UFC 144 Results & Recap: Henderson wins Lightweight Title

nullUFC 144 marked the organization’s long-awaited return to Japan, and it didn’t disappoint.

The main event featured a very competitive bout for the lightweight championship where Ben Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision to claim the 155-pound strap.

Henderson, who looked noticeably bigger than Edgar, was able to dictate the fight with his leg and body kicks while also using his size and strength to stay off his back for frequent periods of time.

While each of the five rounds was razor thin, the overall impact of the fight clearly took more of a toll on Edgar, who was battered an bruised, than Henderson, who looked fresh throughout.

In the co-main event, Ryan Bader earned the biggest win of his career, picking up a hard-fought decision win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Bader showed some good striking and head movement to earn the nod on the feet and then managed to score three takedowns against Jackson, who has been notoriously hard to take down. Jackson, who missed weight by six pounds, looked sluggish as the fight prolonged. Bader had clearly won the fight when the final horn sounded.

The main card started off with a bang as lightweight Anthony Pettis knocked out Joe Lauzon with a vicious head kick. Pettis dominated the fight, taking little to no damage while working nice jab combinations and kicks. Pettis ended the fight with a head kick to Lauzon and then a few punches on the ground for good measure. The KO was much-needed for Pettis, who failed to have a signature win since joining the UFC. He is now right up there as a top-5 contender in the 155-pound division.

Another big highlight on the card was an incredible comeback TKO win for middleweight Tim Boetsch, who stopped Yushin Okami in the third round. Okami dominated the first two rounds with sharp striking and nearly finished Boetsch on two occasions. However, in the third round, Boetsch had the mindset of kill or be killed, and he was the one that did the killing. He attacked from the opening second of the round and used a series of uppetcuts in the clinch to fold Okami up like an accordion and earn the win, by far the biggest of his career.

For complete UFC 144 results, check out the jump.

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WEC 50 Picks & Predictions

The WEC puts on its next show tonight as WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez 2 takes place from Las Vegas.

The card features a WEC Bantamweight Championship bout between Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez along with a lightweight contest between Shane Roller and Anthony Pettis.

The main card airs live on Versus at 9PM ET. Here are my picks for the winners.

WEC Bantamweight Championship Bout – Dominick Cruz (15-1) vs. Joseph Benavidez (12-1): This fight is a rematch of a bout that happened a little over a year ago where Cruz won a unanimous decision. Now Cruz is the champion and Benavidez is the challenger and in this fight, look for Benavidez to get the nod. He underestimated Cruz and his wrestling in the first fight and anticipated more standup, which left him flat footed and allowed Cruz to control the fight. This time around, Benavidez should be able to dictate the pacing and placement of the fight. I like Benavidez to win by submission in round four.

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