The worst thing that could have happened for Benson Henderson known by his nicknames "Smooth" or "Bendo", was to earn a split decision--instead of a clear finish--in his first title defense fight against the man who last held the belt, Frankie "the Answer" Edgar.
As UFC lightweight champion, Ben Henderson said in the UFC 150 post-fight press conference, "...I have a bull's eye on my back". He knows there's a line of tough, competitive 155ers waiting to be listed on his dance card.
Controversial split decision win for Henderson
Benson gave his perspective on his performance during the rematch for the title, "I didn't push the pace enough. I didn't get tired...We did a good job preparing for the elevation...I was kind of lethargic. I didn't turn up the pace as much as I should have...His elusiveness, his awesome footwork, his spacing and distance allowed me--to not do what I wanted to do. He did not allow me to go with the low kicks anymore."
Karen Bryant from MMAHeat asked Bendo to comment on Frankie's submission attempts. "The chokes weren't close at all. They were on my chin--not under my chin at all. I expected him to let go and fire off with his hands a little bit. That would have worried me more than actually getting choked."
Former UFC champion, Frankie Edgar said that he felt that he did enough to win the fight against Benson. "I'm moving on...Dana ain't gonna give me another title shot. I thought I did enough to win. A lot of people told me that they thought I won. But, it don't matter." video
Maybe this kick, captured by photographer, Esther Lin and posted on MMAFighting is what helped sway the judges in favor of the champion. Benson is shown executing a beautiful high kick that might have knocked out a fighter with a weaker chin. photo
Anthony Pettis nearly put Bendo Henderson to sleep in their WEC fight--with a highlight reel, off the fence, high kick. That's the kind of move that silences critics and ends fights. video
Nate Diaz is next in line for Benson.
Bendo needs a clear victory over Nate Diaz to retain the championship belt and to change the conversation around whether he deserves to be the champion or not.
Next Step for Frankie Edgar
I feel like I need a breather from Frankie Edgar chasing the lightweight title. It's time to see how he performs at a lighter weight against fighters more his size. I can't wait to see current featherweight champion, Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar.
When one door closes, another one opens.
Source: All sources noted, Twitter
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Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. Currently, she trains with Keith Florian and has trained with UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny
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