Ben Henderson: The 155 GSP?
Ben Henderson hasn’t had a stoppage since April of 2010 when he defeated Donald Cerrone (via guillotine choke) at WEC 48 and in defense of his lightweight belt. More particularly, the current UFC lightweight champion hasn’t garnered a finish since entering the promotion, which was in April of 2011.
He, along with his 170 pound counterpart Georges St. Pierre, are on 7 and 6 fight decision victories steaks respectively, for a total of 13 decisions in a row and with 10 of those decisions being in title fights.
Henderson, as GSP, has proven himself to be a dominate force within his division and like Rush, has risen quickly through the ranks and established himself as the fighter to beat at 155. Sadly and also like St. Pierre, he is establishing for himself a track record of not being able to finish his opponents.
Where GSP has been accused of playing it safe, Henderson has no such acclaim. Most fans would probably tell you that he’s explosive, can fight both on his feet and on the ground, that he has cardio and power, yet, as is the case with Rush, he can’t seem to finish.
Oddly enough, the answer might be that the two share problems which are polar opposites of one another. Where GSP has a dominating takedown and control game, he lacks the authoritative stand-up game of Henderson. Bendo on the other hand, lacks Rush’s dominance in the transitional game (80% success rate vs. a 50% success rate in takedowns).
As I see it, until Henderson addresses his wrestling issues he is apt to continue to be a mirror image of GSP’s decision victories. The same of course, is true of Rush and his stand-up. Until that improves, he too, is apt to continue his ever growing streak of decision victories.
Perhaps if the two began training with one another, they could collectively solve their problems and once again, begin to finish fights.
I leave you with Henderson’s WEC championship bout with Jamie Varner; WEC 46, January 2010.