Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 2/25/12

It’s time for the Main Event of the evening…yeah, I stole that from Bruce Buffer.  It’s time to break down the Lightweight Championship fight between champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and Benson “Smooth” Henderson.  This is a classic battle between two fighters in the prime of their careers, both of which have a legitimate chance to win this fight.  Let’s take a look!
Ben Henderson is a well-rounded and dangerous fighter sporting a 15-2 record and is a former WEC World Champion.  He looked unbelievable in defeating Jim Miller and is coming off of a fight of the night performance in defeating Clay Guida.  He has Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, good standup and amazing conditioning.  His only two career losses came to Anthony Pettis and Rocky Johnson early in his career.   He can beat anyone at 155 on any given night.      Frankie Edgar is the little engine that could, that never realized he was the little engine to begin with.  He’s the toughest fighter in MMA and has incredible heart and determination.  He’s not just a scrappy guy with a ton of heart though, he’s vastly skilled.  He has all the tools and has defeated Gray Maynard, and BJ Penn, twice.  Simply stated, he’s a champion in every sense and I’d favor him over anyone in the Lightweight division.  

This fight is a huge fight on a gigantic stage and the winner will move up the mythical pound for pound list.  Ben Henderson has the tools to pull off the upset, but finishing Edgar is next to impossible.  He’ll have to be patient, smart and pace himself.  Edgar doesn’t tire, is impossible to finish and constantly is bringing the offense.  Styles make fights, and whoever can impose their game-plan, has a great chance to win.
Ben Henderson has two stoppages in his career due to strikes.  He’s not known as a tremendous striker, but he does have excellent kicks and knees.  He has decent jabs but isn’t particularly heavy handed.  He uses his standup more to set up takedowns and submissions.  He’ll be at a disadvantage when the two fighters and trading punches.
Frankie Edgar is also not your prototypical standup fighter, but he punches at angles, and has some power in his hands.  He’s stopped two solid UFC competitors with strikes, Mack Bocek and Gray Maynard.  He has an advantage striking power wise, and if he uses good footwork, he’ll do well standing.  Frankie Edgar has a sizable advantage over Ben Henderson striking.
Ben Henderson has a solid wrestling background.  He was a state runner up in Federal Way, WA when he wrestled for Decatur High School.  He was an all-state selection as well.  He was twice named an NAIA All American when he wrestled at Dana College in Nebraska.  He’s not known primarily as a wrestler, but he absolutely has the background and pedigree to wrestle at a high level.  He’s an athlete who uses his wrestling to set take fighters down and look to submit them. 
Frankie Edgar has a lineage in wrestling as well.  In fact, he wrestled in high school, nationals, college and serves as a wrestling coach at Rutgers University.  He is a very good defensive wrestler as well, showing amazing takedown defense against BJ Penn.  His wrestling is among the best in the Lightweight division. 

Closer than you might think, but Frankie Edgar has the advantage in wrestling.
Ben Henderson is a submission maven.  He has a tremendous wealth of submission knowledge and can finish anyone at any point.  He holds a Brown Belt in Jiu Jitsu and has very slick transitions and can move from submission to submission rapidly.  Submissions are the strongest part of his game, and his game is all top notch.
Frankie Edgar trains submissions as does any top level MMA fighter, but he’s not as fluent and doesn’t instinctively have them at his disposal like Henderson.   Frankie is also a Brown Belt, but his submissions aren’t as polished.  He has three submission victories in his career, all three were chokes.  The question will be are his submission skills good enough to avoid being submitted?  We’ll soon find out.
Ben Henderson has the advantage over Frankie Edgar in Submissions.
Bottom Line.
This is going to be a war.  The biggest advantage for Edgar is he’s already the champion.  It’s very difficult to finish him,  and he has only lost once by decision in his career.  Both fighters have the skills, but Edgar has the will.  This could be a five round war, or it could be over with a quick Henderson submission or Edgar TKO.  I think the champion has the advantage here, but you’ll have to wait for the official www.hov-mma.com picks to find out who we think the winner will be. 

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