Will A Win Over Rafael Dos Anjos Be Enough To Give Ben Henderson A Title Shot?

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will attempt to take his tenth win inside the Octagon this weekend when he meets the highly-skilled Rafael Dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Fight Night 49.

If he’s able to win on Saturday, it will mark his third-straight win over a top lightweight. Just prior to that he lost his 155 pound strap to the division’s current champion, and Henderson’s arch-nemisis; Anthony “Showtime” Pettis.

It’s clear “Smooth” is one of the top fighters in the weight class but with his only two losses in the last four years coming at the hands of Pettis; will he be ready to face him again any time soon?

The champion has been unable to defend his crown since capturing it with a first round submission over “Bendo” at UFC 164. A knee injury was the original reason for Pettis’ absence, forcing him out of his planned bout against
Josh Thomson in December last year.

A match up with featherweight champion Jose Aldo was rumoured to be in the works next. But, talks of that fight were quickly stopped when it was revealed Pettis had been booked to face off against former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. The bout would follow a season coaching on the set of The Ultimate Fighter 20.

While “Showtime” has been away, Henderson has kept the lightweight division rolling by taking out two top contenders in Thomson and Rustam Khabilov. If he makes it past RDA on Saturday, “Bendo” will have almost cleaned out the division’s top 5.

If it was anyone else, you could pretty much put your money on them getting a title shot. But, with Henderson having already lost his last two fights to Pettis, the UFC are probably going to want a little more from him before he gets his trilogy.

That might not be too much of a bad thing for “Bendo” though, if he does win on Saturday it will be over three months until Pettis vs. Melendez goes down. That gives him plenty of time to sign up and possibly even have his next fight.

He may not be next in line with his current streak but it would be hard for the UFC to stop him if he added a guy like Khabib Nurmagomedov to his name.


4 Comments

  1. Avatar of FedorP4P

    FedorP4P

    August 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Benson fighting for the title would be a hard sell to the fans if Pettis wins over Melendez. He's already lost twice to the guy, and in nothing short of spectacular fashion. First he found himself on the wrong end of the greatest highlight of all time, then got stopped in the first round. I think most fans recognize that Henderson chokes when it's Showtime… Pun intended.

    • Avatar of falcon4917

      falcon4917

      August 20, 2014 at 7:41 am

      The first fight could have gone either way before the showtime kick, and the second fight was a clear loss but by a very technical gamble that did not pay off. I would say many would love to see them fight again.

  2. Avatar of FedorP4P

    FedorP4P

    August 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Benson fighting for the title would be a hard sell to the fans if Pettis wins over Melendez. He's already lost twice to the guy, and in nothing short of spectacular fashion. First he found himself on the wrong end of the greatest highlight of all time, then got stopped in the first round. I think most fans recognize that Henderson chokes when it's Showtime… Pun intended.

  3. Avatar of ripstic5021

    ripstic5021

    August 19, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I would say the only thing that would get him in immediate talks for a title shot would be a dominant victory by knock out or submission. A decision win here won't do much for his ranking in my opinion especially against Dos Anjos. I understand stoppages aren't the only thing that matter in the UFC but come on Bendo has one win by stoppage in the UFC out of his 9 wins. I am mainly making this point because he has 3 split decisions out of those 9 wins and that doesn't really show dominance. All this being said I think its a very safe bet to make that Bendo will win this fight by way of unanimous decision and no one will really care to see him fight for the belt. There may not be many more deserving challengers but there is a lot of more exciting title challengers in the lightweight division.

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