At UFC 144, three judges decided unanimously that Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar in the main event to become the new UFC lightweight champion.
Edgar politely disagrees.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Ben. He did a good job, but I feel I won that fight,” Edgar (Pictured, file photo) said at the post-fight press conference following his hard-fought loss. “He came hard, and I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I thought I did enough to win those rounds. I thought I landed more strikes and got more takedowns. My guys were telling me [I was ahead], but those are the breaks. Congrats to Ben.”
Both champion and challenger fought masterfully at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, delivering an exciting and technical five rounds of action in the evening’s headliner. Though each man was effective at different points in the fight, Edgar was once again out-sized by his opponent, a common theme for the New Jerseyan. However, according to Edgar, the size differential proved to be nothing out of the ordinary.
“He was no bigger than the other guys I fought,” said Edgar. “He was big and strong, but I never felt it was overwhelming or anything like that.”
The loss marks just the second blemish on Edgar’s record, his last loss coming in 2008 in his first fight with Gray Maynard. Despite posting a 6-0-1 record since that defeat, the elite lightweight was still forced to field numerous questions concerning his potential aspirations at 145-pounds following his loss to “Smooth.”
“I train hard. I eat pretty clean, but it’s not like I diet,” said Edgar in regard to making the lightweight limit. “I don’t know [about making a run at featherweight]. It’s not something I’m thinking about right now, to be honest.”
As for Henderson, his fate has not yet been decided. Though some have pointed to Anthony Pettis -- a former WEC champion and the last man to beat Henderson -- as the next logical No. 1 contender, few could argue that Edgar is deserving of an immediate rematch after his performance on Saturday night.
However, “The Answer” did not demand a chance to regain his throne in the wake of his contentious defeat, instead posing a question to illustrate the inherent difficulty in choosing Henderson’s next challenger.
“I’m not trying to shoot anybody out of anything they deserve, but I had to do two immediate rematches [as champion],” said Edgar. “So, what’s right?”