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Henderson v Edgar: The key to Frankie's future

ESPN staff
August 10, 2012
Ben Henderson v Frankie Edgar

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. That is one of several mottos by which Frankie Edgar lives his MMA career, and on Saturday he heads for a fourth rematch - having previously met BJ Penn and Gray Maynard on multiple occasions.

Ben Henderson took Edgar's title in the first meeting, delivering the heavier strikes to bust up the former champion en route to a decision. When the final scores were rendered, Edgar was a mess, while Henderson did not have a scratch.

Will history repeat itself? Or will Edgar do what he always does and improve in the sequel?

Ben Henderson had Frankie Edgar's number in their first fight © Getty Images

Ben Henderson v Frankie Edgar

Where the fight could be won or lost: Frankie Edgar wants to be a lightweight. That's fine. Who are we to tell this guy which division to fight in? But what that means, Frankie, is you have to be that much better than everyone else. Ben Henderson is likely a full weight division bigger inside the cage. That matters, in takedown defence and significant strikes.

Statistically speaking, Edgar was better in the first fight, but Henderson's offence caused much more damage. Edgar's boxing is superior, but he got caught with a lot of counter jabs. Expect him to put an emphasis on head movement as he comes in. Henderson does a better job mixing in kicks and knees; so expect to see him threaten with takedowns more this time, though.

Crucially, Edgar did control rounds one and two of the first fight until an upkick broke his nose. If he stays out of danger, which he often doesn't to be fair, he can point-score his way to victory.

The pick: Frankie Edgar - Split decision

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