x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

MMA: Henderson retains UFC lightweight title after split decision win over Edgar

Frankie Edgar failed in his bid to regain the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title from rival Benson Henderson after losing a judge's decision in Colorado.

Benson Henderson takes a shot from Frankie Edgar during their title bout at UFC 150
Benson Henderson takes a shot from Frankie Edgar during their title bout at UFC 150

DENVER, USA // Benson Henderson edged a split decision to retain his Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight championship against former title holder Frankie Edgar at UFC 150.

The 28-year-old, who defeated Edgar by unanimous decision in Japan earlier this year to win the title, won the judges decision 48-47, 48-47, 46-49 in a close-run contest.

But afterwards the champion, who will face Nate Diaz in his next defence, said he was surprised at the score which went against him.

"I was a bit confused," he said. "The scoring on that one was a bit weird, but the judge had a perfect view - it is what it is.

"Frankie's tough, we all know how tough he is. I had to come in here and lay it all on the line."

Edgar survived a lengthy guillotine choke at the end of round one, holding out to the klaxon sounded, and controlled the next rounds in a back-and-forth battle in Denver.

Fight statistics suggested Edgar had shaded the bout in terms of significant punches and takedowns,

The 30-year-old was clearly disappointed with the decision lost, admitting after the fight: "I thought I brought it to him."

Donald Cerrone survived an early onslaught that which left him dazed in the opening seconds of his contest with Melvin Guillard to fore back with a high left kick and a thumping straight right and score a 76 second knockout that earned him fight and knockout of the night bonuses.

Gullard had missed weight going into the fight, and will be fined a part of his purse as a result.

Former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields scored a unanimous judges victory over Ed Herman in his return to middleweight, despite an unhappy crowd booing the performance of both men.

Afterwards Shields admitted he was embarrassed despite the victory, claiming fighting at altitude had affected his performance.

Yushin Okami scored a TKO victory over Buddy Roberts after just over three minutes of the second round of their middleweight contest. Okami, looking for a win after defeats to Anderson Silva and Tim Boetsch, controlled the fight once it went to the ground.

Former Ultimate Fighter contestant Justin Lawrence was lost via TKO with just 11s of the second round remaining in his fight with the UFC's youngest competitor, Max Holloway.

Holloway twice caught Lawrence low in the opening round, before taking control in the second, taking his opponent down with a left blow to the body before finishing the fight.

Elsewhere on the card, Tommy Hayden was submitted by Dennis Bermudez via standing guillotine late in the first round, Dutch jiujitsu specialist Michael Kuiper won a one-sided fight with Denver fighter Jared Hamman via TKO in the second round, Dustin Pague lost a unanimous decision to Chico Camus, and Nik Lentz beat Eiji Mitsuoka via first round TKO.

And young Mexican fighter Erik Perez scored the fastest bantamweight knockout in UFC history, after dropping Ken Stone in just 17 seconds of their preliminary bout.