Until the first Henderson fight Edgar was on a six win streak (plus the draw to Maynard) stretching back almost four years even if some of them were come-from-behind wins. Edgar won the title against Penn in April 2010 and defended it against Penn that August, drew and then defeated Gray Maynard in January and October 2011 respectively. Henderson’s last loss was to Anthony Pettis in December 2010, the fight where “Bendo” lost that title before moving on to the UFC where he has since picked up four wins, all by decision. Edgar has always been somewhat smaller than his competition but his speed and boxing skills have largely negated this, the problem against Henderson is Edgar’s moves didn’t work on him and most people think they won’t a second time. Edgar definitely has a chance but seems to belong at featherweight, the odds are in Henderson’s favor.
The problem with this rematch is the rest of the lightweight class is again on hold. The two Edgar vs. Penn fights occupied all of 2010 while the two Edgar vs. Maynard fights took out 2011, now we are in August and Edgar vs. Henderson has occupied the title so far all year. Meanwhile Anthony Pettis for example holds one of Henderson’s two losses and is sitting on two wins in the UFC, his only loss since defeating Henderson being a decision to Clay Guida in Pettis’ UFC debut. Gilbert Melendez is stuck in Strikeforce where there isn’t much completion for him. Nate Diaz is sitting on three wins in the UFC since returning to lightweight, one “Fight of the Night” and two “Submission of the Night” awards. Odds are whoever wins will get one more title fight this year, it just seems slightly insulting to some of those waiting patiently all this time.
Co-headlining the card is Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard. Cerrone took two losses to Henderson (and one to Diaz mentioned above) back in WEC but is 5-1 in the UFC with a decision over Jeremy Stephens being his most recent. Guilard is 8-3 in the UFC having broken his two loss streak by defeating Fabricio Camoes in July. This is interesting from a training perspective as Guillard recently switched from Jackson’s Submission Fighting (aka Team Jackson/Winkeljohn) to Jaco Hybrid Training Center (home of the Blackzillians) while Cerrone still trains at Jackson’s.
Also making a run back at the spotlight is ADCC Worlds vet Jake Shields as he takes on Ed Herman. Strikeforce middleweight champion Shields transitioned to the UFC at welterweight but after a lackluster win over Martin Kampmann and losses to Georges St. Pierre and Jake Ellenberger he finally returned to form for a decision over Yoshihiro Akiyama. Now returning to middleweight Shields has a tough task as Herman is well used to the weight class. Herman had a rocky 2008-09 where he went 1-3 but after almost two years out of the cage turned his career around with three wins in a row, most recently defeating Clifford Starks in February.
Prelims on Facebook:
FW: Nik Lentz vs.Eiji Mitsuoka
Prelims on FX:
BW: Dustin Pague vs.Chico Camus
BW: Ken Stone vs.Erik Perez
MW: Jared Hamman vs.Michael Kuiper
FW: Dennis Bermudez vs.Tommy Hayden
FW: Justin Lawrence vs.Max Holloway
MW: Yushin Okami vs.Buddy Roberts
MW: Jake Shields vs.Ed Herman
LW: Donald Cerrone vs.Melvin Guillard
LW title: Benson Henderson vs.Frankie Edgar