Benson Henderson (Pictured) found himself on the wrong end of arguably the most breathtaking kick in MMA history when he blocked Anthony Pettis’ foot with his face. Although the highlight-reel strike took place over 14 months ago, the devastating defeat continues to haunt Henderson around every turn.
“I still get teary-eyed thinking about it,” Henderson told MMAFighting. “It affects me deeply to this day. It will affect me for the rest of my fighting career, for a long, long time. I’m very upset about it still. I can put it behind me, but am I totally over it, never think about it? No.
“Every time I’m out there, I give you guys everything. I open up my heart and soul. I hold nothing back. To come up short, and to come up short in that manner, that hurt. But I’ll never let that happen again.”
The former WEC lightweight champion has bounced back nicely by posting a perfect 3-0 mark against some of the top 155-pounders in the big leagues. Pettis, meanwhile, was slated to ride the wave of momentum from his cage kick into a UFC title fight.
Unfortunately for “Showtime,” an immediate rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, and a subsequent loss to Clay Guida cost him his shot at the hardware.
Ironically, Henderson has since leapfrogged Pettis and now challenges Edgar for his crown at UFC 144. Pettis will also compete this Saturday, but the stakes in his scrap with Joe Lauzon are not nearly as high.
Regardless of what happens inside Saitama Super Arena in Japan, Henderson knows one thing is for certain – there will be a sequel with Pettis.
“I will say this, before I retire, before I leave this earth, I will see Anthony Pettis again in the cage,” he matter-of-factly stated.