The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the home of where the sport exploded onto the scene in 1993 in Denver. The sport has come a long way since then, but has still been able to put on great shows in the Mile High City.

On Saturday, Aug. 11, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson would put his belt on the line for the first time against Frankie Edgar, whom the champion claimed the belt from. Edgar said he won the first fight at UFC 144 in February, so would he say the same after UFC 150?

Also on the card, former training partners Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Melvin Guillard went toe-to-toe in Cerrone’s hometown, where fireworks were expected in the co-main event.

If that wasn’t enough, Jake Shields returned to middleweight to take on Ed “Short Fuse” Herman, Yushin Okami looked to bounce back against Buddy Roberts, and two of the youngest fighters in the UFC hoped to make a statement as Justin Lawrence fought Max Holloway.

If you were short on cash and couldn’t order the pay-per-view, FX and Facebook had you covered with a five-fight prelim line-up that featured Dennis Bermudez vs. Tommy Hayden.

Henderson earns split decision over Edgar to retain title

In the rematch, Benson Henderson took on an even tougher Frankie Edgar on Saturday, in which the two fought to a controversial split decision.

Henderson’s approach in round one was leg kicks. The champion landed several to the lead leg of Edgar to cause the challenger to slow down a bit. Henderson looked for a guillotine late in the round, but couldn’t force a tap.

What stood out in round two was a knockdown by Edgar, who then followed up with a choke attempt that was very deep. Henderson escaped, but appeared to have been down in the round.

Round three was as even as can be. The two were basically even when it came to striking, with both doing a fair share of damage. No one stepped up and made a statement, which left the winner of the fight unknown after three.

Rounds four and five were a bit similar. Edgar never slowed down, and still continued to duck under the shots of Henderson and counter punch. The champion continued to dominate the leg kicks aspect, and actually had the better statistics when it came to striking, but Edgar appeared to be controlling the last two rounds more.

A close decision was awarded, as one judge scored the fight for Edgar 49-46, while the other two saw it 48-47, with the winner by split decision and still UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson.

Cerrone knocks out Guillard in round one

Two former training partners at the Winklejohn-Jackson gym in New Mexico faced off in the co-main event of the evening, as Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone went to war with Melvin Guillard.

Guillard came out fast as lightning, dropping Cerrone with a punch. But Cerrone calmed himself and responded to the early onslaught by landing a shot of his own that immediately knocked out Guillard at 1:16 of the first round.

“The Cowboy” impressed in his hometown by putting on a performance no one in attendance at the Pepsi Center will ever forget.

Shields returns to middleweight with win over Herman

Former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields made his return to the middleweight division on Saturday to take on Ed “Short Fuse” Herman in a feature bout on pay-per-view.

“Short Fuse” came out and pressed Shields against the cage, but Shields tripped Herman to gain top position. Shields looked to take the back of Herman, but was defended nicely by Herman to return to his feet.

After being controlled the majority of the opening round, Shields found himself pressed against the fence again, but the Cesar Gracie-trained fighter landed another takedown. Shields stayed on top the remainder of the round to easily claim round two.

Shields stayed with his bread and butter by taking Herman down once again. By remaining on top and transitioning to many positions, Shields dominated on the ground in the final two rounds.

The judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27, and 30-27, to allow Shields to get his first UFC middleweight victory.

Okami bounces back with TKO over Roberts

Japanese middleweight Yushin Okami returned to the cage after back to back losses to take on Buddy Roberts, who took the fight on short notice.

Roberts came out aggressive looking to apply pressure to the former top contender. After being hit several times, Okami decided to take the fight to the ground to avoid the striking of Roberts. “Thunder” was able mount and take the back of Roberts, but time ran out to end the first.

Once again, Roberts came out striking and landed some strikes, but once again took Roberts down. From there, Okami flattened his opponent and forced referee Herb Dean to call an end to the bout.

Holloway stops Lawrence in round two

Two of the youngest fighters in the UFC opened up the main card as the youngest in the promotion Max Holloway took on “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence.

Both men came out prepared for a striking battle. While there were two low blows that caused a pause in the action, the two featherweights put on a razor thin round, with the significant strikes being very even.

Round two was another even round, but Holloway was able to land a knee to the liver that dropped Lawrence. “Blessed” then followed up with punches to force the stoppage.

The 20-year-old improves his record to 2-1 in the UFC, and has many fights ahead of him.

Preliminary Card Summary

The final preliminary bout featured The Ultimate Fighter 13 competitor Dennis Bermudez taking on Tommy “Wild Card” Hayden. Bermudez was able to lock up a standing guillotine choke to get the victory.

Michael Kupier made the trip across the pond from his native country of The Netherlands to take on Denver’s own Jared Hamman. After a leg kick by Kuiper, Hamman suffered a torn muscle in his leg, which allowed Kuiper to finish “The Messenger” in the second round by knockout.

A new bantamweight knockout record was set in the next prelim bout, as 22-year-old Greg Jackson-trained Erik Perez finished Ken Stone early in the first round.

Dustin “The Disciple” Pague and Rofusport-trained fighter Chico Camus opened up the FX prelims by going the distance. Camus was able to edge out Pague to claim his first win inside the Octagon.

In the only Facebook prelim on this card, Nik “The Carney” Lentz was able to bounce back with a win against Japanese fighter Eiji Mitsuoka.

Full Card Results

Benson Henderson def. Frankie Edgar by split decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) to retain lightweight championship
Donald Cerrone def. Melvin Guillard by knockout (head kick and punch). Round 1, 1:16
Jake Shields def. Ed Herman by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Yushin Okami def. Buddy Roberts by TKO (punches). Round 2, 3:05
Max Holloway def. Justin Lawrence by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 4:49
Dennis Bermudez def. Tommy Hayden by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 4:43
Michael Kuiper def. Jared Hamman by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 2:16
Erik Perez def. Ken Stone by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 0:17
Chico Camus def. Dustin Pague by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Nik Lentz def. Eiji Mitsuoka by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 3:45

Photo: Ben Henderson (left) squares off with Frankie Edgar (MMAJunkie)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.