UFC 144 Bonuses: Ben Henderson, Frankie Edgar Win Fight of Night Award

Anthony Pettis (James Law/HeavyMMA)

Pettis, Lee also win $65,000 bonus awards

Frankie Edgar lost his UFC lightweight title on Saturday, and he’ll have to use a bonus check as a small silver lining.

Ben Henderson took Edgar’s title in the main event of UFC 144, winning a unanimous decision at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. And for their five-round closely contested bout, Henderson and Edgar won the Fight of the Night bonus. Each gets a bonus check for $65,000.

UFC president Dana White announced Henderson-Edgar as Fight of the Night at the post-fight press conference on Saturday (Sunday in Japan), and announced the Knockout of the Night winner was Anthony Pettis and Submission of the Night for Vaughan Lee. Each also received $65,000.

Henderson used a size and strength advantage against Edgar to win on points, 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47. Edgar disputed the decision, but said he wasn’t going to lobby for a rematch.

“He came hard and he fought a good fight, but I thought I did enough to win those rounds,” Edgar said at the post-fight press conference. “I’m not trying to shoot anyone out of anything they deserve. I did too many immediate rematches.”

Pettis opened the pay-per-view against Joe Lauzon, and just 1:21 into the fight he had Lauzon out cold with a massive head kick. The knockout likely earned him top contender status in the lightweight division and, White said, a likely rematch against Henderson – whom he beat at the final WEC event in December 2010.

And in upset on the preliminary card, Lee became the first man ever to submit Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, getting the Japanese legend to tap to an armbar in front of his home country fans.

“He rocked me with some hard shots. After he took me down, I just knew I had the submission,” Lee said.

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