By Jaime C. Feal
Another pay-per-per view, another lackluster card. While UFC 150 was slightly more entertaining than the snooze fest that was UFC 149, it still paled in comparison to last weekend’s exciting show on FOX. The main event title fight between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar was expected to deliver fireworks and fast-paced action. Instead, fans sat through an overly tactical and cautious bout. The undercard was hit-or-miss, with some fights dragging on and going the distance, and others ending by impressive knockout.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.):
Jake Shields (27-6-1, 2-2 UFC) vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (20-8, 7-5 UFC)
The middleweights begin trading jabs and Herman initiates a clinch. Herman tries for a takedown but gets shrugged off by Shields. The fighters battle in the clinch for the next several minutes. Herman landing some shots the body. Shields is able to muscle Herman to the ground briefly, but Herman works his way back to his feet. Again a clinch battle ensues, nice knee by “Short Fuse.” Shields responds with a decent knee to the head. Shields has double underhooks, attempting to take Herman down. Good knee to the body by Shields. 10-9 round for Shields
Shields with a body kick, Herman instigates a clinch again. Not a smart strategy by Herman, and he gets taken down. Shields on top in half guard. Jake working for a kimura from half guard, bails on it for ground and pound. Shields looking to mount, Herman regains full guard in the transition attempt. Shields passes to half guard again, works light ground and pound. 10-9 round for Shields.
More cautious fighting, lackluster fight. Crowd very restless, and rightfully so. Clinch on the cage again. Ref starting to warn the fighter to work, good right hand by Herman. The fighters separate, Shields looks completely gassed. Shields goes for a takedown and gets countered by Herman on a toss. Shields get back up and lands a left hand, goes for a double leg and gets it. Shields in side control, resting on top of Herman. Shields now working light ground and pound, but Herman gets it back to half guard. Crowd booing more, Shields passes into mount. Shields not doing anything with full mount. Both fighters gassed, Shields with light shots. Herman escapes into full guard. Herman starts to throw lots of elbows and strikes from the bottom, but it is too little, too late. 10-9 round for Shields.
The judges score the fight 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Jake Shields.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs.):
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (18-4, 5-1 UFC) vs. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard 30-10-2, 11-6 UFC)
The former training partners touch gloves, and Cerrone begins with a left head kick that is blocked by Guillard. Cerrone misses with a one-two and gets clipped BAD by a Guillard left hook. “The Young Assassin” pounces on his fallen foe with a hammerfist and knee. Cerrone gets up and backpedals, Guillard charges forward with a flying knee to the body. Knee to the head by Melvin, pouring it on. Big left hook, Cowboy is wobbly. Uppercut to the body by Guillard, tries for short elbows then backs away. Guillard swings and misses with a wild left. Left head kick by Cerrone! Guillard is wobbled, Cowboy rushes in and connects with a hard straight right hand. Guillard drops, Cowboy jumps on him looking for a rear-naked choke, but Guillard is already unconscious as referee Josh Rosenthal steps in to stop the fight.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone wins by KO at 1:16 of Round 1
UFC Lightweight Championship Bout (155 lbs.):
Ben “Smooth” Henderson (16-2, 4-0 UFC) vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (14-2-1, 9-2-1 UFC)
The champion lands a leg kick to begin. Edgar throws a kick that hits Henderson illegally for a low blow. Ref Herb Dean tries to give a time-out to Henderson, but Benson pushes Herb away and continues fighting. Henderson nails Edgar’s calf with hard leg kicks. Hard right hand from the challenger, but then gets knocked off his feet by another vicious leg kick from the champ. Edgar goes for an ankle pick, nothing there. Henderson tries for another leg kick, but this time “The Answer” checks it. Knee to the body from “Smooth.” Hard right hand and leg kick from Edgar. Henderson throws a leg kick that is caught by Frankie who takes him down. Henderson working on a guillotine, but the round ends. 10-9 round for Henderson.
Much slower pace, Henderson opens up half a minute in by kicking Edgar’s leg out from under him again. Edgar’s calf is swollen and welted up from the kicks. Edgar gets up and lands a nice stiff jab. Leg kick from Henderson is caught, and answered with a leg kick by Edgar. Good outside leg kick by Henderson. Hard right hand from the challenger puts the champion down. Henderson is sprawling, but Edgar maintains a front headlock position. Edgar working for a choke, but Henderson shows his incredible submission defense to eventually work out of it. Back on the feet, Henderson shoots for a takedown and is stuffed. Edgar again working on a front headlock, lands an uppercut. Henderson with a kick to the body to close the round. 10-9 round for Edgar.
Tactical battle ensues, as the first minute is Edgar circling the outside, Henderson landing a leg kick. Good knee from Henderson. The fighters trade punches but neither is landing, good defense from both. Hard outside leg kick from Edgar. And another. Henderson throws a leg kick, caught by “The Answer,” who lands a leg kick himself. Henderson misses a taekwondo side-kick, but then lands a hard outside leg kick. Body kick from Edgar, right hook from Henderson. Tough round to call, but Edgar was a little bit more active. 10-9 round for Edgar.
Outside leg kick from Henderson, Edgar briefly clinches him. Good left hand from Henderson, outside leg kick. Right hook from Edgar. Hard outside leg kick by Benson. Edgar being the aggressor now in terms of cage control. Good straight right from the challenger. Outside left kick by Edgar, and scores with a takedown. Henderson tries a crazy head kick while on his back, lands it but not much force on it. Edgar again has the front headlock position. The choke looks deep, but Henderson again showing his amazing resolve to get out. Back standing, Edgar lands a counter right. Henderson jumps in and misses a straight left. Good right to the body by Edgar, solid jab by Henderson. Good counter left from the champ. Nice outside leg kick by “The Answer.” Good right straight from the southpaw stance by Benson. Right hand in response by Edgar. Henderson throws a leg kick, caught by Edgar. Henderson throws his arms out to the side, taunting Edgar. Henderson gets tagged by a right hand counter. 10-9 round for Edgar.
The final round begins with Henderson jabbing on the outside. Nice right hand by Edgar. Henderson, off balance, gets pushes to the mat by Edgar. “Smooth” gets up but eats a couple body shots. Hard outside leg kick by Edgar. The challenger is wining this close fight. Crowd chanting “Frankie! Frankie!” 3 minutes to go in the championship fight. Good punch from Henderson. Edgar throwing hands, but not connecting. Henderson misses an uppercut, but lands a punch behind it. Frankie lands a counter right. Good right hook from Edgar. Hard right outside leg kick by “The Answer.” One minute to go, good kick to the body by Henderson. Vicious left hand by Henderson knocks Edgar’s head back. Right hand by Edgar, tries a head kick and misses. Henderson gets up and lands a head kick that turns Edgar’s head. The fight ends and the men shake hands. Close round. 10-10 round.
The judges score the fight 49-46 Edgar, 48-47 Henderson, and 48-47 for the winner by split decision, and still the UFC lightweight champion, Ben “Smooth” Henderson.