Benson Henderson To Make Welterweight Debut, Faces Brandon Thatch At UFC Fight Night 60

USATSI 8338076

Right after Anderson Silva put the finishing touches on his UFC 183 win over Nick Diaz, some breaking news about the next UFC card on February 14 from Broomfield, Colorado has broke.

After news came yesterday that previous headliner Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson had been forced out of his fight against Colorado native Brandon Thatch with torn rib cartilage, the card got a surprising new headliner in former lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who has teased a move up to 170 pounds for some time now.

Henderson was originally slated to replace the injured Bobby Green face Strikeforce veteran Jorge Masvidal in the co-main event of April 4’s UFC Fight Night 63 from Fairfax, Virginia, but he understandably jumped into this big opportunity when it arose.

READ MORE:  Kayla Harrison encouraged to start fighting men after UFC women refuse to step up: 'She can beat all these guys'

Still stinging from his controversial UFC Fight Night 59 loss to No. 3-ranked Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, “Smooth” will make a less-than-a-month turnaround to face a huge and dangerous Muay Thai prospect in “Rukus,” who has himself proven to be the only man able to stop him thus far in the Octagon.

Out of action since his UFC Fight Night 32 win over Paulo Thiago with a bevy of injuries, Thatch will be faced with a new and interesting test at welterweight. Henderson has always been known to cut a lot of weight to make the lightweight limit, and he could follow in Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s footsteps to create a bit of a career resurgence with the increased striking power of a lesser cut.

READ MORE:  Shavkat Rakhmonov calls for championship fight after UFC 304 in the UK: 'I'm ready to face the winner'

But Given Thatch’s range and striking power, his debut at welterweight will not be an easy one. That is, if Thatch can stay healthy until the fight takes places.

Photo Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports