Putting together what may end up as his finest performance, top-ranked UFC lightweight Benson Henderson saved an event by making an impressive welterweight debut with a fourth round submission of dangerous competitor Brandon Thatch (watch highlights right here) in the main event of last night’s (Sat., February 14, 2015) UFC Fight Night 60 from the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.
Henderson appeared much more comfortable fighting at 170 pounds, owning excellent speed and his trademark nonstop gas tank without having to put his body through the taxing weight cut down to lightweight.
It was a great debut in the division for sure, but after the fight, Henderson may have become overwhelmed by emotion and bit off more than he can chew.
The former lightweight boss called out top-ranked welterweight Rory MacDonald, who recently saw his UFC 186 bout with Hector Lombard fall apart after “Showeather” failed a drug test for steroids at UFC 182:
“Uh, I hear there’s a big name MacDonald up in Canada that needs a fight, so if he still needs it, I’m game.”
It appeared that MacDonald immediately caught wind of Henderson’s callout, tweeting his response with a quickness:
Jeez man the whole welterweight divisions is calling me out and i thought thats all i had to worry about, now lightweights wanna hit me 2lol
— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) February 15, 2015
At the UFC Fight Night 60 post-fight press conference, Henderson said that while his welterweight status was still up in the air, he would gladly accept a bout with MacDonald if UFC president Dana White offered it:
“If Mr. White offered it right now, I would jump all over that; that’s for sure. But MacDonald’s tough as heck, and I’d be in for a handful; that’s for sure.”
But White was quick to shoot that notion down, proclaiming that MacDonald already has a fight lined up:
“MacDonald has a fight right now.”
White wouldn’t announce just what the fight was, only reassuring the media that he did indeed have one:
“No. He does have a fight; he has a fight lined up already. It hasn’t been announced yet.”
Most would assume that fight would be “The Red King’s” long-awaited title shot against champion Robbie Lawler, a bout that MacDonald recently pushed his employers to make a done deal.
MacDonald has been promised a title shot and had it taken away before, so its understandable that he wants to get it locked up now, and with three wins over ranked welterweights in 2014, he doesn’t have much to prove by facing Henderson.
Will the UFC make the logical move and give the former ‘Ares’ his first shot at a UFC belt?
Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports