Benson Henderson went thru an ultra close five round fight tonight against Frankie Edgar and when the judges scores were counted, he ended up winning by split decision. This was his first title defense since he took the belt back in February from Edgar.
The first judge scored the fight in favor of Frankie four rounds to one. Both of the other two judges saw the fight as three for Henderson and two for Edgar. Henderson chopping leg kicks to the lead left leg of Edgar in the fight were definitely a factor in him winning the fight.
He started them early and was quickly able to kick that front leg out from under Edgar but seemed to use them less often as the fight went on. Edgar was able to duck under the punches from the champ and work the right side of the body and eventually the right hook upstairs once he was able get his timing down.
Henderson did have an attempt at one his guillotine chokes that he has ended other fights with but Edgar was able to keep enough space and a hand in the way to survive till the end of the round.
Edgar was also able to threaten submissions of his own the front choke Henderson defended well against the choke and the knees Edgar was waiting to deliver should he leave the protection of being a down opponent.
While the fight was close and could easily be argued by either sides camp. The judges made their decision and Benson Henderson will move on and defend his Lightweight championship next against Nate Diaz who earned the shot after beating Jim Miller by submission in May. Diaz has won his last three fights since returning to lightweight with two by submission and the third was a three round dominance of Donald Cerrone.
Frankie Edgar was clearly upset after the fight. There has been lots of talk since he faced Henderson the first time of him dropping down to featherweight and working for a shot at the 145lb belt. Jose Aldo the current champ looks to be in need of a new challenger. Edgar is known to not have to cut weight to make 155 and is one of the fastest guys in the division.