Frankie Edgar headlines UFC Japan: Edgar vs. Henderson on Feb. 26 against Benson Henderson. The UFC lightweight champion knows he has his hands full when he tries to defend his title for the fourth time at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Henderson is undefeated since arriving in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, putting together three impressive unanimous decision wins.
He solidified his UFC title shot by decisively defeating contenders Jim Miller and Clay Guida in his last two outings.
The former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight titleholder combines a lethal cocktail of speed and agility coupled with a solid wrestling base, impressive submission defense, and one-punch knockout power in his hands. He can overwhelm you early or outlast you late.
“He’s been on a tear since he came over from the WEC,” said Edgar during a UFC 144 press conference in Japan on Monday. “He’s beat all the top contenders, so he’s more deserving of a title shot. He’s real exciting.”
It’s an intriguing match-up of fighters with similar skill sets.
Like most of his fights, Edgar will be the smaller man entering the cage that night, but being outmatched by size is something he’s dealt with his entire career. What he has going for him is a lot of what Henderson brings to the table.
Edgar has good wrestling, is quick on his feet, and displays some of mixed martial arts’ finest boxing. He has a chin and heart and the determination to push through adversity. Still, he knows Henderson is a formidable opponent.
“He’s young and hungry, so I know I‘ve got my hands full,” said the UFC champion.
Stylistically, it’s hard to bet against the match-up not receiving at least one of the post-fight bonuses handed out by the promotion for in-Octagon performances.
Henderson, too, has a chin, has shown resilience under fire, and is driven by a belief that he’s destined to be world champion.
“I know it will be a good one,” stated Edgar. “He’s a good fighter, so I’m going to go in there and do everything I’ve got to do to win.”