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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Dana White: It doesn’t matter who I think won the Henderson/Edgar fight

By Zach Arnold | August 12, 2012

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Video courtesy of MMAFighting.com

ARIEL HELWANI: “So, why don’t you tell us how you scored the main event?”

DANA WHITE: “Because I feel like… Ben Henderson has won twice. The judges have given him the decision both times. You know, I’m just… I’m not going to go out there and give my decision that doesn’t matter any way. The kid won the fight. Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges, you know. If you let it go to the judges, I’ll tell you this — I had even going into the last round, you know? And if you leave in the hands of the judges, one of you is going to be bummed out at the press conference. Period.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “It seems like and I’m maybe just seeing the other side of the coin here that you don’t want to open that can of worms by saying if you do think Frankie Edgar won because it seems like unanimously the entire MMA media thought he won. To start the whole thing about a rematch again…”

DANA WHITE: “Guess what? Doesn’t matter what you guys think, either. It doesn’t matter what any of us think. The judges made their decision tonight and it was for Ben Henderson, you know? The kid… the kid won, what are you going to do?”

Kevin Iole: Henderson-Edgar II decision was debatable but not egregious, and shouldn’t detract from card

ARIEL HELWANI: “I know a lot of people always say Frankie should go down to 145, he doesn’t have to cut weight. But he just lost two fights to arguably the best Lightweight in the world, very close, controversial. He could have won both of them. How could you really make the guy go down?”

DANA WHITE: “I can’t. I can’t make him go down at all. I agree with you 100%. I think that not only has he, you know, these two fights but all the fights that he’s won in the past including BJ Penn and Maynard and all the other fights that he’s won. I love this kid, I respect him, and I just think he would do at 145. But, again, it’s much like my ‘who do I think won?’ It doesn’t matter, it’s not my decision. If Frankie Edgar wants to stay at 155, he’s earned that right. He deserves that right and he can do whatever the hell he wants.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Before this fight, did he tell you that if he loses, ‘OK, fine, I’ll go down to 145?”

DANA WHITE: “Ummm… I don’t remember exactly what he said. It wasn’t as much the issue of him going to 145 as it was… you know, how bad he wanted the rematch, you know? Whatever he wants to do, I’m cool with.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 21 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

21 Responses to “Dana White: It doesn’t matter who I think won the Henderson/Edgar fight”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Nate Wilcox at BE had a good article about why he was happy Frank Edgar lost. I agreed with it. It’s time for Edgar to move down to his natural weight class.

    I had Henderson winning, but I could easily see a few rounds being close and giving it to Edgar. Edgar at 155 is just one of those guys who has a lot of speed but his strikes don’t have as much power so it makes it real hard to judge which rounds he won or didn’t. If you take his last 6 fights…. Penn, Maynard, & Henderson…. There are 28 full rounds of fighting (not including the round he stopped Maynard). Of those rounds, probably over 50% of them are easily debatable as to who won.

    At Featherweight, he shouldn’t run into those issues as much. He might face other problems like not being the fastest fighter, but these close rounds that need a fine tooth comb to figure out the winner should be gone.

    • edub says:

      Its simple, you and Nate are in the minority. I penned an article a while back about him moving to FW so I hope he does. However, that doesn’t change the fact the wrong person walked away with the decision last night.

      Bens knocked 2 or 3 guys out in his entire career (zippy in the UFC). His shots aren’t some incredibly powerful game changer like Maynard’s were. He just doesn’t mark up as easy, and Frankie does (this is why people think he caused more damage against Edgar). Edgar dropped him, Snapped his head back numerous other times, and wobbled him with a leg kick in the 5th.

      The fight was close, but there still was a rightful winner. It was Edgar.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Actually I think Nate had it for Edgar.

        Fightmetric has it a draw. Edgar had more control time but Henderson hit him with more shots.

        However, Henderson hit him with HARDER shots. That is why I think he won both fights. He is just a naturally bigger fighter and his more power to his strikes.

        • edub says:

          Oh, I had thought KN said he gave it to Benson slightly my mistake.

          Fight metric has a draw, but their stats also show Edgar landing more (with more significant strikes). Even in the third round, which they gave Hendo, has Frankie landing more.

          Henderson hit him with hard shots. Nobody is disputing that. However, using it as a conversation point when Frankie also hit him with very hard shots is incorrect. Frankie hit him with more shots, cleaner shots, and won every other aspect of the fight.

      • Nottheface says:

        I have a simple solution for Edgar if he doesn’t want to drop down: send him to Strikeforce. Offer him a 1-off fight deal (a la Frank Mir) to go over to Strikeforce and meet Melendez.
        Think about it: Edgar isn’t getting a title fight again soon; the UFC wouldn’t be losing a big ppv draw; it would finally answer some questions about Melendez. If Edgar wins great we don’t have to hear about Melendez anymore. If Gil wins we have a new guy they can start marketing as a contender as soon they figure out how they can get him out of Strikeforce.

    • bigweeze says:

      Frankie’s punches had enough power to make Ben Henderson tentative. And which main event fighter scored a knockdown on the other by punches?

      This argument comes down to people wanting to see a worldbeater rather than the little gritty underdog who won’t do as people tell him to (go to FW).

      Most fighters prefer fighting at the highest weight class they can get away with while not comprising results. And there’s no guarantee that things get any easier in another division. So what sense does it make for a guy with a very legitimate claim to the #1 spot to drop a weight class?

    • Mark says:

      He won’t beat Aldo.

  2. Alan Conceicao says:

    The big difference between MMA and boxing fanbases shows on stuff like this. Boxing fanbases would deride the decision and every major website would be talking about potential corruption and ineptitude. In MMA, they thank the judges for screwing up the decision so that they can create “fresh matchups” and to try and convince an exciting, world class fighter to move down a weight class against his will.

    • bigweeze says:

      It’s pretty disgusting, imo.

    • edub says:

      Should I post all the articles, PBP’s, opinion pieces about Frankie getting screwed over or should we just accept that your opinion is extremely over exaggerated.

      The fight between Amir Khan and Lamont Peterson was similar in a lot of ways. Most had Khan winning, and there was absolutely no backlash of the decision. It was all about a feel good story for Lamont (until his drug controversy).

      Nothing’s as cut and dry as “boxing does this, and MMA does that”.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Well, we know for a fact that corruption has occured all of the time in boxing. There is no proof of that in the UFC.

      And HBO Boxing commentators talk about fighters having to put on a good show all of the time in order to get bigger fights. Lampley probably talks about this in 50% of the the up & comer fights he commentates for.

      So there isn’t half as much of a difference as you are claiming there is.

  3. Mark says:

    Or, y’know, they could have seen it the same way.

    Edgar “wins rounds” the same way we all complained about him getting the JD over Penn the first time: he moves, moves, moves, moves some more, and somehow this equals Octagon Control victories.

    Henderson was trying to win the fight, Edgar was out there trying to score points. Which is fine. 5 round decision fights are great, and Frankie won me over with the Maynard main event. But don’t throw hissyfits over JD’s if that is all you want to do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Deal with it.

    • bigweeze says:

      Edgar comes into the pocket, throws his flurry, and then exits the pocket. There’s nothing wrong with that – he’s not timid.

      Henderson let minutes tick by sitting in a front headlock with his hands on the ground to avoid being kneed (an unpleasant rule at times). He yelled to the crowd in the post-fight interview that he comes to finish fights. But this was the first Ben Henderson fight where I didn’t believe it, and it was because Frankie put it on him.

    • bigweeze says:

      Frankie didn’t throw the hissyfit over the JD, he accepted it disappointedly in his post-fight interview. He was also the beneficiary vs. Penn. So, you win some and you lose some.

      But that attitude doesn’t excuse or explain the wide variance we’re continually seeing in MMA judging.

    • edub says:

      “Edgar “wins rounds” the same way we all complained about him getting the JD over Penn the first time: he moves, moves, moves, moves some more, and somehow this equals Octagon Control victories.”

      Or the fact that he outlanded, got more takedowns, and attempted more submissions. Along with controlling the pace.

      “Henderson was trying to win the fight, Edgar was out there trying to score points.”

      Bullshit, incorrect opinion. Henderson was doing the same thing Edgar was, and he was less successful at it. He tried one submission, threw some hard knees, and took very few chances to win the fight. Edgar attempted two submissions, got a knockdown, and mixed up his striking better than Ben.

      “But don’t throw hissyfits over JD’s if that is all you want to do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Deal with.”

      Yea, no reason to get upset when the clear winner (of a very close fight) loses. That’s great for the sport.

  4. Megatherium says:

    The decision is water under the bridge now. I’m really looking forward to Frankie’s two fights with Aldo!

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