Six months ago, Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar to become the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s fifth lightweight titleholder. Now, he must do so a second time to remain at the top.
Henderson checked in at 154.4 pounds for his first title defense against Edgar (154.6) in the UFC 150 headliner on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Melvin Guillard (*157.5) failed to make weight at Friday's gathering, and has been fined 10 percent of his purse by the Colorado State Boxing Commission. His opponent, Donald Cerrone, registered a passing weight of 155.
A two-time NAIA All-American wrestler at Dana College in Nebraska, Henderson will enter the cage on the strength of a four-fight winning streak. Since entering the UFC as part of the World Extreme Cagefighting merger, he has beaten Edgar, Clay Guida, Jim Miller and Mark Bocek. Henderson operates out of the MMA Lab in Glendale, Ariz., where he trains under Royce Gracie protégé John Crouch. The 28-year-old, who holds the rank of black belt in tae kwon do and brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has secured more than half (10) of his 16 professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
Edgar was a four-time NCAA qualifier at Clarion University of Pennsylvania -- the same school that produced 1996 Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. A five-time “Fight of the Night” winner, the 30-year-old New Jersey native has seen 11 of his 17 career bouts reach the judges. Edgar, who trains with onetime middleweight King of Pancrase Ricardo Almeida, remains one of only two men -- Georges St. Pierre is the other -- to defeat former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn twice.
UFC 150 “Henderson vs. Edgar 2” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- also features a featherweight duel pitting unbeaten “The Ultimate Fighter 15” alum Justin Lawrence (145) against Max Holloway (145) and a pair of middleweight matchups, as former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields (185) collides with Ed Herman (185) and Yushin Okami (185) squares off with Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Buddy Roberts (184).
Two hours prior, the FX network will carry four preliminary bouts: Dennis Bermudez (145) vs. Tommy Hayden (144), Jared Hamman (184) vs. Michael Kuiper (185), Ken Stone (135) vs. Erik Perez (135) and Dustin Pague (136) vs. Chico Camus (135). The lone remaining matchup on the undercard will stream to the UFC’s Facebook page, as Nik Lentz (145) downshifts to featherweight to meet Eiji Mitsuoka (145).
UFC 150 “Henderson vs. Edgar 2” Weigh-In Results:
Benson Henderson (154.4) vs. Frankie Edgar (154.6)
Donald Cerrone (155) vs. Melvin Guillard (*157.5)
Jake Shields (185) vs. Ed Herman (185)
Yushin Okami (185) vs. Buddy Roberts (184)
Justin Lawrence (145) vs. Max Holloway (145)
Dennis Bermudez (145) vs. Tommy Hayden (144)
Jared Hamman (184) vs. Michael Kuiper (185)
Ken Stone (135) vs. Erik Perez (135)
Dustin Pague (136) vs. Chico Camus (135)
Nik Lentz (145) vs. Eiji Mitsuoka (145)
Melvin Guillard failed to make weight at 157.5.