"I was able to man up and move on with my life. It wasn't anything I was obsessing over. Now that we do get the chance to square off again and once I get my hands on him it's going to be a fun night for me. Let's put it that way. It doesn't matter to me where it's at, who's it against, what hometown. Bump all that noise. It doesn't matter to me. I'm going to beat him up. At the end of the night I'm going to get my hand raised."
Those are the words of Ben “Smooth” Henderson and his thoughts on his upcoming (August 31rst) opponent Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.
A re-match between the two has been one in the making since 2010, when Showtime defeated “Bendo” and not only took his WEC lightweight belt, but also exited the Octagon with a high-light-reel moment (“The Showtime Kick”) at Ben’s expense.
Since their last encounter both have done well, but had completely different careers.
Bendo entered the UFC in 2011 and in 7 fights has gone 7-0 and in doing so, captured the lightweight title in his 4th bout (UFC 144) after only being in the promotion for a little over a year.
Pettis on the other hand and since entering the UFC, has struggled with nagging injuries and a loss to Clay Guida, which has left him with a record of 3-1. To that point, he has failed to earn a title shot on his own and finds himself in this title match more as a result of accident, then by design, for Pettis is a scratch replacement for the injured T.J. Grant.
All of it aside and regardless of how their match has (finally) come about, this is a fight that fans have wanted to see for quite some time and Henderson is intent on the outcome being different from their last meeting.
Both fighters are dynamic and explosive, but I think I’d give the stand-up advantage to Pettis. That being the case and given their previous encounter, Bendo might be looking to improve upon Clay Guida’s performance and win over Pettis and take Anthony to the ground. In that department, I give the advantage to Bendo.
Regardless of which turns out to be the winner, this should be a great fight and between two great fighters and it certainly shouldn’t hurt that it follows Mir / Barnett.