Mixed Martial Arts

Lightweight champ Henderson takes on Edgar for second time

Associated Press
8/10/2012 4:51:29 PM
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DENVER -- Still smarting over his UFC title bout loss to Benson Henderson in a close but unanimous decision, Frankie Edgar has prepared furiously for Saturday's rematch at the Pepsi Center and the chance to reclaim the lightweight championship belt that he still considers rightfully his.

"I thought I did enough to win," Edgar said of his fight last February with Henderson in Japan. "But I don't really want to dwell on it now that we're here.

"I was fortunate that it was close enough to get me a rematch. This is like a chance for redemption for me, righting a wrong. It didn't go my way last time, so I've got to make sure it goes my way on Saturday," said Edgar, who fights out of Toms River, N.J.

Henderson, 28, meets Edgar, 30, again in his first defence of his UFC lightweight title in the five-round featured match on Saturday night's card.

In another closely watched match that could produce a future challenger to the winner of the headline event, Donald Cerrone, 29, back in his hometown of Denver, will take on Melvin Guillard, 29, in a three-round lightweight bout.

Edgar made three successful defences of the championship belt he had earned two years ago before his Feb. 26 loss to Henderson.

Both fighters have spent the past several weeks training in the Denver area to get used to the city's mile-high elevation.

"The training has been phenomenal. I've had one of my best camps," Edgar said. "I came out here early to get acclimated to the elevation. I think I've done everything in my power to make sure my hand gets raised on Saturday."

Henderson, who fights out of Glendale, Ariz., but is a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., also moved his training to the Denver area to complete his fight preparations.

"I know what this air can do to your lungs," Henderson said. "You have to take this seriously. I've been here for three weeks already."

Henderson said he's well aware that Edgar is coming in with a chip on his shoulder, continuing to harbour the belief that he was shortchanged by the decision in their previous encounter. Henderson said he's certain the right call was made, a point he plans to drive home in the rematch.

"I thought I definitely earned the decision," Henderson said. "I thought it was a good fight, felt comfortable throughout the whole fight.

"We're opposing fighters, and when it comes to judging, especially if there's no knockout or submission, everyone has their opinion. He's a little bit biased. His coaches, his training staff, his training partners, they're a little biased. My coaches, my training staff, my training partners, myself, we have another point of view. It is what it is."

Regardless, Henderson said he's approaching Saturday's match in the same way as he does all his fights.

"I want to win the fight, period, just for the sake of winning the fight," Henderson said. "Me personally, I'm not the kind of guy that needs any extra motivation. For me, it's the competition and I want to win very badly."

Benson Henderson (Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


(Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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