Benson Henderson in February became the UFC’s lightweight champion by handing Frankie Edgar his first loss in nearly four years. To keep the belt, he will have to repeat the feat at UFC 150, which takes place at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Saturday. The majority of players in Sherdog.com’s MMA Pick’Em fantasy game are confident in Henderson’s staying power as champion, as 73 percent have chosen him to defeat Edgar for a second straight time.
A former WEC 155-pound titlist, Henderson is unbeaten in the Octagon since joining the UFC in 2011. Prior to his five-round verdict over Edgar, the MMA Lab representative defeated Mark Bocek, Jim Miller and Clay Guida in his first three appearances with the promotion.
Edgar became lightweight champion at UFC 112 by upsetting B.J. Penn. “The Answer” then defeated Penn again at UFC 118 before battling Gray Maynard to a draw at UFC 125. The New Jersey native made an emphatic statement against Maynard at UFC 136, however, scoring a fourth-round knockout against “The Bully.”
In the co-main event, a whopping 87 percent of participants like Donald Cerrone to get the best of former Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts teammate Melvin Guillard in another lightweight affair.
After beginning his UFC career with four straight wins, Cerrone came up short against Nate Diaz at UFC 141. The “Cowboy” has since rebounded, striking his way to a clear-cut decision win over Jeremy Stephens in May.
After consecutive losses to Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller knocked Guillard from title contention, “The Young Assassin” returned to his winning ways with a methodical unanimous decision triumph against Fabricio Camoes at UFC 148.
Other Pick’Em trends for UFC 150:
• In his first bout at middleweight since 2010, Jake Shields has drawn favor from 82 percent of users against “The Ultimate Fighter 3” finalist Ed Herman. Shields went 2-2 at welterweight in the UFC, most notably falling to Georges St. Pierre in a title bout at UFC 129. Meanwhile, Herman has won three straight fights since returning from a knee injury;
• An overwhelming 96 percent of players believe Yushin Okami will halt a two-bout skid against short-notice opponent Buddy Roberts in a middleweight tussle. Okami suffered a heartbreaking defeat at UFC 144, as he was knocked out by Tim Boetsch in the third round after dominating the first 10 minutes. Roberts was victorious in his Octagon debut, earning a decision over Caio Magalhaes in June;
• Justin Lawrence wowed viewers with his striking skills on the most recent season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and 77 percent of competitors believe he will get the best of Max Holloway in a featherweight clash. Lawrence knocked out John Cofer with a head kick at the “The Ultimate Fighter 15” Finale, while Holloway bounced back from a loss to Dustin Poirier in his promotional debut to earn a dominant decision over Pat Schilling on that same card;
• In preliminary bouts, users favor Dennis Bermudez (88 percent) over Tommy Hayden, Jared Hamman (67 percent) over Michael Kuiper, Nik Lentz (91 percent) over Eiji Mitsuoka, Dustin Pague (83 percent) over Chico Camus and Erik Perez (71 percent) over Ken Stone.