DENVER (AP) — Benson Henderson retained the lightweight title at UFC 150 on Saturday night, doing just enough to outpoint Frankie Edgar in a split decision.
Henderson, born in Colorado Springs, received winning scores of 48-47 from two of the judges, while the third scored it 49-46 for Edgar. Henderson took the belt from Edgar on Feb. 25.
Boos rained down on Henderson after the decision was announced to the crowd that increasingly gravitated to Edgar's corner as the 155-pound fight progressed.
The five-round bout was action-packed, with both fighters landing damaging punches and kicks and nearly submitting each other with choke holds. The difference likely came because of Henderson's 89-62 advantage in significant punches landed.
Henderson (17-2) will next defend his title against Nate Diaz (16-7).
Amid alternating chants of "Frankie!" and "Benson!" at Pepsi Center, the fighters exchanged right hands and leg kicks, with Edgar scoring a number of takedowns and dropping Henderson with a right hand in the second. Edgar bled from the nose after a Henderson right hand in the second, but never appeared to be affected by the blood.
Edgar was visibly upset after the decision that dropped him to 14-3-1.
The co-main event lasted only 1:16, but provided more action than most of the night's other bouts. Denver native Donald Cerrone recovered from a left hook from Melvin Guillard (47-12-3) that floored him early in the round and improved to 19-4 after connecting on a left kick to the head and a right hook that sealed the deal.
Guillard's shot rocked Cerrone in the fight's opening seconds, but he was unable to connect with a flurry of knee strikes and punch combinations to end the matchup between the 29-year-old lightweights. Cerrone landed what initially appeared to be a glancing left kick to the top of Guillard's head, but the New Orleans fighter was virtually out on his feet and defenseless to Cerrone's finishing right hand.
Cerrone, a Denver native who attended Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, is 8-1 in his last nine fights. Two of the 155-pounder's losses have come at the hands of Henderson.
Guillard, who missed weight at Friday's weigh-in by 2 1/2 pounds, will be fined a portion of his purse and fell to 6-3 in his last nine fights.
In the third fight of the night, Eric Perez (12-4) scored the fastest bantamweight knockout in UFC or WEC history with his 17-second stoppage of Ken Stone (11-4) in their 135-pound bout.
- Sports & Recreation
- Frankie Edgar
- Benson Henderson
- Melvin Guillard