Clutch MMA Awards For UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson

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The UFC returned to Japan for the first time in nearly 12 years and boy, did they put on a show. The massive seven fight main card produced some truly epic moments. Comebacks, knockouts, classic fights and submissions were littered throughout. It was rather difficult to hand out awards this week considering the card reeked of awesomeness, but we managed to do it anyway. We’re sure you can find better things to complain about.

Damn! Knockout of the Night: Anthony Pettis

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When we saw that Anthony Pettis and Joe Lauzon were set to kick off this card, all we thought was “Yes! Fight of the Night material!” I mean, Lauzon never met a fight bonus he didn’t like and Pettis is the guy who made the ESPN highlights with his “Showtime Kick” off the cage. Too bad for Lauzon, though, that he would be on the wrong side of the fight bonus on this night, thanks to a Pettis kick that got us out of our seats. He didn’t jump off the cage, but Pettis smashed a left high kick right into the grill of Lauzon and sent J-Lau (we hate his nickname too) crumbling to the canvas.

Barbaric Comeback: Tim Boetsch

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Tim “The Barbarian” Boestch was getting dominated by Yushin Okami for two rounds to pretty much nobody’s surprise. Okami was still trying to wash off the stench of that Anderson Silva ass whoopin’ he took last year, and Boestch appeared to be the perfect crash test dummy to take the fall. All was well for the first two rounds as Boestch looked completely out of his league. But there’s a reason why they call him “The Barbarian.” As the final round started, Boestch uncorked a right hand that had Okami looking for the exit. Boestch wouldn’t let him go easily and snatched Okami’s head while drilling him with uppercuts that looked like they would tear Okami’s head from his shoulders. Before that could happen, Okami sank awkwardly to the canvas and Boestch celebrated an unlikely comeback victory that we’ve had to watch several times over to truly believe.

WTF? He Survived That: Bart Palaszewski & Frankie Edgar (Tie)

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OK, it’s not too often that we find ourselves conflicted when it comes to an award. In this case though, we have two fighters that should have been dead to rights after the predicaments they found themselves in. Bart Palaszewski (that’s like a billion point Scrabble name) got caught in a nasty armbar against Hatsu Hioki in their featherweight showdown. It was one of those armbars where you could literally see the arm reaching the point where the bone was about to snap in half and tons of fight fans would have lost their lunch. Perhaps he was a moron for not tapping out, but he somehow found a way to escape the armbar and would go on to keep the fight competitive until the final round. Unfortunately, he ended up on the wrong side of the scorecards.

By now you should know that Frankie Edgar‘s middle name is “Damn Near Knocked Out” as he survived not one, but two situations against Gray Maynard when he should have been taking a nap inside of the cage. You’d think he would have learned by now. Well, he didn’t. Defending his lightweight title against Benson Henderson wouldn’t be easy, but he sure helped Benson out a great deal when he waltzed into an upkick that nearly sent his nose bone through his skull and into his brain. No, seriously. A lesser man would have been counting sheep, but Edgar somehow survived the devastating kick along with the punches that followed, and made it to the end of the fight. Too bad for Frankie, though–he still ended up losing the fight and his title belt. But the heart on that kid weighs about 155 lbs.

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