Count Nate Diaz among those who questioned the outcome of the UFC 150 main event at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night, a bout that Benson Henderson won by a split decision.
“He walked up to me and said, ‘Frankie Edgar won that fight,’ ” UFC president Dana White told reporters after Henderson’s split-decision win.
No matter. Henderson defended the belt he seized in February’s unanimous-decision win over Edgar and will get to defend his belt against Diaz at some point in the coming months.
Disputed decisions aren’t bad for business, although White said Henderson’s victory did help clear the “logjam” atop the lightweight division. That means there won’t be Henderson- Edgar III — at least right away.
No date has been set for Henderson vs. Diaz, who earned the status as top contender in the weight division with a victory over Jim Miller at UFC on FOX in May.
“We have some fun (stuff) coming up unless somebody blows up something,” White said of the lightweights.
Injuries over several weight divisions recently have ravaged UFC fight cards. UFC 150 wasn’t unscathed, either, as Yushin Okami fought (and beat) Buddy Roberts. Roberts, whose original opponent (Chris Camozzi) was injured in training, replaced Rousimar Palhares on the main card.
But Saturday’s event — while it might have had the worst gate for a pay-per-view event (about $650,000) in five years, according to White — had a mostly healthy cast of fighters who put on a solid show. The main event’s lead-in, Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard, certainly didn’t disappoint on a night the UFC returned to the city in which it made its debut in 1993.
In a fight that lasted 76 seconds, the two fighters lobbed fist after fist. Guillard nearly knocked out his friend and former training partner before Cerrone rebounded to finish Guillard with a right hand. The bout earned “Fight of the Night” honors and Cerrone earned “Knockout of the Night,” bonuses worth $60,000 each.
Cerrone put himself in the conversation, again, as one the top lightweight contenders. White said it’s too early to say what’s next for Edgar, although Cerrone is one of a handful of potential matchups if he stays at lightweight.
The sting from Saturday’s narrow loss sapped any of Edgar’s thoughts on what comes next in his career.
“It doesn’t really matter what I think at this point,” Edgar said of the decision. “I could get pissed off at the decision and it’s never going to change. It is what it is.”
White, not usually one to hold his tongue, didn’t reveal after the bout who he thought won the main event.
“No matter what I think, this guy has won two fights,” White said of Henderson. “Who gives a crap what I think? He came in, fought his ass off twice and got both decisions. It wouldn’t be cool to give my judgment either way.”
Along with questioning the decision to White, Diaz also went to Twitter with a message that read “????” moments after Henderson’s hand was raised. Henderson all but expects more razzing from Diaz as their bout approaches.
“God bless him,” Henderson said. “It’s going to be a fun fight. I know going into this fight he gets guys worked up in the head and stuff. He’s a tough fighter. I’m anxious to get into that also.”