Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (pictured) may have escaped Chicago with a split decision victory over Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 10, but Saturday night’s performance didn’t inch him any closer to earning a title shot.
According to UFC president Dana White, “Smooth” is going to have to do a lot more than simply stockpile wins in order to recapture his crown.
“No, but I mean, that was a Ben Henderson fight,” White responded on Fox Sports 1’s post-fight show when asked if Henderson emerged the division’s top contender after beating Thomson. “When Ben Henderson has the title or he’s trying to get back to the title, that’s a Ben Henderson fight. We’ve seen that fight a million times.
“It’s not even about being more aggressive, he’s a talented fighter. He’s just one of these guys – he’s a grinder, he’s not a finisher.”
Well, maybe not a million times, but we have seen it a lot. Henderson bumped his professional record to 20-3, while dodging the first two-fight skid of his career, with last night’s controversial W. Ten of his victories have now come via decision.
Oddly, Henderson was a finisher prior to entering the UFC in April 2011. At that point, he had finished off 10 of his 12 victims before the final horn. However, he’s simply been a decision machine in the UFC, as all eight of his big league wins have been determined by the judges sitting cageside.
Three of those were split decisions.
As if White’s dinging endorsement wasn’t enough, as long as Anthony Pettis sits atop the UFC lightweight throne, it will be tough to justify a third match between the two when “Showtime” is already up 2-0 on Henderson.