UFC 144 Edgar vs. Henderson takes place this Saturday February 25th in Tokyo, Japan. Reigning Lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (14-1-1, 9-1-1 UFC) looks to defend his crown against challenger Ben Henderson (15-2, 3-0 UFC).
It has been 12 years since the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been to Japan, this time taking place in the Saitama Super Arena. The venue has a capacity of 37,000 and is considered the “Mecca of MMA”. Being the only Japanese stadium equipped to hold an NFL game, the Super Arena has played host to the NHL, NBA, WWE, Queen, Radiohead, Green Day, Avril Lavigne and Lady Gaga later this year.
This will be Edgar’s first fight against anyone besides B.J. Penn and Gray Maynard in 3 years. Edgar has shown that he can come back from near defeat, being out on his feet twice and losing the first couple rounds against Maynard. Frankie has also shown that he can go the distance, having 8 of his last 11 bouts going to the judges. “The Answer” is elusive and great at creating angles to unleash combinations.
Ben Henderson comes off an impressive win streak against Bocek, Miller, and Guida along with a fight of the year match against Pettis. “Bendo” is a cardio monster that seems to get stronger as the rounds add up. Henderson’s advantages lie in his dirty boxing skills and upper body strength. If he can keep the distance close and stay on Edgar, this will thwart the Champion’s movement.
The co-main event heralds the much anticipated return of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-9, 7-3 UFC) to his old Pride stomping grounds vs. Ryan Bader (13-2, 6-2 UFC). Both combatants are heavy handed and this bout promises to be explosive. Bader has a powerful right and excellent wrestling, personified by devastating ground and pound. Jackson has knock out power in both hands and has shown excellent takedown defense, so look for a Japan fan favorite slam as Bader shoots in for the take down.
Rounding out this stacked card will be Mark Hunt vs. Check Congo, Sexyama vs. Shields, Hioki vs. Lauzon, and appearances by Japanese favorites Yamamoto, Fukuda, and Mizugaki.
My picks for UFC 144 are as follows:
Ben Henderson by submission.
Rampage Jackson by KO.
Mark Hunt by TKO.
Sexyama by pure sexy decision.
Lauzon by submission.
Kid Yamamoto by TKO.
Fukuda by ground and pound.
Mizugaki by KO.
Question my knowledge? Think you have better picks?
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Enjoy the promo: http://youtu.be/ctmN2T9W3UU