Does Ben Henderson Deserve Another Shot At ‘Showtime’ If He Beats Josh Thomson?


Benson Henderson’s reign atop the UFC Lightweight division was cut short in dramatic fashion by archrival Anthony Pettis at UFC 164. ‘Showtime’ left no doubt when he took out ‘Smooth’, locking in a tight armbar on the BJJ specialist and winning the title in the first round.

After another knee injury sidelined Pettis for 6-8 months, Henderson stepped up to face Thomson at UFC on Fox 10 in a title eliminator bout. So what if Henderson beats ‘Punk’ in Chicago? Is it too soon for an immediate rematch?

Pettis has long been talked about as a legitimate force in any weight class he chooses to fight in. Although he never made it to Featherweight, a lot of fans predicted him to beat Jose Aldo in their scheduled bout. Perhaps he would have.

Pettis receiving an instant title shot at 145 pounds was not luck; it’s clear that ‘Showtime’ is a phenomenal raw talent and has put in a lot of work to refine his natrual ability. This and a host of other reasons are why I think Bendo should not be fighting for Pettis’ title so soon after he lost it in Milwaukee.

First, I think it is too soon because of the impact the loss had on ‘Smooth.’ No matter how much he denies it and says it doesn’t hurt; it does. The mental effects of being beaten for the first time in three years by the same opponent that handed you your last defeat and being finished for only the second time in your career will be a factor.

Sometimes losses bring fighters back in better form, but is that enough to take out Pettis? When ‘Showtime’ is healthy, I don’t know if any Lightweight has what it takes right now.

To answer the original question, yes, I think it would be too early for Henderson to get a title rematch. As much as I like him, I just don’t know if he can evolve enough to offer anything more effective than last time,; especially not with only one bout in between title fights.

My personal opinion on the matter is let Henderson get two fights under his belt. I also think he really needs to work on his finishing abilities. Trying to eek out a decision over Pettis is always going to be tough, especially considering the history between these two. What do you think?

  • NO….. at least 3 solid Top 5 wins.

  • As a general rule that would depend on who is waiting. If the division has been cleaned out then sure. If there are good candidates waiting then I agree with X^^. In the lightweight division there are others who are deserving of a shot or on the doorstep so…1 win is not enough.

  • Absolutely not. He got DEMOLISHED by Pettis, and is currently 0-2 against him. At least with JDS vs Cain it was 1-1, it was more conceivable that JDS could have gotten the win.

    IMO if Henderson beats Thomson, all it does is leave room for someone else to take #1 contender status – either TJ Grant or Melendez in fairness.

    • Zip

      Didn't JDS DEMOLISH Cain in their first go around? More so I would say. Then Cain had one fight then a re-match with JDS. Also, Bendo has already beaten Melendez. Just sayin.

      • JDS didnt Demolish Cain the first time… he landed 1 perfect shot and scored a flash knock out. They didn't even get to fight! He didn't beat Cain up… and sure Bendo "beat" Melendez if "that" is what you want to call it. Most would disagree…

        Key here is "finish strong"… You have to make a statement and Cain did just that when he beat the living sh*t out of Big Foot… IF.. Benson manages to win BIG from Thomson by finishing him, maybe after 1 more fight he'll be back in line but he was beat by Pettis twice already and that is something you can't ignore.

        There's too much competition at LW to keep putting on all these rematches and hold up the division. Let Benson face some of the new kids on the block. I'm saying this as a fan of Benson… I think he's great but these close decisions don't cut it! There's room for improvement….

        • Zip

          Yes JDS did demolish Cain in the first fight, that's why they didn't get to fight. 'Flash knock out', is that akin to 'flash submission'? I don't deny, nor ignore that Bendo was beat twice by Pettis, it just has nothing to do with it. And sure, Pettis beat Bendo the first time, if that is what you call it. Most would call it a very close fight except for one kick.

          All that aside, I'm with you. Lots of folks I'd like to see Bendo fight other than Pettis. But as a former champ, I think he is owed the re-match. If he looses to Pettis again, let him then work himself back up.

          • I think the problem is… Bendo didn't really establish himself as a true champ in most eyes, because most of his fights ended with very controversial decisions. Most believe he should've never even been champ, as they believe he never beat Edgar in the first place. If he had been a more dominant champ and held on to that belt a little longer he would've probably got the immediate rematch. But 2 losses on top of the controversy just puts him in a bad spot.

          • Zip

            Can't argue with that. Although, I think he beat Frankie in the first place, He fought only the best, and is at least deserving of a rematch as the former champ. Maybe it's just me.

  • Zip

    OK, so I'm the only one on the planet that believes he does. Suppose I can live with that.

    • I think he could get another shot. The first fight was only seperated by one kick and aside from that loss to Pettis Ben has done better than Pettis has. I like both fighters and think they are both each others worst fight in most cases. Ben was caught and is likely going to play it much safer in another match due to realizing now that he cannot be reckless with Pettis. I think Ben is the only guy that can beat Pettis but I still say Pettis is number 1 right now.

      • Zip

        Amen brother, I was feeling lonely.

      • I had Pettis winning 3-2 before the showtime kick… the kick was nothing but icing on the cake!

        Until Benson starts finishing OR Dominating his opponents, he's just not there yet. He has the tools, he's just not putting it together the way he should. I think he has the same problem GSP and Rory have. His coach took him as far as he could. Time to make some changes…

        • I wouldn't argue he was winning or losing that fight but it was for sure razor close. I think Bens biggest problem is that he has too much of what so many others are missing and that is no fear or respect of anyones ability in comparison to himself. He never feels threatened or concerned and feels he can pull it out of the bag whenever he wants. I think Pettis made him realize now that he has at least one guy he should be more careful with.

  • Zip

    We could just simplify this by removing everyone's opinions, and have Pettis fight the #1 contender 🙂

  • why not unless your only reason is HATE!! if Thompson beat Melendez and Bendo beat Thompson..