UFC 112: Inside the Numbers of Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn

Written by Tim Ngo
April 11th, 2010

There wasn’t the same uproar with Frankie Edgar’s unanimous decision victory over BJ Penn at UFC 112 as there was when Lyoto Machida controversially retained his light heavyweight title against Mauricio Rua at UFC 104, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a closer look at the co-main event in Abu Dhabi.

Let me start off by saying that during our Twitter live play-by-play, we had Edgar winning 48-47, although each round was razor-thin and could’ve gone either way.

I will also say that the judge (who shall remain nameless) who scored the bout 50-45 in Edgar’s favor was off his rocker. UFC president Dana White echoed that sentiment at the post-fight presser as well. It’s impossible to believe Penn didn’t win at least one round in that close of a contest.

The fine folks at FightMetric put up their statistical analysis of the fight, and the numbers are surprising.

When watching the bout live, it was clear that Edgar controlled the action for the bulk of the fight and looked more active the entire 25 minutes. The Jersey boy was the one who applied pressure throughout the bout as Penn looked a step slow.

According to the metrics, Penn landed more total strikes than Edgar (72-63). Strikes to the head was where the former champion dominated, as he had a clear-cut (61-39) advantage, but it was body shots (7-16) and leg strikes (4-8) where the Hawaiian was beaten.

Stats can sometimes be misleading. Even though Edgar was hit in the melon 22 more times, his face was pristine by the time gold was getting wrapped around his waist, while Penn had welts under both of his eyes and had to wear sunglasses during his post UFC 112 video blog.

As the hours following the event rolled on, more and more people felt that Penn should’ve taken home a decision victory. When the verdict was rendered, Penn didn’t argue or even appear surprised when “The Voice of the Octagon,” Bruce Buffer, took the mic.

At the end of the day, the new 155-pound champ had the advantage on the only REAL numbers that mattered, the scorecards.

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