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Benson Henderson wins controversial split decision over Frankie Edgar

Champion Benson Henderson tries to explain his narrow victory at the post-fight press conference. Photo Courtesy's YouTube page.

Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar did come in to his title rematch with Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson having solved many of the problems Henderson posed, namely speed and unique kicks from odd angles, but it wasn’t enough to sway the judges, and Henderson walked off with a very controversial split decision.

It’s difficult for the average fan watching to know the outcome of a close fight. All we have to go on are impressions, comments from the broadcast team, and computer tallies of strikes. These tallies are typically through an entire fight, though, not round by round. What we think we see and what judges score may be very different things.

Edgar’s main answer was to avoid the up-kick that nearly KOed him early in the first fight. The New Jersey fighter used movement, angles, combinations, a couple of takedowns, and a knockdown to stifle Henderson’s speed and size. A few times Edgar tried applying chokes, to no avail.

Leg kicks and more powerful punches were Henderson’s reply to Edgar’s adjustments. Henderson always looks the more dangerous, coiled fighter, and even though Edgar never ran, you could see Henderson posed a considerable and intimidating problem. Speed is power, power kills, and Henderson has plenty speed. At the post-fight press conference, however, Henderson lamented not pushing the pace.

“He got robbed!” was the main chorus after the decision was announced. Edgar threw his baseball cap toward the cage as Henderson raised his arms in triumph.

To Smooth, it doesn’t really matter how close or controversial the fight was: he has now won two against Edgar, and can look forward to a title fight with a deserving Nate Diaz, perhaps Henderson's most dangerous fight in the 155 poiund division.

KO of the night: Cerrone v. Guillard

Lightweight contenders Donald ‘The Cowboy’ Cerrone---whom Nate Diaz disassembled late last year---and Melvin 'The Young Assassin' Guillard fought one of the more bizarre fights of late. Cerrone has 13 submissions out of 19 wins, and  out of heavy-handed Guillard’s  11 losses, 9  have been via submission, so most fans thought they knew where this contest was going.

After rocking him, Guillard had Cerrone up against the fence, but his flurry withered fast. Cerrone gathered some wits about him, and while on autopilot landed a high kick that glanced of Guillard’s skullcap, which staggered him and set him up for the fist-sandwich that ended the bout at 1:16 of round one.

In the Octagon after the fight, Joe Rogan  asked Cerrone when he’d gotten his senses back. “Just now,” The Cowboy said, smiling. Since you lose five to ten minutes of your life when you’re KOed or rocked hard like Cerrone was, he’ll likely have to watch replays to know what actually happened.

Click here for all the results.

Follow me on Twitter @RenkoStyranka

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