Benson Henderson out to become the best ever

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

20 COMMENTS
  • THEGUNNER says:

    Im looking foward to seeing anthony pettis beating him and nate diaz.

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  • Niv says:

    Well I’m not sure Pettis beats him or Diaz, the only thing I’m pretty sure about is that to reach the lofty goal he set for himself he’ll need some divine intervention.

    Nothing wrong with setting your goals so high, but the LW division is stacked and in a couple years may have Jose Aldo in it as well not mention Gilbert Melendez.

    Regardless I wish him luck, I think he’s a great fighter and I don’t recall watching a single fight he’s been in that I wasn’t excited watching.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    I think Bendo can beat Melendez….
    I think Pettis doesn’t win the rematch either…
    And Jose Aldo is not a factor for any time soon.
    I think if he rematches Edgar it will be another close one but probably a more clearly decisive win for Bendo the second go round.

    Really happy to see him with the strap… WEC never die.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I think Melendez vs Bendo sounds good. Its a pitty that thats illegal at the moment.

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  • Ben has all the potential to be the best ever. He’s exciting has been finished only once beaten only twice(and not only do I feel the showtime kick sealed that deal, I also believe Ben had a little bit of a bad weight cut and gassed-well as gassed as he gets- earlier than he should’ve), and continues to improve everytime out. He’s still so young that who knows what 5 years will bring for this kid.

    I think Nate has a better chance of beating Ben this time around than Pettis. Nate’s ground game is gnarly and as tough as Ben is to sumbmit, nate would happily break that arm or choke harder to win that title. It’ll be a great fight for sure.
    As for Showtime Im still not sold that he’s THAT good just yet. Will he be? Absolutely, but I dont think he is just yet. a split decision over Lil Heathen and a KO or Jlau are all fine and good, but there’s a few more people ahead of him in line. Let Pettis take on Gray next.
    Gil vs. Ben is exciting as all hell. Both have the cardio wrestling and boxing to match each other, the one factor i see swingin in Ben’s favor is kicks, but that only counts for so much. Logic’s right its a crime we wont see that fight for awhile.

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  • oh and as Rece said… WEC never die!

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Melendez is a tough dude, but I think Bendo’s athleticism would overwhelm him.

    And unless Frankie drops to FW, I think Aldo will be a factor at LW sooner than a lot of people think.

    If I’m not mistaken Nick has split his last 6 fights at LW… so while his win over Cowboy was nice, he’s got some more work to do to climb to the top of that jam-packed division. Unless he’s on the same escalator ride to the top of the division his bro received at WW.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Derp… meant Nate, not Nick.

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  • MCM says:

    People keep saying there are so many good guys at 155 but the top of the ladder is really shaky right now.
    I don’t think Diaz deserves a shot at the belt even if he gets by Miller. That would make him 3-2 in his last 5 and even though they gave Machida a title fight going 1-3, I still call shenanigans. He would still need one more IMO.
    It’s immaterial anyway since he won’t get passed Jim Miller. But Miller is only two fights away from losing to Bendo, so he doesn’t deserve the shot either.
    Pettis is interesting because of the last WEC fight, but look at who he’s beaten. Split with Lil Heathen and a KO of J-Lau. Neither of which are top fighters. The last time he took on a top 10 was in a loss to Guida in June.
    Melendez is out, Maynard hasn’t fought since losing his shot, and Guida just lost to the champ.

    I didn’t think I’d say this, but the more I look at it, the more I think Edgar might be the most deserving guy.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    In other news: Uriah Faber was doing laundry and a title shot fell out of an old pair of shorts.

