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Just What Kind of Champion Is Benson Henderson?

Benson Henderson

Kyle Terada – USA Today Sports

The good news for Benson Henderson is that after Saturday’s victory over Gilbert Melendez in San Jose he enters his second year wearing the lightweight title belt—and he’s engaged. But Henderson’s fight history has many wondering just what kind of champion we’re dealing with.

At UFC on Fox 7, Henderson took on Melendez in the night’s headline match, successfully defending his 155-pound belt for the third time in a split decision. This decision was so split, though, the biggest heart pumping of the night may have been waiting to see which hand would be held high in the end. The first two rounds, Melendez was forcing Henderson back. In the third, Henderson had Melendez on his back—briefly. Four and five, it most likely depends who you ask.

UFC fans are beginning to get used to Henderson. Even UFC President Dana White said of the fight, “It’s a Ben Henderson fight… All his fights go to decisions—and controversial decisions.” Probably the smoothest thing about Smooth is his so-far undying ability to hold out long enough for the judges to rule in his favor. Henderson has yet to pull off a TKO in the cage and two of his past three title bouts have ended in splits.

Henderson’s record, of course, should not be taken lightly. He is now 19-2 and sits more comfortably in the immediate wake of Jose Aldo, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva—the top five of the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. But his style of fighting and consequently his style of winning, make every victory worth a rematch, which works against him when it comes to merit. UFC fans like their champions domineering like Silva and ruthless like St-Pierre. Henderson may never be that kind of champion. But, obviously, that doesn’t stop him from being a champion at all.

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Dana White Doesn’t Think Conor McGregor Can Beat Rafael dos Anjos

Things are getting interesting ahead of UFC 196. The headlining fight at that March 5 pay-per-view event will see UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor move up to lightweight to face the champion of that division Rafael dos Anjos. If McGregor succeeds he will become the first UFC fighter to hold belts in two different divisions simultaneously. The oddsmakers have McGregor as the favorite ahead of the fight. UFC president Dana White doesn’t necessarily hold the same opinion.

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Ronda Rousey’s Mom Predicted Holly Holm Would Knock Her Out

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars is the first woman ever to win a gold medal at the World Judo Championship doing so in 1984. She is also the mother of former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Further she may be the most vocal critic of Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan. Appearing on Submission Radio De Mars once again spoke out on Tarverdyan commenting on Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193. “I predicted it in advance Ronda trained with an idiot and a fraud” said De Mars.

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Ronda Rousey’s Coach Breaks Silence on KO Loss to Holly Holm

We haven’t heard much from Ronda Rousey or her camp about the loss Rousey suffered to Holly Holm in November. Sure Rousey recently hosted Saturday Night Live and briefly addressed her UFC 193 knockout loss in her monologue but as far as detailed comments on the fight there has been mostly silence. That changed earlier this week when Rousey’s trainer Edmond Tarverdyan spoke to ESPN. Tarverdyan took a lot of heat in the days following the fight. Most of that heat was generated when his fighter bloodied and breathing from her mouth sat down on her stool at the end of Round 1.

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Dana White Responds to Jose Aldo’s Demand for Conor McGregor Rematch

On Thursday UFC president Dana White appearing on the “Opie and Jim Norton” radio show said “It’s one of those things; we made the fight the first time and he got hurt and had to pull out. Then we made it again and it ended in 13 seconds. It’s tough to make that fight again right away. Plus Conor wants to be a two-belt champion so he wants to fight dos Anjos.” While White didn’t totally rule out an Aldo versus McGregor rematch his comments make the fight seem unlikely. McGregor’s next fight will take place on March 5 when he moves up to lightweight to try and capture Rafael dos Anjos’ title.

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