Frankie Edgar held the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown for 687 days -- until Benson Henderson did what B.J. Penn and Gray Maynard could not and dethroned the man they call “The Answer” in a spirited five-round encounter at UFC 144 in February.
Henderson and Edgar will meet for the second time in six months when they collide in the UFC 150 main event on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. This time, “Smooth” stars in the role as champion, eager to prove his first victory over Edgar was no aberration.
Sherdog.com touched base with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 150 “Henderson vs. Edgar 2” headliner:
Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC 150 Free Fan Pick’Em
Benji Radach: I think Frankie is gonna come back stronger than ever, but I’m gonna go with Ben. He got a taste of the title. I don't think he is ready to let go.
Michael Guymon: If I’m a betting man, I put my money on Benson. He’s just such a great athlete with amazing fighting skills to go with it. Henderson wins via TKO by punches in the fourth.
Joseph Sandoval: I think the first two rounds will be like the last fight. “Bendo” is gonna seal it up and wear down Edgar to catch him on the ground. Then I have “Bendo” getting a sub in the third.
Ben Askren: I really like Frankie, but I think the last fight showed he couldn’t do enough damage to Benson.
Ricardo Liborio: I believe that Edgar will come stronger then ever for this battle. I’ll go with Edgar by decision in a possible “Fight of the Year.”
Tim Kennedy: Everything about these fighters stands in stark contrast of each other. Their hair alone defines who they are as fighters. Ben has a tireless approach to finding the perfect conditioner, pseudo afro style, and the kind of crazy look during the fight. Frankie, on the other hand, has the close-and-tight, blue-collar, hard-working man’s haircut. Like his haircut, Frankie tries to outhustle and outwork his opponents, but Henderson’s hair is not one to be outdone. I see Ben’s pseudo afro coming out on top again on the scorecards. Henderson wins via unanimous decision.
Keith Berry: Frankie is smart and learns from his mistakes. I say he wins by decision.
J.J. Ambrose: I’m a big fan of Edgar, but I think his days at lightweight are numbered. In the last fight, Henderson was just too big for Edgar to effectively hold him down or do any significant damage. I’m taking Henderson via decision, with Edgar dropping down to featherweight to make a run for that title.
Kyle Kingsbury: Henderson wins in another close “Fight of the Night” performance.
Erik Paulson: I think Henderson has Frankie's number. His height plays a major role in his success and gives Frankie major trouble. If Frankie can get inside with his hands -- overhands, hooks and uppercuts -- and punch under Henderson’s jab or catch or ride a kick in to go on top, he has a chance. Either way, I will be watching and eating with all my friends.
John Gunderson: I’m picking Henderson. He’s got the size advantage on Frankie, but every fight I thought Frankie would lose he has won; he is the modern-day Rocky. So no matter the outcome, Frankie is the man and has had some unbelievable moments in the Octagon.
Javier Vazquez: Henderson is on fire right now. I thought he won the first fight with damage. Although Frankie threw more punches, Henderson did more damage with what he landed. I expect a similar fight to the first one, and Henderson will win by decision. Frankie, after his second consecutive loss, will move to featherweight to fight Jose Aldo.
Ed Herman: Henderson wins by unanimous decision.
Travis Wiuff: Edgar takes a hard-fought, five-round decision.
Nam Phan: I think Frankie can do it. He always does better in the rematch.
Johny Hendricks: I am picking Edgar in this fight. He hasn’t lost twice in a row yet, and I think he will beat Henderson this time.
Jacob Volkmann: Henderson will smash him and win a unanimous decision.
Jason Dent: I’m pulling for Frankie in this one. Frankie always comes back stronger and smarter in all the other rematches he has had in the past. Either way, no matter who wins, I hope both guys have a great showing and represent the lightweight class.
Zach Makovsky: Frankie is perhaps 90 percent heart. With a speed advantage over probably every lightweight in the world and unbreakable will and determination, I think he will find the answer in a close fight where Henderson can’t quite keep up. The belt returns to New Jersey.
Mark Bocek: I think Benson wins by decision; his size and cardio will be the determining factors.
Dave Jansen: I got Henderson winning once again by decision. We all know how tough the WEC lightweight alumni are.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: I like Frankie Edgar in this fight. I think the fight is very even on paper and could go either way, but I just have this gut feeling Edgar will take a close decision and set up the rubber match.
Pros Picking Henderson: 13
Pros Picking Edgar: 8
No Pick: 1
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