Lightweight Rages on After Denver (UFC 150 Review)

Photo Credit: UFC.com

The UFC began their stretch of title fights on Saturday as the Lightweight title was up for grabs in yet another rematch for the division. The Light weight division in the UFC has stood above most as one of the most competitive divisions. With many divisions seeing new superstars taking over the UFC weight classes the competition has become the toppling of a legend. Instead of who will be the next champion it has become about who can possibly beat the current champion. The lightweight division is much different though as the title has not been held by one fighter for very long and when they do it is not too tight of a grip. The central figure of the division for the past three years has been Frankie Edgar who was the Lightweight champion for two years but never seemed to really dominate anyone to get and keep the belt. In his title shot in 2010 against BJ Penn, Edgar took the win with a Unanimous Decision but his new title would not be that easy to get. Penn would get a rematch as many believed Edgar did not win too convincingly and needed to prove he was the best again. Edgar won the fight and kept his belt as he moved on to the next challenger Gray Maynard. With Maynard in the mix the lightweight title again seemed to be completely up for grabs even with Edgar beating a legend. The first fight was so close that it ended in a draw, again showing that the lightweight division was not truly ruled by one fighter. The rematch between these two was more convincing as Edgar won with a KO. Then came another test against Ben Henderson as Edgar would take on the former WEC champion to defend his belt against only his third opponent. Henderson proved that the lightweight was still wide open as he won the fight to take the belt with a Unanimous Decision win. Still many questioned the true dominance of the new champion and sop another rematch was made. The Lightweight division continues to see close fights with no one fighter emerging as the greatest and instead only emerging as the champion, for now. Henderson would have his chance to defend his belt at UFC 150 to try to break away from the pack. Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson II would be the main event of UFC 150 as two well-rounded fighters faced off once more to determine, without a doubt, who the best lightweight fighter is in the UFC. The fight was another close match in the division as Henderson and Edgar came out firing and looking to leave no doubt by ending the fight. The first big attempt came in round 1 when Henderson locked in a guillotine choke near the end of the round after a long and even stand up battle. The second round saw a lot of the same in the stand up as both fighters got their shots in continuing a very even fight. The fight continued on in the same way as both fighters seemed content to stand up and exchange both believing they were getting the best of the striking game. The fight was a close one to call as both fighters had their chances and landed big shots. Neither could really take the major advantage though as the fight went to a decision as both Edgar and Henderson had a realistic shot at winning. In the end it came down to a split decision as Henderson remained the lightweight champion. It was supposed to be a way to show everyone that he was the best for Henderson but it ended in a very unconvincingly with the split decision. Although it did end in a close decision for Henderson he has still taken 2 out of 2 from Edgar remaining the Lightweight champion. Henderson will now move on to face Nate Diaz in his next defence of the title where he looks to finally win convincingly. Meanwhile Edgar will remain one of the best lightweights in the division and will look to return to a title fight and possibly get revenge against Henderson.

As the lightweight title was decided, although still debated, two more lightweight fighters took to the Octagon to attempt to get to the top of the division. Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard both walked into UFC 150 as friends and former training partners and left the same way. In between that time though both fighters gave it their everything to attempt to get to the top of the division. The matchup is not a strange one as friends will face off in the UFC many times with very different feelings involved. For some fighting a friend is just part of the business while for others this type of fight is a major issue. Rivalries like the one between Rashad Evans and Jon Jones have formed out of this type of fight. For Guillard and Cerrone though it was just business as they looked to get in line for a title shot. When the fight began it was clear that both fighters did not want to prolong the match too long. Guillard came out immediately and hit Cerrone with a big right hand that sent Cowboy to the mat. As Guillard looked to finish the fight Cerrone continued to stay alive and stood up. He threw a big head kick that sent Guillard stumbling and then landed a big right hand of his own. The punch ended the fight giving Cerrone the win and putting him back on track to continue his climb to the title. Meanwhile Guillard suffered another loss as his talent again could not outweigh his lack of training and determination. Fight fans will hope that Guillard learns from the loss and gets better as he could be the best fighter in the division if he can figure things out.

The UFC handed out $60,000 bonuses for a night of great performances that put Pay per views back on top after some lack luster cards. The “Submission of the Night” went to Dennis Bermudez for his guillotine choke win against Tommy Hayden early in the night. The “Knockout of the Night” went to Donald Cerrone for his win over Guillard. Cerrone also picked up a second bonus along with his friend and former training partner Melvin Guillard as they both received a $60,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus.

 

Fight Results:

Main Event:

Benson “Smooth” Henderson def. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar

(Split Decision)

 

Main Card:

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone def. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard

(KO, Rd. 1)

 

Jake Shields def. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Yushin “Thunder” Okami def. Buddy Roberts

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Undercard:

Max “Blessed” Holloway def. Justin “The American Kid” Lawrence

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez def. Tommy “Wild Card” Hayden

(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 1)

 

Michael Kuiper def. Jared “The Messenger” Hamman

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Erik “Goyito” Perez def. Ken Stone

(TKO, Rd. 1)

 

Chico “The King” Camus def. Dustin “The Disciple” Pague

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Nik “The Carny” Lentz def. Eiji Mitsuoka

(TKO, Rd. 1)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC 151: Jones vs. Hendo (Saturday September 1st; 10:00 pm EDT)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

Main Event: Jone “Bones” Jones vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson [Light Heavyweight Title]

Notable: Josh “Kos” Koscheck vs. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger

Notable: Dennis Siver vs. Eddie “The Filipino Phenom” Yagin

 

UFC 152: Benavidez vs. Johnson (Saturday September 22nd; 10:00 pm EDT)

– Toronto, Ontario (Air Canada Centre)

Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez [Flyweight Title]

Notable: Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Brian “The All-American” Stann

Notable: Igor Pokrajac vs. Vinny Magalhaes

 

UFC on Fuel TV 4: Struve vs. Miocic (Saturday September 29th; 4:00 pm EDT)

– Free Live on Fuel TV/Sportsnet

– Nottingham, England (Capital FM Arena)

Main Event: Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve vs. Stipe Miocic

Notable: Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah

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