Benson Henderson: “I’ve Definitely Been Waiting to Get My Hands on Pettis Again”

July 23, 2013
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Benson Henderson UFC on Fox 7 Pre-478x270UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson recently had his UFC 164 fight with TJ Grant derailed, only to find himself in a rematch with Anthony Pettis, the man that took his WEC belt.

Henderson was slated to defend his title against Grant, but the Canadian fell out of the fight due to an injury.

Stepping into his place is former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who had given up his slot as the lightweight No. 1 contender to drop down to 145 pounds and challenge Jose Aldo. Pettis, however, had to withdraw from the Aug. 3 Aldo fight due to an injury, but is far enough along in his recovery to be ready for Henderson on Aug. 31 and steps back into the lightweight championship bout.

Henderson and Pettis have some history. Henderson had been the WEC lightweight champion and riding a 10-fight winning streak before he ran into Pettis at WEC 53, the final event in the promotion’s history before being merged into the UFC.

Pettis landed the now infamous Showtime kick, bouncing off of the cage wall, in that fight en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Henderson hasn’t lost since, racking up seven consecutive victories and taking possession of the UFC lightweight championship.

He always knew that he would one day face Pettis again, but didn’t expect that day to come so soon.

“At some point in time, I knew we were gonna dance again. I was gonna be able to get my hands on Anthony,” Henderson recently said in an interview on Inside MMA. “Turns out, I’m gonna get my hands on him a little sooner than I thought.

“Looks like I got Anthony next. Gonna get my hands on him, after that it’ll be TJ.”

Always calm, cool, and collected, Henderson looks forward to fighting Pettis again, possibly avenging the only blemish on his professional record since 2007, but it doesn’t define his career.

And, as champion, it’s not up to him to pick and choose his opponents.

“I’ve definitely been waiting to get my hands on Pettis again,” said Henderson. “It’s not for me to say this guy earned that. You’ve got to earn way to a title shot.

“(But) I’m excited for it. I go in there and beat guys up.”

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  • octawhat

    This should be a great fight between two athletic fighters. The dynamic striker vs the durable wrestler. Can’t wait for this fight – Both fighters have matured since their fight in the WEC, and it will be interesting to see whose game has come along the most.

  • Please tell me everyone is excited for this fight. I know T.J Grant earned a top spot with the impressive win over Gray Maynard but he still needed one more fight IMO, maybe even two. And I say that because there have been guys in the past who earned title shots based on 5-7 wins in a row. These guys have both been on fire. Henderson has had nothing but tough fights, those fights with Edgar could have went either way. Pettis looked incredible stopping Cowboy and Lauzon, his setback was getting hugged by Guida. Very pumped.

    • King_DG

      yeah should be a good one, would have liked pettis vs aldo better

      • That is true. Different weight classes, new challenge. This would still be a good fight but maybe not as interesting if it wasn’t a rematch.

    • solo

      I know im excited! Im glad things turn out this way. IMO anyone whoever beats Lauzon and Cowboy like that deserves title shot, no question about it. Who do you like in this fight?

      • I don’t know man. This is a tough fight. I’ll give Henderson the edge with his wrestling. How about you?

        • solo

          It sure is. Exactly, wrestling of Benson could be the key in this fight. I think his game evolve more compare to Anthonys. But both guys are hard to finish so i think its gonna be another decision victory for Henderson.

          • I see a back and fourth battle form bell to bell. I can’t wait.

  • fsunoles10

    more like he’s been waiting to put his arms around em and hug em. i hope pettis wins so we can have another exciting champ at 155 but i dont see it happening. henderson by unanimous decision.

  • Mike

    By the end of that event, Pettis will be the new champ.

  • Asa

    I think pettis wrestling def is probaly very improved since that loss. Even though i think he was clearly the busy fighter even on the ground i think guida was on def and pettis was the attacker. Refs stupid. Anywayd i see pettis winning this one again. Theres no comp on the feet at all, pettis is the best striker in the div. It just depends how he has trainedfor wrestling since guida. I pick pettis by ko in 3rd round