One would think that with the career that Benson Henderson has had, he would be more of a big name. He was the WEC champion as well as the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, a belt that he defended several times against some of the best fighters the division has ever seen.
During Henderson’s reign as champion, he was often criticized for not finishing fights as well as being on the right side of some very questionable decisions. In Henderson’s last fight, he was arm-barred by Anthony Pettis in the first round and lost his belt. Henderson is scheduled to fight Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX in his first fight since losing the belt, but much more is on the line than just getting another win on the record. Henderson is fighting to stay out of gatekeeper status.
It is right to assume that Henderson was not a very popular champion, and no matter how talented you are, the champion needs fans to keep the UFC brass happy. Dana White has always said that he hates fighters who cannot finish fights, and Henderson has not finished one in his UFC career so far. I have a very scary feeling that Henderson could be on his way out if he loses a couple of fights.
His lack of finishes and ability to make fights extremely close has caused some fans to label him a “point fighter”, or a fighter who fights to win on the scorecards and keeps himself out of danger. I have to agree with these fans. Henderson has been a fantastic athlete in the Octagon, but he really needs to make a positive impact in his next fight.
If Henderson wins in dramatic fashion, he could be one fight away from a title shot. But, if he loses in spectacular fashion, he could find himself one loss away from a pink slip.