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  • I hear you on Edgar might be more deserving of an opponent than Nate even gettin by Miller but his 3-2 in his last five is as follows or if you want to break it down 4-2 in his last 6
    A total annihilation of Rory Markham @170
    A boxing clinic followed by a brutal stoppage of Marcus Davis also 170
    A very close decision to an undefeated fighter in which Nate came very close to putting dong away at 170
    A brutalization of Nate by a wrestling monster at 170 in Rory Macdonald
    A complete owning of Gomi at 155
    A brilliant display of chin heart and awesome boxing against Cerrone for a victory
    The loss to Gray mentioned was a very close split decision
    3-1 in his last 4 at LW and before that he may have been shaky but he wasnt even close to being dominated by GUida or Stevenson and if he were to fight either man again I think he’d run through them.
    As for getting by Miller how is that far fetched? The only, ONLY advantage Miller has on Nate is in wrestling. Nate’s got far superior boxing, far superior cardio and as for submissions I’ll go on a limb and say he’s better than Miller but not by much. Miller wont submit Nate and he certainly wont knock him out….while I can see Nate doing either to him.
    So sure give Frankie another shot at Ben….but let Nate get that winner, provided he beats Miller, which he will.
    209!

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Urijah get dual title shots in different weight classes on the same card. His cardio is awesome.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Yeah, what’s up with Gray? Training in Brazil? Making movies? How about another fight?!

    A win over Miller would be big for Nate, but he’s still behind Pettis. And Jeremy Stephens was a good win for Pettis, even if it was a close decision. In the past 2 years, covering 6 fights, Stephens’ had two frustratingly close split-decision losses to Melvin & Pettis. He’s a small dose of luck from being right in the mix after the top few guys. Maybe he’ll be one of those dudes unable to ever quite get over the hump, like a Lauzon or Cerrone, but Jeremy is still only 25.

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  • Urijah needs to worry about beating Cruz first…if he treats it like he did last time he’ll lose again.

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  • Cerrone will get over that hump and wear gold some day…mark my words on that. But Im sorry Gomi or Cerrone counts for a lot more than Stephens or Lauzon in my book. I love lil heathen, but he’s only fought one decent streakin guy in a while and that’s Melvin who is the most Overrated fighter on the ufc’s roster.
    I cant justify Pettis eeking out a split over one mid tier guy, then knocking out a guy that was taylor made for him(yeah Lauzon has servicible boxing and a great ground game against a guy who has amazing standup and a good ground game…tell me that wasnt a set up if i ever saw one) vs. beating a former number one in the world(in some people’s opinions) and a streaking contender who hasnt looked remotely human since getting stopped by Ben in the rematch.

    and let the bashing begin for that knock on Guillard.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Dave, you seem to be drumming up the Gomi victory as Nate’s signature win at LW, but the fact of the matter Gomi just doubled his UFC win total this past weekend. Nate beating him was a nice victory but let’s not get carried away.

    And the other thing is that in bashing Melvin, you’re largely discrediting one of Nate’s best wins at LW.

    And, in my mind most importantly, Pettis is still barely a year removed from beating the current UFC champ. So the way everything went down, without Pettis initially losing his shot at the UFC belt & the guy he *beat* now being champ, it’s overwhelmingly obvious to me that Pettis is ahead of a guy who’s split his last 6 fights at LW.

    Although if Nate can beat Miller, it definitely gets him closer.

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  • MCM says:

    superdave-
    Those Diaz’s are notorious for being out wrestled (and then complaining about it ;) ) and Miller is one of the best wrestlers in the division.

    I agree with you about Cerrone wearing gold one day, but I think it might be at 145. There’s no basis for that, just a feeling.

    As it stands right now, Cerrone is easily Nates best win. If Diaz gets by Miller he will be on a three fight win streak over two top competitors. I’d rather have him fight Maynard again since the first fight went to a split then get a shot at the belt, but even a three fight streak is looking good at the moment.

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  • MCM says:

    Richard -
    Pettis may be barley a year removed from beating Bendo, but he’s less than that from losing to Guida. Which is much fresher in most peoples mind.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    If they do rematch Edgar and Bendo (which I hope not), then I’d like to see Nate and Pettis scrap for a title shot.

    Title shots are all about “what have you done for me lately” more than anything else.

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  • stone says:

    Nate Diaz vs. Anthony Pettis is a guaranteed badass fight…..striking + bjj – wrestling = fireworks

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