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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Saturday night's UFC 150 event has come to a close, and there's going to be a ton of discussion in the coming weeks, months, years, about the decision handed down in the night's main event. The first fight between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar wasn't a bad decision; Henderson took a clear decision victory in that fight, and the rematch came about because of how many times Edgar had granted rematches to opponents.
That served to backfire against Edgar in this rematch, as he was screwed out of the belt this time around in a fight most observers scored his way. Indeed, one judge gave him the fight four rounds to one. Scoring the fight live, I gave him three rounds, with a 10-10 in the third frame. FightMetric.com scored the fight a draw, with Henderson edging the third round and a 10-10 in the fourth. When it comes to that fourth round, the striking was essentially even, but Edgar added a takedown and a submission attempt that edged it for me. Several other major outlets scored the bout 49-46 Edgar, with another 48-47 card from MMAJunkie.com. The point is, not one had this fight for Ben Henderson. This was as bad a decision as Edgar getting the nod over B.J. Penn the first time when he should have lost three rounds to two. It's not quite up there with Shogun Rua getting screwed against Lyoto Machida, because that fight had a ton more offense from Shogun, but it's up there amongst the worst decisions in title fight history for the UFC. There's no two ways about that. At worst it was a draw, but Edgar should have retained the belt tonight.
With that rant out of the way, here's what I thought about the rest of the card:
--Donald Cerrone's knockout of Melvin Guillard was fantastic. That may have been the greatest 70-some-odd second fight in UFC history, and with so much drama and excitement packed into such a small segment, Cerrone kept it compact. He'll get a fight against Anthony Pettis later this year, and that's one I simply cannot wait to see. If Cerrone leaves himself open like he did for the counter-strike that nearly ended his night, he's not going to be getting to a title fight, but he's always dangerous, and that makes for one hell of a fight.
--There's not much to say about the middleweight fights populating the middle of the pay-per-view card. Jake Shields picked up a win over Ed Herman in a dull fight, but it wasn't a performance that will quiet any critics who have seen him only as a boring "lay and pray-er." It was a win, and a win is always needed, but it won't inspire any confidence from the UFC or get him a big matchup his next time out. As for Yushin Okami, he seemed a little gun-shy on the feet, but had a massive advantage over Buddy Roberts on the ground. It was another performance where he needed a win, but it doesn't do anything more for him than snapping that losing skid. He'll need a much more impressive performance his next time out to move back up the ladder.
--At just 20-years-old, Max Holloway's now got two decently impressive wins to his name in the UFC. He's got a long way to go in developing his game, but he's got some power in his hands, and he delivered a vicious body shot to Justin Lawrence to drop him and set up the finishing flurry. He's a solid competitor at 145 lbs., but there's no need to rush him at all. He's got plenty to learn and improve upon, but he's got a good base to work off of, and that was another good performance for him.
--After an out-of-nowhere loss to Diego Brandao in the TUF 14 finals, Dennis Bermudez has looked mostly very good in his last two bouts. He got himself in trouble by getting cracked with a huge knee to the jaw against Tommy Hayden, but he took over from there and finished the fight in a round he was about to lose. That showed some great recovery and great instincts overall, and it was a great follow-up to his win over Pablo Garza.
--Jared Hamman's corner really should be ashamed of themselves after allowing him to continue on against Michael Kuiper. He was already getting hit by some really big, heavy combinations, and his chin and toughness simply allowed him to continue on. But his strikes were having little to no effect on Kuiper, and to top it off he had a muscle in his thigh torn by one of Kuiper's kicks in the first round. So, working on one leg, getting cracked left and right by big strikes, Hamman was just taking a ton more damage than he should have taken in that fight, and it's because of his corner, the referee not stepping in, and the commission not stopping it in between the opening rounds when his muscle was torn. Hamman wouldn't have quit for anything in that fight, and while it's commendable, that's why it's on his corner, the referee, and the commission to protect him from himself. Just shameful, shameful work on their part on this card, and he's going to be out for a considerable time I'd imagine after the damage he sustained in that fight.
--Ken Stone had an initial complaint with his stoppage loss to Erik Perez, but it was fairly clear in real time and more than clear on the replay that he was knocked unconscious before being brought back by another strike. It was a good stoppage on Dean's part and great instincts from Perez, who pounced after face-planting Stone with a counter strike. The 17 second finish marked the fastest the 135 lb. division has seen on the big stage, and with his second straight win Perez will continue getting a push up the ladder. There's no need to rush him, as he's the fifth youngest fighter on the UFC's roster. He can continue to develop slowly for the time being, but he's got some very good hands and is pretty skilled on the ground as well.
--Chico Camus had an excellent debut, defeating Dustin Pague in an entertaining back and forth bout. Camus showed off his well-rounded game, with some really crisp combinations on the feet giving way to a good ground and pound attack after scoring some takedowns. His defense on the ground was on point as well, as he defended against a couple of bad spots against Pague, most notably a nearly locked on triangle choke in the first round. All in all, he fought well, and becomes just the latest from Duke Roufus' gym in Milwaukee to find some success inside the Octagon.
--In the only bout on Facebook for the card, Nik Lentz looked like a new man in his featherweight debut. After gaining an unfair reputation in the lightweight division, he rattled off several exciting fights in a row, but he didn't have the positive results to go along with it. So he changed up everything about his camp and his diet, moved to Florida for eight weeks, and came back with a vengeance. He dominated Eiji Mitsuoka from the opening bell, completing numerous takedowns, slamming Mituoka to the mat, and finally finishing things when he took his back, flattened him out, and landed a series of undefended strikes. I don't know if he'll be a title challenger at 145 lbs., but he's got the skill set to be a very dangerous opponent for anyone he faces; and at featherweight it translates even better, as he's competing against fighters closer to his size. If that's a sign of things to come, I can't wait to see what he does moving forward in this division.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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