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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson will defend his title for the first time on at UFC 150 this August, taking on the man he beat to capture the belt in February, Frankie Edgar. The immediate rematch was booked despite what many felt was a clear decision in Henderson's favor, and Henderson himself believes their August bout will bring about similar results.
"Who knows [why the rematch was booked]? I think a part of that is Dana White being the big boss man and head honcho, scored the fight another way," Henderson pondered in an interview with Stephie Daniels at BloodyElbow.com. "He felt that fight warranted an immediate rematch, which is fine by me. It's cool."
"It was a fun fight for me. I had a good time in there. As far as running it back, by all means, let's do it. We can run it back 10 times, but 10 times out of 10 times, I intend on having the same outcome, if not ending the fight earlier."
Despite not necessarily thinking a rematch was warranted, and believing he'll win every meeting between the two, he has no qualms about giving Edgar another shot.
"Frankie is the man," Henderson said. "He has proven himself to be one of the best champs, and he defended his belt a few times. A lot of guys win the belt one time and they never defend it. I don't want to be one of those guys. Beating a guy like him, a legit pound for pound guy in the top rankings, definitely warrants a rematch. If I had ended it, if I had gone out there and done my job better, and put him away, and then they came back wanting a rematch, I'd probably have said, 'Oh, that's a very curious decision there', but as far as it being a split or unanimous decision, I can understand it."
"In my opinion, that's a really tough spot to be in, as a champ. Frankie did it twice. He said, 'Yeah, that's fine. Let's do it. It was a close decision, so let's run it back.' He showed what he has inside, by agreeing to that. I want to be the same way. I want to show what I have inside, and agree to it. Let's run it back. I have no problem with that at all."
The bout will headline a card heading to The Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., on August 11.
Penick's Analysis: Henderson's speed is very comparable to Edgar's, and his height and reach advantage both work in his favor. After getting through the first fight and knowing what he can do against Edgar, I'd assume we'll see some adjustments made on how to improve upon that. Edgar will make some adjustments as well, but I don't know that we'll see anything differently in this rematch. Henderson may not win ten times out of ten against Edgar, but I do believe at this stage he's the best fighter in the lightweight division, and will likely defend the belt in this rematch.
[Ben Henderson art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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