 150 may not feature the biggest names that the organization has to offer, but it does carry a level of importance that is not always present with top-billed fights.

Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar are due to face each other for the second time in five months. Although it is yet another rematch in a lightweight division that has been marred by many, the UFC couldn’t deny this opportunity to Edgar, who had done everything the organization had asked of him, and walked away victorious in the past. What makes this bout so important is that the promotion needs whomever ends up victorious on Saturday night to get the job done in convincing fashion.

The expectation for this weekend’s matchup is that it will mirror their confrontation in Japan. Both fighters are two of the best and most well-conditioned fighters in the sport, so we should not expect any type of slowdown from the fight’s start to its finish. The first fight displayed the size advantage that Henderson had over Edgar, as the Toms River native was unable to hold him down for any duration of time. However, Edgar was able to land strikes consistently using his trademark boxing skills. Henderson’s power advantage came into play when the two fighters exchanged blows, though, as “Bendo” was able to land multiple body kicks throughout the fight. As with any type of rematch that has been put in place, however, it will be interesting to see how these two elite fighters change up their strategies in order to secure the win.

The lightweight division is often considered the most exciting division within mixed martial arts. However, the battles around the UFC’s lightweight title have become stagnant in recent years due to the recurring rematches. While the rematches have been quite valid in creation, fans and experts are looking forward to another competitor stepping in to freshen things up. Anthony Pettis, Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone, and even Melvin Guillard are all interesting opponents for either Edgar or Henderson.

For example, if Henderson is able to win this weekend and faces Anthony Pettis, not only would that be a long overdue rematch of their WEC 53 bout, but the UFC could truly benefit by creating a season of the Ultimate Fighter based around their rivalry. Edgar-Diaz is another attention-grabbing contest, but both fighters have gone on record in stating that they would rather not complete against one another due to training history.

The potential fights at the upper echelon of the weight division are nearly endless, and will give UFC matchmakers the opportunity to create new stars. The timing couldn’t be any better, because it is readily apparent that the UFC is in need of new stars to help carry the multitude of events that they have planned for the rest of the year. It seems that the organization is keen on using its free television slots to help promote the lighter weight classes, and there are a number of lightweights that can benefit from a renewed title chase. 

UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar 2 has a main event whose fighters are smaller in stature, but the fight still carries a lot of weight for the division, and the organization as a whole.

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