It looks like Benson Henderson’s tightly contested, decision loss to Donald Cerrone in January, could mark the last time we see “Smooth” fight at 155.
As you know, Henderson moved up to 170 not long after that fight, and took on bruising welterweight Brandon Thatch in February. The MMA Lab fighter went on to score an impressive, fourth round, submission win.
Since Henderson had been saying for some time he was interested in fighting at welterweight, his decision to face Thatch wasn’t really surprising. But, not that long after, the UFC booked Henderson to fight fellow lightweight contender Michael Johnson on June 21st. So, it looked as though Henderson still planned to get back into the lightweight title shot mix.
Well, since then, the former lightweight champ has had to withdraw from the bout due to an undisclosed injury. Depending on how things shake out over the comings months, Henderson might not return to the lightweight division at all…
While appearing on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour’, the 31 year-old fighter revealed the following (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I think we decided, my coach and I, John Crouch, to go up to 170. We’re going to take the time off to rebuild my body. We’re going to do a whole new unveiling for 170. I’m trying to walk around at 182 to 185, walk around at maybe six- or five-percent body fat, and just be explosive. Really open some eyes up with my next fight at 170.”
Interesting. Of course, since Henderson is ranked #6 in the lightweight division, then the UFC could come calling on him later this year for a big opportunity at 155. So, in other words, anything could happen, but clearly it sounds like the well rounded fighter’s days as a lightweight are numbered.
Henderson also said that he intends to compete on the UFC’s debut card in South Korea, which will take place on November 28th. Henderson has Korean heritage, and doesn’t want to miss out on fighting at the promotion’s first ever event in that country.
The 22-5 fighter is 3-2 in his last 5 contests.