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UFC 144 was harder to sit through than the Oscars

To be the champion, you have to beat the champion. Or so the adage goes. And that might have a lot to do with the Monday morning grumbling over Benson Henderson’s unanimous-decision win over lightweight champ Frankie Edgar at Saturday’s UFC 144 in Japan.

Henderson never put Edgar away, never had him in any trouble, save for the outside possibility of a doctor’s stoppage due to a cut opened up near Edgar’s left eye. Edgar thought he did enough to keep the belt and so did a lot of fans, but it was clear that Henderson got the better of every exchange. Granted, it would be hard to argue if the decision had gone in Edgar’s favour. Minor grumblings, sure, but even UFC boss Dana White saw the fight for Edgar. That doesn’t mean I want to see an immediate rematch, of which there have been plenty the last couple of years, including Edgar’s rematches with his last two opponents. Time to move on.

Except now, Henderson will likely make his first title defense in — you guessed it — a rematch with Anthony Pettis, who unleashed the wall-climbing super-kick in their first encounter. Pettis also used a stunning head kick to introduce Joe Lauzon to unconsciousness to open UFC 144’s main card. This time, though, it’s a rematch I’m interested in seeing, especially since Henderson came out the loser the first time around.

As for the rest of the UFC 144 card, it was a bit of a snore. Tim Boetsch rallied for a ridiculously unexpected third-round TKO of Yushin Okami and Mark Hunt proved once and for all that Cheick Kongo doesn’t belong in the UFC with a first-round TKO, but that was the best the card could offer, and even both of those had a distinct sideshow quality about them. Jake Shields vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama and Ryan Bader vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson both went to decisions, although I can’t recall a single memorable moment from either fight. As for the seventh fight on the main card, does anyone even remember who fought? Twelve fights is a lot of fights to consume in one night, never mind actually care about.

2 comments

1 Kris { 02.27.12 at 3:38 pm }

I don’t tink we were watching the same card. Although it was the longest PPV i can recall, ending well after 1am, it was entertaining for the most part.

Pettis’ KO of Lauzon was epic and really set the tone for a possible rematch with Bendo. The Rampage/Bader fight was a snooze but I am surprised you can’t recall Rampage’s massive slam that could’ve snapped Bader’s arm and neck into pieces, that was vintage Rampage.

Watching Boetsch get beat up for 2 rounds only to blast Okai in much the same way that Machida laced Rashad was really enjoyable.

The Shields fight – as usual was boring as hell, while I am sad to see Kongo lose to his old training buddy. Kongo is a character despite his soft chin and I enjoy watching him, though he sure isn’t worth the six figure deal he has per fight.

There is no way in hell Edgar won that fight, despite compubox numbers. He lost the three middle rounds and I can’t figure ou why Edgar thinks he won the scrap. Also equally as puzzling is Joe Rogan’s tendency to ask guys who lost a title fight if they are going to drop or go up a weight class. As if Frankie Edgar can’t hang at 155, the fight with Bendo was excellent and woke everyone at the bar up and on the edge of their stools after that Rampage/Bader snoozefest.

2 Barrett Hooper { 02.27.12 at 4:04 pm }

I’d forgotten about Rampage’s slam until you mentioned it. But one vintage Ram-slam in a three-round snoozer does not entertaining MMA make. I got far more enjoyment watching Sexiyama throwing Shields around like a ragdoll in a losing effort. And yeah, Edgar being dogged about dropping to 145 is crazy. Sure, he’d probably make an easy transition, but it’s disrespectful to write him off at 155 seconds after he lost the belt, which he clearly lost. The problem is too many fights. Two years ago you would see a five-fight main card and that’s it. No one saw any prelim fights. Now we can watch all 12, which kind of overwhelms my need to watch MMA. Leave people wanting more, not less.

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