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Frankie Edgar to defend UFC lightweight title against Ben Henderson in Japan

After spending 2011 fighting Gray Maynard, UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar will challenge a new foe to start 2012 by the name of Ben Henderson, fresh off an outstanding performance in a lightweight eliminator fight against Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 1. The bout is set to go down in February when the UFC returns to Japan for the first time since 2000.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the bout during last night’s post-fight press conference.

Losing the WEC lightweight title at the final WEC last December to Anthony Pettis put Henderson’s immediate UFC title aspirations on hold, but with a three fight UFC winning streak under his belt, “Smooth” is exactly where he wants to be. Henderson picked up convincing decision victories over Mark Bocek and the highly touted Jim Miller to earn a #1 contender’s fight against the ultra-popular Guida. The former WEC champ proved once again that he’s as good as anyone in the world at 155 by out-working “The Carpenter” en route to another decision win. The bout, which was not televised on FOX, earned Fight of the Night honors.

While Henderson fought hard to earn a title shot in 2011, Edgar fought hard to keep the title. Facing Maynard, the only man to defeat him in his professional career, twice this year, Edgar was nearly finished in the first round of both contests but somehow survived both times. In January, Edgar fought back from a 10-8 first round to earn a draw and in October, he fought back to finish Maynard in the fourth round to retain the title. Both bouts are on the shortlist for fight of the year.

UFC 144 is scheduled for February 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

7 COMMENTS
  • RicM says:

    This should be good…..unless DW screws over Henderson the way he screwed over Condit……just cause Dana says you’re getting the fight doesn’t mean you’re getting the fight………

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Condit situation was a bit different. Really isn’t a more exciting marketable match at 155 right now until Melendez signs with UFC.

    I think Henderson might have what it takes to beat Edgar. Should be an awesome match with lots of action.

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  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    People are overly critical of UFC-Anyways- Benson versus Frankie will be a great fight-I think Henderson will force a new side of Edgar to emerge if the champ wants to remain victorious

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Can’t wait to hear Buffer: winner of this bout and NEW LIGHT WEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD…

    Bendo got this it’s just a matter of time now.

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  • MCM says:

    Dana has been high on Bendo since he was the WEC champ. He considered him top 5, so I doubt he’s gonna pull him from the UFC title now.
    It’s easy to route for Henderson and against Frankie, but Edgar is one of those fighters that doesn’t seem like they should win but can’t find a way to lose. I’m still going with Bendo.

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  • edub says:

    Edgar by domination. People are going to realize after this fight the how far Frankie and guys like Gray, Gil, and Eddie Alvarez are above the rest of the division.

    I honestly hope Dana pulls another stunt here trades out Ben for Gil. IMO it would be a much more competitive fight.

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  • Ben’s got some work to do if he’s going to win this one. I think he had a bad weight cut this go round but he better be prepared. Frankie’s quick and has great boxing wrestling and cardio. But we’ll see Ben’s a monster and he can beat anyone on any given day.

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