In the MMA game, a win is not always a win, and a loss is not always a loss.
The biggest thing about winning in a fight is how you won. Were you able to finish the fight? If not, was it an absolute beat down? Was it convincing? Unfortunately for Benson Henderson, he did not actually win. He was able to get the nod in a split-decision victory over Josh Thomson, but there is naturally some backlash, even more than usual since it was Henderson.
Henderson has gotten the reputation of a point-fighter. He was the undisputed champion at one time, but he has yet to finish a fight in eight victories, and three of those wins have been split-decisions. That is not the record of a killer.
So, what does this exactly do to Henderson? It puts him on the radar, that is for sure. Dana White has no problem cutting “boring fighters.” Just take a look at what happened to Jon Fitch. Fitch was a boring fighter and when a hit a little bit of a slump, White let him go, even though he was still ranked in the top 10 of the division.
The strange part about this is that Henderson does look to finish fights. He went for multiple submissions against Thomson and was active the whole time, but he never really seems to take a risk in a fight. I believe that is why the fans seem to dislike him — he refuses to take risks. He has a self-preserving style of fighting, which is smart, but it will not make you a popular fighter by any means. Right now, Henderson is stuck in limbo.
Henderson has no future opponents in line and is not getting a chance to rematch the champion. His next fight will most likely be the most important of his career, if he is able to make a statement then it would make him a winner. Yet, if he squeaks out another decision, I would not be surprised to see him not get a title shot.