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UFC 150 live blog: Controversial decision goes Benson Henderson’s way

Donald Cerrone bounces back from early touble for knockout victory

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Associated Press

Frankie Edgar from New Jersey, right reacts to losing the title bout against Benson Henderson from Arizona in their middleweight title bout during UFC 150 in Denver, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012.

Updated Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 | 9:49 p.m.

UFC 150

Benson Henderson from Arizona, left takes a right to the chin from Frankie Edgar from New Jersey in their middleweight title bout during UFC 150 in Denver, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Henderson won the bout. Launch slideshow »
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Benson Henderson, left, and Frankie Edgar, right, pose after making weight for their UFC 150 lightweight championship fight Friday August 10 in Denver.

Note: Scroll to the bottom for full results from the preliminary card.

DENVER — It’s safe to add the UFC 150 main event into the lengthy annals of fights ending in controversy.

In an incredibly competitive fight, Benson Henderson defended his lightweight championship belt for the first time by winning a split decision (48-47, 48-47, 46-49) over Frankie Edgar. Everyone in the arena — media and fans alike — seemed to think Edgar deserved the win.

“I did, but it doesn’t matter,” a dejected Edgar said in the octagon. “I think I brought it to him.”

Las Vegas Sun scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Edgar.

Edgar knocked Henderson down in the second round and rocked him in the fourth round. “Bendo” clearly won the first round by sinking in a threatening guillotine choke in the final seconds.

The decision seemed to hinge on the close third and fifth rounds, and the judges must have felt Henderson did enough in those frames.

Henderson, of course, said he thought he won the fight.

“I knew it was going to be way tougher than the first fight,” Henderson said. “That being said, I had to come in here to do my job.”

Henderson may have stolen the final round with two powerful strikes, a left hand and a kick to the head, in the final minute.

“The scoring in that one was tough,” Henderson acknowledged.

No such shenanigans accompanied the co-main event, where Donald Cerrone knocked out Melvin Guillard at 1:16 of the first round. Cerrone staggered Guillard with a head kick and finished with a right hand.

Cerrone received the warmest applause from the night, as the Colorado Springs native had the closest thing possible to a hometown fight. Jake Shields beat the main card’s only current local, Ed Herman, by unanimous-decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in a grappling-heavy middleweight contest.

Yushin Okami and Max Holloway won with TKO victories over Buddy Roberts and Justin Lawrence, respectively, at the beginning of the main card.

Check back later for full coverage from UFC 150 and look below for a round-by-round of the main card and results from all 10 fights.

Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II

Fifth Round Henderson lands a big right hand, but Edgar comes back with more force. Edgar knocks Henderson down with a right hand about a half-minute later. The champion needs to find something if he wants to hold on to his belt. Edgar goes with the classic body-body-head boxing combination to score more points. He's in control with 3:30 left. Henderson lands a knee to Edgar's body. But the former champion answers with a straight right. Both look fresh and ready to go for the final half-round. A combination sends Edgar back. Edgar catches another of Henderson's kicks. Henderson can't find Edgar with a couple elbows from standing position. He lands a powerful right hand, though. Edgar rushes in for a body shot. Henderson hits Edgar, but he also gets countered. They clinch up before breaking out with a punishing hook from Edgar. Edgar buckles Henderson's leg with a kick to the knee. Edgar stays on the attack, hitting Henderson with a right cross. The crowd is on their feet and neither man is letting up. Henderson's left hand finds Edgar's chin. But the former champion is easily out-landing the champion this round. Edgar tires a kick to Henderson's head. Henderson answers with a kick to the head. It's a nice shot, but not enough. Edgar wins 48-47 on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard. Benson Henderson defeats Frankie Edgar by split decision (48-47, 48-47, 46-49).

Fourth Round Edgar catches one of Henderson's kicks and throws a jab. Edgar out-lands Henderson in the first minute of the round, working his right hand and jab. Edgar is the one affecting Henderson with legkicks now. They trade jabs but are playing cautious as 3:30 remaining flashes on the bottom of the big screen in the arena. Edgar gets Henderson down, but doesn't follow him. An upkick grazes Edgar and then he goes down to the ground looking for a choke. Henderson is known for slipping out of these, but Edgar's guillotine looks tight. Henderson gets out and the crowd erupts. Another great fight from these two 155-pounders. Henderson hits Edgar to the body, but he counters up top. Henderson swings hard, but Edgar is poised and moves out of the way. His head movement is exceptional as another Henderson right hand misses. Edgar lands another combination. Henderson looks frustrated with a scowl on his face, but hits Edgar. Action is paused for Edgar to put his mouthpiece back in, but they resume with Henderson countering effectively. Edgar gets some points back with a right hand. He crashes in fro a legkick. Edgar circles and eats a flush right hand from Henderson. Edgar catches a Henderson kick, but a right hand hurts him. They taunt each other and swing away late. Edgar counters with a big left hand. Henderson is clearly hurt by that one. Edgar evens things up at 38 headed to the final round.

