Ben Henderson claims Frankie Edgar's lightweight title with unanimous decision at UFC 144

The Associated Press

SAITAMA, Japan - Ben Henderson claimed the UFC lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 on Saturday night.

Ryan Bader survived a frightening fall onto his neck to win every round in a unanimous decision over Rampage Jackson in the co-main event of the UFC's first show in Japan since 2000.

Henderson, a former WEC fighter from Federal Way, Wash., picked apart the smaller champion with an effective all-around attack, highlighted by a vicious kick from a prone position in the second round that bloodied Edgar's nose and face.

UFC 144 was held on Sunday morning for the North American pay-per-view audience, but Saitama Super Arena still was sold out.

Two major Japanese stars were beaten in front of their fans: Jake Shields earned a unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Tim Boetsch rallied after two terrible rounds to stop Yushin Okami in the third.