Aug. 11 card headed back to Pepsi Center
Ben Henderson‘s first title defense apparently will come not far from his birthplace.
According to a report from MMA Junkie, Henderson will defend his UFC lightweight title in August in a rematch against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 in Denver. The news of the Aug. 11 pay-per-view was first reported by the Denver Post.
Henderson (16-2, 4-0 UFC) has had nothing but success in the UFC since the merger with the WEC, where Henderson lost his lightweight title to Anthony Pettis at the promotion’s final event. But in the UFC, “Smooth” has gone 4-0 with unanimous decision wins over Mark Bocek, Jim Miller and Clay Guida, the latter of which got him a shot at Edgar’s title at UFC 144 in Japan.
That fight was closely contested, but it went to Henderson with scores of 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47. UFC president Dana White, though, said after the fight he scored the bout for Edgar. Scoring among major MMA media members was varied, as well. And largely because Edgar had given immediate rematches to BJ Penn and Gray Maynard, his wish was granted. White said in March Edgar would get a chance to win the belt back.
Henderson was 5-1 in the WEC, the only loss coming to Pettis. He had stoppages of current UFC lightweights Anthony Njokuani and Shane Roller to get an interim title shot against Donald Cerrone, which he won by unanimous decision in October 2009. He then submitted Jamie Varner to unify the title, then choked out Cerrone in his first official defense.
Edgar (14-2-1, 9-2-1 UFC) has been all about rematches the last two years. At UFC 112 in April 2010, he upset BJ Penn to win the lightweight title in a close bout. Penn was given a rematch, but Edgar dominated the former champion at UFC 118 to retain the title. Next up was Gray Maynard at UFC 125, and the two fought to a now-famous draw after Edgar survived a brutal onslaught from Maynard in the first round. Their rematch came at UFC 136 after both needed time to return from injuries. Again, Maynard had a big first round, and again Edgar survived – and went on to knock Maynard out in the fourth round.
Edgar was glad to train for a new opponent in Henderson heading into UFC 144. And just like he had to do with Penn and Maynard, he’ll continue training for the same opponent he just fought. Only this time, he’ll be doing it without the belt and will be chasing it, instead.
UFC 150 will take place at the Pepsi Center and will be the UFC’s fifth trip to Denver proper and seventh to the Denver metro area. Denver was the location of UFC 1 and UFC 2 nearly 20 years ago, then UFC: The Ultimate Ultimate in 1995. Last September, the UFC played the Pepsi Center for the first time with UFC 135, headlined by a light heavyweight title defense for Jon Jones against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The UFC has also made two Fight Night trips to the north Denver suburb of Broomfield, Colo.