Third Round They meet in the middle and Edgar slides a right into Henderson's stomach. Henderson kicks Edgar in the head. It's loud, but doesn't do any damage. Henderson rushes in for a jab followed by a left hand. The champion wins another exchange and knees Edgar. Henderson is pressuring Edgar more than earlier in the fight as he comes in for another combination. Edgar counters the next advance, but Henderson shows no sign of it hurting him. Henderson goes with another high kick and Edgar answers. Henderson now throws an elbow that Edgar blocks. Midway through the round, they are taking turns as the aggressor. It's anyone's frame. Henderson starts to find success with his jab. Edgar does counter one of them and throws a legkick seconds later. Edgar getting loose now to make the round even closer. But Henderson lands a big right hand to make Edgar retreat after one of the champion's kicks is caught. Henderson switches to an unorthodox stance, which causes Edgar some trouble with landing. A couple shots are landed for each fighter as the round comes to an end. Henderson wins the third, 10-9, to go ahead 29-28 in the fight.

Second Round Edgar comes out firing, but mostly missing on his strikes. Henderson looks to go to the body, but Edgar gets out of the way. Another legkick buckles Edgar's legs and he falls to the ground. Edgar's leg are red from taking all the kicks. Edgar scores with a right hook. Then, he goes to the body. Edgar catches one of his kicks and slugs Henderson's body. Henderson is doing a good job keeping his distance for the most part, though. He push-kicks Edgar back as they re-engage. Edgar is having trouble figuring out how to get inside of Henderson. Edgar catches a kick, but can't do anything with it. Edgar wins an exchange and drops Henderson with a right hand. He gets a hold of the champion's neck and looks for a submission against the fence. Henderson is fighting back, but Edgar has got control of his neck as a minute passes. Henderson gets back to hiss feet and uppercuts Edgar, who keeps holding him. "Frankie" chants start again as the champion has controlled the latter part of this round. But he can't transition to Henderson's back because of the cage. He knees Henderson as they break out. Edgar's nose is bloody. It happens every fight for the former champion. Henderson lands a combination. Edgar stuffs a takedown attempt and pummels Henderson with an uppercut. Bell sounds and Edgar has evened the fight. It's 19-19 headed to round three.

First RoundNo touch of the gloves as Edgar comes forward from the opening bell. Henderson legkicks for the first successful strike of the evening. Edgar counters an advance with a straight left. "Frankie" chants begin as he lands a legkick. Henderson jumps up and down looking for action. Edgar lands a combination. Slow pace to start, but both land punches with about 3:30 remaining on the clock. Henderson nearly chops Edgar to the ground with a kick across the ankles. Edgar jabs and keeps moving forward, but Henderson has figured out his legkicks. Edgar counters a right hook from Henderson for his best punch yet. Henderson finally chops Edgar down with a leg kick and they scramble on the ground before getting back to the feet. Henderson keeps the pressure with legkicks. Edgar can't seem to find his range as the round draws on. Henderson jabs near the two-minute mark. Edgar looks to go up top with a kick but Henderson checks the leg with his hand. They're back to the center of the octagon and Edgar can't track Henderson down. Edgar catches a Henderson knee and throws a right hook. He's a little more loose now as he rushes in for a legkick. A Henderson combination lands. After Henderson kicks, Edgar takes him down. Henderson cranks a guillotine and it looks deep. Crowd goes wild, but Edgar isn't moving. Henderson wins a close 10-9 round on this scorecard.

Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard

First Round Crowd is electric for Cerrone, who grew up in Colorado Springs. He touches gloves and kicks Guillard. But not everything goes his way. Guillard drops him with a left hand and swarms. Cerrone recovers quickly, but Guillard keeps the pressure on with combinations and elbows. Cerrone legkicks Guillard and starts to get his rhythm back. "Cowboy" jabs and glances Guillard with a kick to the head. He throws a right hand and Guillard collapses to the ground. Donald Cerrone knocks out Melvin Guillard at 1:16 of the first round.

Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman

Third Round They're striking in the middle to start the round with neither Shields nor Herman doing much damage. Herman does land a knee before clinching up with Shields against the fence. Herman backs out and Shields lands a stiff jab. Now a knee works for Shields. Herman looks for an uppercut, but Shields uses the opportunity to lock back up. They go to the ground and briefly and Herman lands a right hand. The best striking exchange takes place when they get back to their feet with Herman actually sending Shields' head back with a right hand. Shields takes him down seconds later. Shiels is immediately in side control and scoring points with short elbows. Now Shields passes into mount. The crowd is back alive. Maybe they are realizing this is a masterful performance from Shields, albeit a bit dull to watch. Herman has nothing for Shields as he takes another right elbow to the chin. Herman fires off of his back, but he's got to feel this opportunity slipping away with 45 seconds to go. Shields starts doing damage from top and the horn sounds. Shields wins a clear 30-27 decision on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard. Jake Shields defeats Ed Herman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Second Round Herman comes forward and Shields counters to start the round. We'll call the exchange a draw before they inevitably clinch up against the fence. Shields has Herman where he wants him and gets a takedown. Shields is in half-guard and passes into side control. He elbows the local fighter to the side of the body before switching his focus to locking in a kimura. Herman is tossing and turning, but somehow gets out of the hold. Shields remains the only fighter scoring points, though. Shields works his way up top and throws elbows to Herman's head. Shields drags Herman away from the fence and stays dominant. The crowd is booing, but this is an impressive grappling session from Shields. Back into Herman's guard, Shields can only muster soft ground-and-pound. Herman tries to strike off his back, but Shields is all over him. Shields gets some power behind a right hand, and Herman felt that one. Herman takes more abuse as round draws to a close. Shields is up 20-18.

First Round The crowd is fully behind the hometown fighter, Herman, who lands three right hands to get things underway. Shields was booed heavily upon entering the octagon. Herman takes Shields down momentarily, but they're back to their feet. Shields looks for a standing guillotine momentarily before shifting his focus to a throw. It doesn't work and the fighters are stuck in the clinch. Shields locks his wrists around Herman's neck again to no avail. But he does take Herman to the mat. Herman gets to his knees and tries for a rear-naked choke. The resilient Herman gets out. He leaps into a knee that gets to Shields' chin, but just barely. Shields reverses position on the fence and throws a couple knees of his own. Herman switches into the aggressor with two minutes to go. He lands a nice right hand after a couple knees from Shields. Herman nearly tosses Shields to the ground, but he's able to regain his balance. Shields threatens with another standing guillotine before dropping down to shoot for a takedown. Aside from a few seconds on the knees, it's unsuccessful. The vast majority of this fight has been in the clinch and the crowd is starting to boo. Herman had his moments, but it was a clear 10-9 for Shields overall.

Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts

Second Round Roberts looks rocked early, but Okami only landed a jab. He shakes it off and comes forward, missing with a straight right. Okami is more confident now and willing to mix it up on the feet. He uses a combination to close the distance and get into the clinch. Okami gets Roberts to the floor momentarily. Back standing in the clinch, Okami dumps Roberts back down. Okami is smothering Roberts in half guard and using ground-and-pound when it's available. He's back in mount now and raining down elbows so hard Roberts turns his back. Roberts doesn't seem hurt, but he's not fighting back. Referee Herb Dean mercifully steps in to call off the fight. Yushin Okami gets a TKO victory over Buddy Roberts at 3:05 of the second round.

First Round Roberts rushes in with a couple right hands. He's surprising Okami early, winning the early striking exchanges. Roberts is working the leg kicks, but also jabbing when appropriate. A right hand sends Okami crashing towards the fence. They clinch up, which is probably where Okami wants the fight. He knees Roberts before failing to slam him multiple times. Roberts uppercuts to the body while Okami continues to try to take the fight to the floor. He's finally successful and he's got Roberts' back on the floor. But that doesn't last, as Okami finds himself in Roberts' guard. Roberts tries to wrap his arms around Okami's neck for an arm triangle. It's not there. Okami passes into side control and looks for a choke. This is not a favorable position for Roberts. Okami transitions into mount and Roberts rolls over to give up his back. Okami swinging away and may finish Roberts in the closing seconds. Okami can't, but he will get a 10-9 score.

Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway

Second Round Lawrence will need to keep his kicks up or suffer the possibility of a penalty point after two low blows in the first round. Lawrence comes out hot, countering a Holloway advance and bobbing away from an attack. Lawrence is keeping his distance with kicks to the body. Holloway grazes Lawrence's chin with a kick. Lawrence answers with the same strike. A lot of kicking has gone on in the opening minute and a half with Lawrence landing more. Holloway jabs, but Lawrence gets out of the way of a hook. Holloway finds some rhythm with a right hand. He's got Lawrence retreating. They're back in the middle of the cage and Lawrence looks to re-establish his kicks. He weaves in for a left cross and gets out of the way. Holloway thwarts a takedown attempt. Holloway begins to frustrate Lawrence, who swings for the fences and comes up empty. He does land an ensuing right hand, though. Lawrence goes to the body followed by a straight right to the head as boos rain down. He shoots for another takedown and Holloway stays up. Lawrence lands a nice right hook on Holloway's nose. A left hook also takes Holloway back a few seconds later. Lawrence is bleeding out of his nose, but counters one of Holloway's advances. Holloway lands a nice right that hurts Lawrence. Then he goes to the body. Lawrence crumbles in pain. Holloway finishes him off with a few more shots. Max Holloway defeats Justin Lawrence by TKO at 4:49 of the second round.

First Round Lawrence strikes first with two inventive kicks to the body. Holloway is coming forward with Lawrence content to counter. Lawrence lands another kick, but eats a jab from Holloway. Lawrence lands a few strikes, including a big overhand right. Holloway connects with a combination. Back in the middle now and Lawrence engages before ducking under a counter from Holloway. Lawrence comes forward again, but a Holloway counter works this time. A right hand lands on Lawrence's forehead and he shakes his head. Right hook is there for Lawrence. Holloway accidentally kicks below the belt and the fight is paused. When they re-start, Lawrence goes for a spinning back kick. Holloway is practically on the other side of the cage by the time he completes it. Lawrence comes forward and Holloway counters. Holloway stuffs a takedown attempt at first, but Lawrence gets him down on second try. Holloway gets right back to his feet. Lawrence is cut open on the left side of his face. No strike hit him that hard, so it's tough to tell where it came from. Lawrence wobbles Holloway with a left hand. A loud combination scores for Lawrence. Holloway has landed just as many strikes, but he seems to lack in power. A wild exchange takes place near the fence punctuated by a head kick from Holloway, who ends the round with another accidental groin kick. Lawrence wins a close first round, 10-9.

Pre-main card

DENVER — UFC 150 has lacked in anticipation.

Only small crowds showed up for the free pre-fight events held around town this week, significantly fewer than the last time the Las Vegas-based promotion was in town for UFC 135. Even Internet message boards and social media aren’t buzzing as much as normal before tonight’s pay-per-view card at the Pepsi Center.

It’s understandable, as UFC 150 comes at the tail end of a stretch serving five cards in a month, but also disappointing because this event projects as monumental in terms of excitement.

Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar already delivered one Fight of the Year candidate in 2012. Tonight, they look to make it two — much in the same vein Edgar did with Gray Maynard last year at UFC 125 and UFC 136.

It can’t hurt the possibility that Edgar is fighting as the challenger for the first time since UFC 112, which took place two-and-a-half years ago. Imagining Edgar as more gritty and hungry than normal is a scary proposition.

But it’s one that Henderson says he’s prepared for. In the six months since capturing the title from Edgar at UFC 144, Henderson claims he’s gotten much better.

Edgar was able to land more strikes and take Henderson down more in the first matchup, so the champion will look to correct that specifically in the rematch.

Like Henderson vs. Edgar II, the co-main event has the makings of a memorable clash. Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard hardly ever fail to deliver and have promised “to bang” for the full 15 minutes they’re in the octagon.

That doesn’t mean they’ll keep the fight exclusively on the feet, they say, but it’s a good bet it will turn out that way. Guillard’s knockout power is his biggest strength and Cerrone prefers to use kickboxing above any other element in mixed martial arts.

Overlooked is a middleweight bout between Jake Shields and Ed Herman, which for a while fans thought would land in the co-main event slot. Both are grappling gurus who have brought their striking along after years in the sport.

Oddsmakers have made Shields a slight favorite, but Herman is in the middle of the best stretch of his career with three straight wins.

The other two fights on the main card pair Yushin Okami against Buddy Roberts in a middleweight bout and Justin Lawrence with Max Holloway in a lightweight affair.

Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for round-by-round coverage of the five fights on the main card and look below for full results from the preliminary portion of the event.

Dennis Bermudez submitted Tommy Hayden at 4:43 of the first round with a standing guillotine choke. It came about a minute after Hayden rocked Bermudez with a knee and nearly knocked "The Ultimate Fighter" 14 runner-up out.

Dutch kickboxer Michael Kuiper destroyed Jared Hamman in a middleweight bout. Kuiper finished Hamman by TKO at 2:16 of the second round after punishing and wobbling the Denver native early.

Erik Perez notched the fastest knockout in UFC/WEC bantamweight history. Perez finished Ken Stone 17 seconds into the bout with a series of right hands.

Chico Camus defeated Dustin Pague by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in a bantamweight bout. Camus was able to get into mount and take Pague's back in the final two minutes to secure the victory.

It looks like featherweight is where Nik Lentz belongs. In his 145-pound divisional debut, Lentz put a savage beating on Eiji Mitsuoka. Lentz scored a TKO victory over Mitsuoka at 3:45 of the first round with ground-and-pound after completing two suplexes to get the fight on the mat.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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