Ben Henderson Wants The Title Back, Says Rafael Dos Anjos Is The Quickest Route


Former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson has been quite reserved since his humbling loss to Anthony Pettis. Showtime destroyed Bendo at UFC 164, in a rematch of their FOTY WEC 53 epic.

Not many fans expected Pettis to walk through Bendo like he did, dominating the three-time defending champ on the feet, and then wrapping up a tight armbar on the Jiu Jitsu MVP. Bendo appeared on today’s edition of The MMA Hour to talk about the loss, amongst other hot topics:

‘I’m getting back to the gym, not too focused on media (right now) my focus is on being in the gym and getting better. I do think about how I’m going to get (the title) back, how I want Anthony Pettis’ belt’

‘Theres a lot of mutual respect among fighters and Jiu Jitsu players, if Pettis is big enough to let go then I’m not gonna pretend that I didn’t tap, even if the ref didn’t see it. I said ‘tap’ and Anthony is a good guy, it shows what kind of competitor he is because he didn’t crank it.’

Bendo remains humble, even in the aftermath of such a crushing loss. He also sheds some light on who he wants to fight next:

‘I don’t exactly agree with people calling out who they want to fight next, it seems contrived. I don’t want to do that, that being said, I’m leaning towards Rafael Dos Anjos, it’s a good fight; it’s entertaining. I think the match up works well I don’t know if he is booked to fight anybody’

‘I’ll fight anybody….I will admit that I’m not interested in a Gilbert rematch. I want to get my title back and those other guys (Gray Maynard, Khabib Nurmagamedov, Dos Anjos) make sense. I want to get my title back in the quickest route, I’m a pretty mentally strong person and I’m not shook up from the loss to Pettis.’

A fight with Dos Anjos would certainly be an interesting one, Henderson being the former champ means he will probably have quite a good say in who he fights next. Should he lose that fight, things may start getting a bit harder.

The UFC 155lb. division is eternally deep, heavy at the top with mere ounces of difference in descent. My suggestion would be for Bendo to pull a ‘Lyoto Machida’; meaning he should reinvent himself and knock his next opponent the fudge out.

‘I’m looking to fight in early February, I’m wondering whether it should be PPV or a free TV card. I like Fox cards, free TV cards and I think I can get more exposure, a million viewers instead of a couple hundred thousand.’

‘Whatever happens between (Thomson and Pettis) happens, I don’t really care. I’m just ready to put in a lot of hard work to get that belt back. I’ll do my convincing in the cage, not by talking. I’ll make (Dana White) a believer.’

So if Henderson has his own way, he will be facing surging Lightweight Rafael Dos Anjos in February. I personally think this could be a great scrap, it certainly carries huge implications for the title picture.

  • Good fight. I still want Ben Hend to fight Nurmagomedov next though.

    • *great match up too

    • YES… that needs to happen! Nurmagomedov needs a top 5 opponent and Bendo is the one…

  • I don't see Bendo reclaiming the belt because he has often been on the lucky side of decisions and you need more than that

    • He wont reclaim the belt as long as Pettis has it… but Bendo is no joke.. close fights or not, Bendo is still a force and there's still room for him to grow, comeback and run through most of the division. He's far more talented than people give him credit for!

  • I don't want Benson and Nurmagomedov, I like them both. I think Nurmagomedov vs Dos Anjos makes sense, not sure where that leaves Benson though… maybe T.J. Grant if Dana doesn't want to give him a shot right when he heals

  • I'd rather see a guy in there that finishes fights and doesnt spend 1/2 his time flipping his damm hair back.

  • I love Bensons fighting style and spirit. he hasn't been finishing fights thats for sure but man he certainly throws down and is very exciting to watch. I also think he needs to get past the overconfidence and have some urgency when things are close. there have been a few times I could see where he had plenty of gas and his opponent had much less and he is content to let them take him down or score flailing punches with no impact. He needs to realize that just because he is winning a fight by damage does not mean the judges are discounting all the rabbit punches from his opponent. I think he is better than all but Pettis right now but he has held back not from a low tank but an invincibility syndrome he has going thinking that nobody can get him. Pettis may have woken that dream up.