When lightweight king Frankie Edgar (Pictured) battles Ben Henderson at UFC 144, it will mark the fourth straight time he’ll defend his crown against a bigger and stronger opponent. Although Edgar managed to fend off BJ Penn and Gray Maynard to retain his title, he understands Henderson has compiled an impressive winning streak since losing his WEC belt to Anthony Pettis last December.
“He’s been on a tear since he came over from the WEC,” Edgar stated during Monday’s press conference in Japan. “He’s beat all the top contenders, so he’s more deserving of a title shot. He’s real exciting.
“He’s young and hungry, so I know I‘ve got my hands full.”
After finding himself on the wrong end of Pettis’ unforgettable highlight-reel kick, Henderson moved on to the UFC and posted solid wins over Mark Bocek, Jim Miller and Clay Guida, respectively. While snapping Miller’s torrid seven-fight run was impressive, this month’s victory over Guida is what earned Bendo next dibs at Edgar’s strap.
Although Edgar wasn’t prepared to give a prediction on their February 26th matchup, he did promise the featured attraction for the UFC’s long-awaited return to Japan will not disappoint.
“I know it will be a good one,” Edgar said of their impending shootout. “He’s a good fighter, so I’m going to go in there and do everything I’ve got to do to win.”
Edgar was last seen posting a dramatic comeback TKO victory over Maynard at UFC 136. The October win marked his second successful title defense, as the 155-pounders fought to a highly controversial draw this past New Year’s Day.