For the first time in almost two years UFC Lightweight champion Frank Edgar will get into the Octagon against someone other than Gray Maynard or B.J. Penn.
With those four epic battles behind him, Edgar will now defend his title against former WEC Lightweight champion Ben Henderson.
Also on the UFC 144 fight card will be a Lightweight contender bout between Joe Lauzon and Anthony Pettis, a Light Heavyweight match between Quinton Jackson and Ryan Bader, and a Heavyweight battle between Cheick Kongo and Mark Hunt.
Edgar showed MMA bettors how tough he was in his last fight against Maynard by once again surviving a first-round beating only to come back for the KO victory.
Now one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in MMA, the current -130 price on the champ looks like a bargain.
Henderson may be best known for a kick from Pettis but the reality is his only career loss came in that fight, which was dead even until the fateful kick stole the last round for Pettis.
Oddsmakers at Bovada have Henderson as a +110 underdog despite the fact that he’s never faced anyone near as well-rounded and tough as Edgar.
The winner between Pettis and Lauzon could be in line for the next Lightweight title shot if one fighter can win convincingly. Pettis is currently a Bovada -260 favorite while Lauzon will pay +180. Lauzon has shown marked improvement of late and may be worth the risk in this one.
UFC 144 odds - Edgar vs Henderson courtesy of 5Dimes.com:
Joe Lauzon +180
Anthony Pettis -260
Cheick Kongo -350
Mark Hunt +250
Ryan Bader +200
Quinton Jackson -240
Frank Edgar -130
Bader will have his hands full against one of the best Light Heavyweight strikers in MMA when he gets into the Octagon against Jackson.
Bader has been exposed as a one-dimensional fighter and is handicapped as a +205 underdog at 5Dimes. The current price on Jackson sits at -245, but surprisingly action thus far has dropped that line down from -280.
Kongo is expected to have an easy time against 7-7 Hunt. Oddsmakers at Bovada will pay +280 for a Hunt upset, but most MMA bettors are opting for the -400 line on Kongo. That price is up from its initial -210.