UFC 144: Why Size and Power Will Help Ben Henderson Upset Frankie Edgar for the UFC Lightweight Title
No one will ever have to remind the MMA world, or Benson Henderson for that matter, about his remarkably entertaining battles against top-notch fighters such as Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, and Donald Cerrone.
Since transitioning into the UFC from the now-defunct WEC last year, Henderson has embarked on a three-fight winning streak that includes his most recent Fight of the Night performance against Guida.
And now, this Saturday at UFC 144 in Japan, the former WEC lightweight champion looks to capture his biggest victory yet when he faces Frankie Edgar for the UFC 155-pound strap. And this one could be the most intense battle both men have ever seen.
With two thirds of his wins coming by finishes, including eight submissions, there is no question that Henderson has the ability to finish Edgar. It won’t be easy though, just ask Gray Maynard, who twice had the champion rocked but couldn’t finish “The Answer”.
In order for Henderson to get his hand raised he has to be patient and pick his shots. He is the more accurate fighter in takedowns and overall striking accuracy, but with a very good boxer like Edgar, a rushed takedown will likely be countered pushing the aggressor in a world of trouble.
If Henderson is able to get the fight on the ground, he has the ability to keep it there. He is stronger than Edgar and has more submission victories so the grappling edge clearly goes to Henderson. And this may very well be were the fight takes place because of the boxing ability that Edgar has.
If the fight does stay on the feet, Henderson will have to pick his punches and cleverly time his attacks while constantly changing levels. Edgar loves the simple jab-hook combo and will throw it often. Looking back, Maynard landed hard counters on this simple combo early in the third meeting between the two. The uppercut he landed sent Edgar reeling, but let’s not walk down that road again.
Percentage wise, Henderson is very slightly better at stopping takedown attempts and is better at striking in the clinch. All of these advantages will add up to a victory for the “Smooth” one via unanimous decision.