Even before stepping inside the Octagon to face Frankie Edgar, streaking contender (now champion) Benson Henderson talked about his dream of wanting to go down as one of the greatest of all-time. Now, after claiming the lightweight title from Edgar in a thrilling five-round affair at UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson, “Smooth” is on his way to making that claim come true.
Henderson won the fight on all three scorecards with effective striking and a stiff upkick from the ground that bloodied and likely broke the nose of Edgar. A likely bout with Anthony Pettis is on the horizon now, as “Showtime” is the last fighter to score a victory over “Bendo”.
“I want to defend it however many times Anderson Silva defends his (title)…plus one,” laughed Henderson during the post-event press conference. “Whoever it happens to be, whether it’s Frankie again, I’m down for that. Anthony Pettis, I see you doing big things, making waves, great fighter, very spectacular. It if happens to be Anthony, then so be it.”
The UFC’s lightweight division is one of the deepest in the company with Henderson, Edgar, Pettis, Gray Maynard, Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, and more all call it home. Diaz and Miller are on track to compete against each other later this year, while Maynard is a former contender to the crown still waiting for his next match-up. Guida defeated Pettis in the former WEC champ’s UFC debut but was stopped by Henderson in a title eliminator last year. Edgar has expressed his desire to be put in an immediate rematch with Henderson based on how close their contest last night was.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC