Glendale's Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar to claim the UFC Lightweight title Saturday night in Saitama, Japan. Henderson won a unanimous decision, with the judges scorecards being 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47.
The fight was back and fourth all night as the two men fought at a high pace all five rounds. Edgar got the advantage over Henderson in straight boxing and landed more total strikes than Henderson, 124-114. Henderson used his diverse striking ability to disrupt Edgar all night.
Henderson used kicks and knees to damage Edgar all fight. The damage on Edgar was visible as Edgar's left eye swelled shut during the later rounds and his nose was bleeding after round two.
Henderson landed the best strike of the fight on his back. While Edgar was standing over him, Henderson landed an up-kick that dropped Edgar and severely damaged the former champion's nose. Henderson pounced but was not able to finish Edgar before the end of the round.
Nothing that Edgar threw seemed to face Henderson, who didn't look like he was touched after the fight. Every major punch or strike that Edgar landed, Henderson shook off.
Edgar was adamant that he won the fight, and said in the post-fight press conference that he would like an immediate rematch with Henderson. UFC President Dana White hinted that Henderson's first title defense will come against Anthony Pettis, who is the last man to defeat Henderson.