Frankie Edgar is the UFC’s official king of fighting the same guy back-to-back. He did it in 2010 with BJ Penn, in 2011 with Gray Maynard, and now he’s heading into fight #2 against Ben Henderson, the Philippians-quoting WEC standout who bullrushed the UFC and out-pointed four consecutive opponents to win the lightweight belt. (In case anybody cares, Randy Couture is at #2 on the immediate rematch leaderboard thanks to his rivalries with Pedro Rizzo and Vitor Belfort; then there’s a handful of guys who have had one immediate rematch, and that’s it. It’s a pretty short list.)
What makes the rematch at UFC 150 different for Edgar, of course, is that he won’t be a defending champion this time. Though he fought his ass off against Bendo at UFC 144, the numbers simply weren’t on his side. (Plus, he ate that face-shattering upkick at a moment when he really needed to maintain his momentum.) Ben Henderson is just as iron-chinned, aggressive, and hard-working as Edgar, so maybe the biggest advantage in the matchup is the fact that Henderson is a large lightweight, and Edgar isn’t. Will this be the fight that finally convinces Frankie to seek his fortune at featherweight? Or will he reclaim his belt with another unbelievable display of heart?
Later in the video, Jake Shields discusses his return to middleweight, following a welterweight run in the UFC that never quite left the ground. He’ll be facing Ed Herman, whose quiet comeback includes three consecutive stoppage victories, two in the first round. You’d have to call Shields the favorite here, but Herman has been surprising people lately, and he knows how much a win over Shields would do for him. By the way, only nine fights are currently confirmed for the card, which makes it the lightest lineup in recent memory. UFC 150 goes down Saturday, August 11th, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.