Benson Henderson Draws Tough Challenge In First Fight Back Since Losing UFC Lightweight Title

By Rick LaFitte
Benson Henderson
Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is on a mission to get his title back, and he will certainly get a major test in his return to the Octagon. “Smooth” will tangle with fellow contender Josh Thomson in the main event of the UFC on FOX 10 on Jan. 25 in Chicago. Henderson saw his title-reign end when he was submitted in the first round by Anthony Pettis at UFC 164. The defeat, as bitter as it was, was made even worse by the fact that “Showtime” had also taken Henderson’s lightweight belt during their Strikeforce days.

Now, it’s the road back to the top, and Henderson will meet another fighter who also has title aspirations in “The Punk.” Thomson had actually been slated to take on Pettis next month in a title contest in Sacramento at the UFC on FOX 9 card, however, a knee injury to the champ derailed that plan. Pettis’ length of absence will be determined by whether he requires surgery or not; there is the possibility of Pettis being on the shelf for six months.

Thomson is coming off a much better effort in the Octagon than Henderson. He made a tremendous return to the UFC by stopping Nate Diaz in the second round of their fight at UFC on FOX 7. It marked the first time that Diaz had ever been finished via strikes, and was one of Thomson’s most impressive career performances.

Both competitors made names for themselves in Strikeforce, and have carried that success over to their respective UFC careers. It definitely shapes up as an exciting affair, as both men have been involved in highly entertaining contests at the championship level and are no strangers to the five-round main event distance. If Henderson is intent on getting the gold back, he can’t afford another setback against Thomson.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

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