If you are unfamiliar with the system, this is how it works. An independent, non-bias viewer (in this case, yours truly) selects the three top performers from the event to name as the “three stars”. If you couldn’t figure it out on your own, the first star is the most impressive performer from the event, the second star is the second most impressive, and so on and so forth.
The “three stars” are judged off the effectiveness and overall impact of their performance. Still following? Good, cause here is the “three stars” from UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II.
Third Star – Benson Henderson
His split decision win over Frankie Edgar was controversial, but Benson Henderson got the win in the UFC 150 main event and walked out of the octagon the same way he walked in, with the UFC lightweight championship around his waist. Scorecards from fans and media members were all over the map on Saturday night, however the only scorecards that mattered belonged to three ringside judges and two of them scored the fight in Henderson’s favor.
A disappointing aspect of Henderson’s performance was that he abanded the low kicks that worked so well for him early in the fight and let Edgar establish his range, footwork and combination, but he still did enough to keep the belt. The 28-year-old pushed his UFC record to 5-0 with the win and two of those victories come against Edgar. There was a lot of talk coming into the fight about how Edgar adapts to rematches better than anyone else out there, but Henderson didn’t allow “The Answer” to take his belt and became the first man to ever defeat Edgar twice.
Henderson states over and over how he wants to break UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s record for consecutive title defenses, which currently sits at 10. He completed the first step towards accomplishing that goal on Saturday night.
Second Star – Nik Lentz
If someone told you before UFC 150 that Nik Lentz was going to be one of the three stars from the event, they would have laughed in your face. Pegged as a boring fighter throughout his UFC career, Lentz came out looking like a brand new fighter in his featherweight debut when he absolutely dominated Eiji Mitsuoka en route to a first-round TKO victory. Lentz’s back was against the wall coming into the fight, going winless in his last three octagon appearance. He needed a win in Denver and not only did he get one; he picked up the first TKO finish of his UFC career.
Lentz’s post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after his victory inspirational and the 10-fight UFC veteran has a new lease on life at 145-pounds.
First Star – Donald Cerrone
Boy, oh, boy. Donald Cerrone delivered in a big way at UFC 150. After a slow start to the main card and a controversial main event, an argument could be made that Cerrone’s 76-second knockout of Melvin Guillard saved the UFC 150 pay-per-view broadcast. There is not much more you could ask for from the 29 year olds performance on Saturday night. “Cowboy” was badly rocked by a flurry of Guillard punches very early on in the first round before he turned the tables on “The Young Assassin” by landing a head kick followed by a leaping punch that throttled Guillard and sent him crashing to the mat. It was an incredible win for Cerrone and to make it even more special he did it in front of his hometown crowd.
The Greg Jackson trained fighter is quickly making a name for himself as one of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster after picking up six post-fight bonuses in seven appearances inside the octagon. His latest barnburner against Guillard earned him two bonuses and a total of $120,000.
The controversial main event between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar may be dominating headlines coming out of the event, but Cerrone’s win was arguably the most impressive on the card. With his only loss in over two years coming to top lightweight contender Nate Diaz, there is a good chance the Colorado native could be in line for a title shot after one or two more wins.