Frankie Edgar is more accustomed to fighting as an underdog than as a favorite. | Photo: Dave Mandel
UFC 144 “Edgar vs. Henderson” on Saturday in Saitama, Japan, will mark the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first appearance in the Land of the Rising Sun in more than a decade, as lightweight kingpin Frankie Edgar defends his 155-pound crown against former WEC champion Ben Henderson.
The pay-per-view event will also serve as the next chance for Sherdog MMA Pick’Em players to showcase their knowledge and expertise in the site’s groundbreaking fantasy game. Registration is available through Sherdog.com and Facebook. Sherdog MMA Pick’Em made its debut on Jan.7, with Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Jardine,” and has continued to pick up steam.
Unbeaten in his past seven appearances, Edgar (14-1-1, 9-1-1 UFC) last fought at UFC 136 in October, when he closed out his memorable trilogy with Gray Maynard by knocking out “The Bully” in the fourth round at the Toyota Center in Houston. Wins over former two-division UFC titleholder B.J. Penn (twice), onetime UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk and AMA Fight Club standout Jim Miller anchor the 30-year-old Toms River, N.J., native’s resume. Edgar, who now trains under former middleweight King of Pancrase Ricardo Almeida, wrestled collegiately at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he was a four-time national qualifier.
Henderson (15-2, 3-0 UFC) has recorded 13 wins in his last 14 outings. The 28-year-old trains under Royce Gracie protégé John Crouch at the MMA Lab in Glendale, Ariz. Henderson has secured 10 of his 15 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. He was a two-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Dana College in Nebraska.
Within Sherdog MMA Pick’Em, players will earn points based on correct match-by-match predictions for a given event. A maximum of 210 points can be picked up in a single match.
Players are awarded 50 points for each correct pick, along with 30 additional points if they choose the correct method: decision, knockout/technical knockout or submission. If the method involves a finish, 30 additional points will be awarded to players who choose the correct round in which the finish occurs. Players are also allowed five boosts per event through which they can notch an additional 100 points for outcomes about which they feel particularly certain. However, any incorrect selections involving boosts will cost the player 50 points.