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Posted on February 28, 2012 by John Petit
It’s kind of weird it worked out this way, but even though the card was loaded with Japanese talent, none of my three stars were fighting in their home countries. Since more and more questions seem to revolve around one or two fights after events, I decided I would start this column and try to weasel in some answers surrounded by my opinions on some of the goings on. Think of this like a Hockey Game, and after the fights they let me grab the mic from Bruce Buffer, and call each guy in and let them do a victory lap. Unfortunately, the UFC has NOT returned my repeated requests to do this for them, but it won’t stop me from discussing it here. To be fair to the UFC, there is a real possibility I just imagined sending them any requests at all.
Third Star: Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt. That is all. I mean, This guy won’t go away, and he is very quietly put together a three fight win streak. Hunt was one of those guys that got let into the UFC on a loss, and Hunt didn’t just have a loss, he had five in a row under his belt when the UFC let him into the cage because of the Pride buyout. I thought for sure he would be gone after his first fight when he lost to Sean McCorkle, but they enjoyed the fight. On Saturday night he made quick work of Cheick Kongo, and he almost made it look easy. We saw Kongo get absolutely battered by Pat Barry, but he still came back and won the fight. Not Saying Mark Hunt can’t knock guys out, but we have to start questioning the beard of Kongo. It also needs to be said that Hunt is fighting the lower tier of the Heavyweight division, and there is a huge gap between the top guys and the lower tier. More than in any other division. I am not sure how he will do when he fights a top ten guy. All that said, Hats off to Hunt for coming in as the underdog, and making a lot of analysts look dumb. I am no exception.
Second Star: Tim Boetsch
Tim Boetsch was getting his ass handed to him for 10 minutes through the first two rounds. He was taken down at will, Okami was lighting him up, and he had very few options rolling into the third round. One of those options was to go out on his shield. He was either going to lose the fight by knock out, or go get put away, and you could tell he had already made up his mind as to his decision when he left the stool for the third round. He came out and finished Okami, and it had me thinking maybe he should fight two rounds in the locker room before his next fight. Definitely a come back of the year candidate, and it could be a turning point in the career of Boetch. That is second star worthy for a guy like Boetsch.
First Star: Benson Henderson
I have to give it to Benson Henderson of course. When you upset a guy like Frankie Edgar, you have to give them a hat tip. As far as the scoring is considered, I was a little unsure of my card. I was in a chat room with a few other writers, and I asked what people were scoring at, and three of the four of us had the exact same score card for Benson Henderson. I don’t mean we had the same scores, I mean we had every round exactly the same. That’s a rare thing in the group of us, not that we are right all the time or anything, but when that does happen we have been correct. I was a little surprised by Edgar’s reaction, and I figured it would spur some Edgar fan to demand a rematch, but I had no idea there would be this many people interested in it.
Two things didn’t help the cause. The first being Dana White saying he thought Frankie won, I respect Dana’s opinion, but everyone seems to be saying it if you say you had it different. The second thing was the compustrike numbers that came out the night of the fight that said Edgar out struck Henderson. When the fightmetric numbers came out, the official numbers provider of the UFC, it told a different story. A familiar story actually. It had the same card as the three of us who scored it for Henderson on fight night.
I am not for a rematch, I think they will some day, but it shouldn’t happen now. We can’t have a rematch every time we have a decision in a title fight. A decision is a perfectly acceptable result, and although you don’t always agree with the judges, that’s how it goes. I know it’s easy to say from the sports desk in Chicago, but we have to accept these things. Edgar isn’t going anywhere, and I think he will stay in the lightweight division.