Commentary

New twists and turns to LW landcape

Originally Published: January 27, 2014
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Before we get to the grades for last weekend's UFC on Fox event in Chicago, some final notes on the event from United Center.

1. The main event between Ben Henderson and Josh Thomson: I scored it 48-47, Thomson. I don't mind an argument for 48-47, Henderson.

Even if you talk me into scoring three of the five rounds for Henderson, however, when I look at the contest as a 25-minute affair, Thomson is the hands-down winner. He controlled more of the fight. It felt as though Thomson had far more answers for Henderson than Henderson had for him.

You might say, who cares? What matters is how a fight is scored round-by-round. Ultimately, that's correct, but I thought it was worth pointing out that if I threw out scorecards and just watched that fight start to finish, Thomson was better.

2. A few thoughts on the lightweight title picture: Henderson isn't fighting Anthony Pettis. You could match him against Gilbert Melendez in a No. 1 contender bout. Nothing wrong with that -- but personally, I'm not really into that rematch so soon.

Here's what I would consider: Melendez versus Donald Cerrone. It's a great fight and we'll find out how serious this "new Cowboy" mentality really is. Next: Henderson versus Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Bib's stock is rising and Henderson, given that 0-2 record to Pettis, should be willing to take the risk. For Thomson, the winner of Rafael dos Anjos versus Rustam Khabilov. Throw the "no winner versus loser matchup" rule out the window.

3. Can we stop with the Ben Askren stuff? Seems as though after every lackluster welterweight fight (this time, it was George Sullivan versus Mike Rhodes), you see the line, "And Askren wasn't good enough for the UFC?"

Yes, people. Askren is good enough. Lack of talent is not the reason the UFC passed on signing the former Bellator MMA champ late last year. I understand why so many want to see Askren in the UFC (I'm one of them!), but you're comparing apples to oranges every time you relate his situation to an unknown UFC newcomer.

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