Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson was the best fight of 2012, so far.

Sure, it may not have had the frantic action of Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall’s memorable scraps, or the pure electricity that radiated from the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen rematch, but if you’re looking for a fight that features both quality action and a quality scrap, nothing can top the lightweight title bout from UFC 144.

For the full 25 minutes, Henderson and Edgar put on a memorable scrap, putting on a beautiful display of technical brawling (if there is such a thing) and engaging in one of the closest fights of the year.

The bout was dead even heading into the final seconds of the second round, with Edgar likely taking the first and “Smooth” in control of the second. But with just a few ticks of the clock left, Henderson landed an incredibly violent upkick that send Edgar falling to the mat and did a lot of physical damage to the face of the champion.

From that moment on, no matter how much Edgar scored in exchanges on the feet, it became hard to imagine that “The Answer” actually had a chance at walking away with the win.

The next three rounds were close, with “Smooth” taking the third. The fourth and fifth easily could have gone either way, but the judges sided with Henderson and he walked out of Japan with the 155-pound strap.

Edgar immediately disputed the decision, and after a few weeks of convincing UFC President Dana White that he deserved a rematch, “The Answer” was granted a shot at recapturing his lost title.

By all accounts, Henderson-Edgar II should be a fight that fans can get behind. The first bout was an instant classic, and the fact that the decision was as close as it was should only be making this fight bigger in the eyes of fans, but for some reason, the MMA world doesn’t seem to be feeling it.

To be honest, I’m completely dumbfounded by the lack of buzz surrounding what should be the most competitive title fight of the summer, but if anything, this indifference shown by the MMA community is only going to help make this a better fight.

As much as I loved the first fight, both Henderson and Edgar can do better, and I expect this weekend’s bout to surpass their initial encounter in the “Fight of the Year” race.

Everything is going to be easier for both the champion and the challenger prior to this fight, and the fact that the outside world has been content to let these two focus on training and not distract them with countless interviews and photo shoots over the past few months is only going to enhance everything the first fight had going for it.

There’s been a ton of MMA in 2012, and even some of the most hardcore fans are slowly getting burnt out by the grinding schedule that Zuffa has delivered this year. Fans are heading to bars to watch PPV’s, skipping some FX and Fuel TV cards altogether, and generally only getting excited for a few high-profile bouts a year.

With that said, I’d like to issue a warning to anyone that loves this sport: This weekend, don’t pass on UFC 150. You may miss one of the greatest fights of all time.

Photo: Henderson (R) attempts to submit Edgar (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.