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Posted on August 12, 2012 by Jack Thurman
Ben Henderson survived a determined challenge from Frankie Edgar to defend his UFC lightweight title in the main event of UFC 150 in Denver, Colorado on Saturday night. Henderson and Edgar engaged in a very close and tough to score battle with the champion eventually prevailing by split decision. UFC betting enthusiasts who backed Henderson as a -200 favorite were rewarded for the victory but even those who took the big price on the tenacious underdog had to be pleased with his effort.
Unfortunately, the main event was undermined by the usual post fight cries about ‘incompetent judging’. Dana White and his proxies on UFC broadcasts have ‘cried wolf’ too many times about judging and it’s reached the point where Zuffa fanboys dependably give this Pavlovian response in any close fight. It’s reached the point where ‘bad judging’ is more often than not a euphemism for ‘the fight didn’t go like I thought it did’. For all of the complaints about ‘bad judging’ there’s little suggestion that the ‘right guys’ have the promotion’s championships and that the cream rises to the top after the most significant fights.
Even the perpetually whining Dana White had little to complain about the result of the fight. White, who reflexively cites ‘bad judging and/or officiating’ as a ready made excuse for everything from poor matchmaking, weak cards and a deteriorating fan base surprisingly sounded like an adult in his post fight comments. White offered that while he thought Edgar won the fight he had no issue with the judging or the eventual outcome. To be fair, it’s a lot easier to accept a decision that you might not agree with personally when both fighters give such a good account of themselves. It’s a complete difference from what so often happens in the UFC, where boring, complacent fighters pushed higher on the card than they should be stumble through an uninspired bout.
White–perhaps winded by the altitude in Denver–was downright subdued but that didn’t stop him from putting his foot in his mouth entirely. Asked about the disappointing attendance he failed to take any responsibility for himself or the promotion and instead offered a crackpot theory about how a confluence of the Colorado wildfires and Aurora theater shootings had somehow suppressed UFC attendance. Never mind that there’s no evidence that these events have impacted other sports’ attendance figures–the MLB Colorado Rockies, for example, are averaging nearly 2,000 more fans per game than they did last year despite a team that is downright lousy. The reality is a combination of factors both with and without of the UFC’s realm of influence–a lack of star power among the roster, no credible contenders for top champions, weak cards, an oversaturation of the product and cooling interest among casual and hardcore fans. Of course White seems incapable of taking responsibility for any of the problems facing the UFC–at least as long as he’s able to cobble together even the most outlandish excuse.