Last night ten tilts were featured at UFC 150 with all but three of them involving some form of finish. However, to hear fans (and media members) talk about the card it seems only one match-up truly mattered – the main event title-fight between champion Benson Henderson and challenger Frankie Edgar.
For many the Split Decision seeing Edgar come up short was akin to finding a hair in the last bite of a delicious meal. Leading up to the judges’ ruling, people had enjoyed a platter with a plethora of exciting performances including those from Edgar/Henderson. Unfortunately, the sour taste the controversial outcome produced has tainted the entire event for a good number of fans and that’s truly a shame.
In general, UFC 150 featured an evening laced with highly-entertaining action and a single flaw since blown up into an epic failure. More specifically…
Prelims Set “Mile High” Expectations for Main Card
– Nik Lentz looked fantastic in his featherweight debut, something made even more impressive considering he had to deal with Denver’s notorious altitude. He should be a force to reckon with at 145 based on his success at 155. Comparably, opponent Eiji Mitsuoka is clearly not UFC material and, at 36, is only worth keeping around if available to fight one final time in November when the UFC visits China.
– Chico Camus came off as decent in his first UFC fight and comes from a great camp (Roufusport) but he also lucked out in that Dustin Pague was fighting for the third time in two months and flubbed on a Triangle Choke early on. Pague deserves at least a 3-4 month break before returning to the cage again.
– Not much can be said about Erik Perez-Ken Stone since it only lasted seventeen seconds, though I am starting to have questions about Stone’s durability based on the number of first-frame knockouts he’s sustained in the past few years.
– Jared Hamman is another fighter I fear for. He’s got a ton of heart but that’s not necessarily a good thing when combined with a relatively weak chin. He also kept fighting despite having a clearly injured leg, showing a willingness to risk a far more serious issue putting him on the sidelines for six months if not longer. I don’t really have an opinion on Michael Kuiper since he was picking apart a wounded adversary in Hamman. He looks solid but it’s still hard to gauge his true potential.
– TUF finalist Dennis Bermudez looked good against Tommy Hayden, though he takes a lot of risks while standing and ends up eating strikes as a result. I can see him making a decent run in the division but never quite achieving contendership status. Hayden, on the other hand, will be lucky to ever escape the undercard.
Paltry PPV Lineup Pushes It Purchase-Wise
– I enjoyed the fight between Justin Lawrence and Max Holloway, as both are exceptionally young competitors with a ton of promise who enjoy striking. However, in no way should it have been on a PPV card fans are expected to pay $45-55 to watch. On paper the bout wasn’t even worthy of co-headlining a Fuel TV event, let alone making up 1/5 of the UFC 150 main card.
– Outside of Yushin Okami’s dwindling name value his bout with Buddy Roberts was nearly as bad as Lawrence-Holloway from a promotional standpoint. Okami was coming off two knockout losses while Roberts was last seen on the prelims of a FX card. FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!
– Jake Shields’ scrap with Ed Herman was perfectly fine where marketability was concerned. Unfortunately, it was also a terribly boring bout in the end due to Herman’s questionable decision to continuously clinch with a much-better grappler. Shields is great at finishing subpar opponents who lack submission defense but against balanced adversaries he’s little more than a wet blanket.
– I was confident Donald Cerrone would finish Melvin Guillard in the first round after Guillard missed weight. Also, his body language walking down to the Octagon was one of a beaten man rather than someone with fire in his belly. Obviously I almost ate my words when an overconfident Cerrone got rocked early on but in the end “Cowboy” lassoed another impressive victory (as expected). Guillard is a gatekeeper at this point, nothing more, and as far as I’m concerned he’s already peaked. Cerrone, on the other hand, typically looks tremendous as long as he can reel in his swagger some. It almost cost him against Guillard and it definitely resulted in a beatdown at the hands of Nate Diaz. If he can learn to maintain his composure he’ll be in a title-fight before you know it.
– I felt Edgar deserved the decision nod but awarding Henderson with the win was far from the biggest travesty ever witnessed in the Octagon. Also, let’s not forget Edgar got his rematch based on factors unrelated to performance in their February bout. It may have stung to see Edgar fall on Saturday night but there’s no reason to feel bad for him. He got his second shot at “Bendo” and lost. The end.