UFC president Dana White on Saturday announced that former lightweight champion Benson Henderson would headline UFC on Fox 10 against Thomson, who had recently been slated to challenge current 155-pound champ Anthony Pettis.
Thomson has been sidelined, waiting for a fight, ever since knocking out Nate Diaz in his return to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 7 in April. He thought he had a fight, and a title shot, against Pettis. The two were originally slated to headline UFC on Fox 9 on Dec. 14, until Pettis dropped out due to a lingering knee injury.
Pettis will instead go under the knife and be sidelined for at least several weeks before he can return to training.
Thomson, a former Strikeforce lightweight champion, wants to get back in the cage and accepted the headlining gig with Henderson. It will be a five-round non-title affair.
Coming off of the loss of his belt to Pettis, Henderson doesn’t take too much of a step back as he gets to headline on the Fox broadcast network in his first fight back towards redemption.
Henderson had won seven consecutive fights prior to the loss to Pettis, but even if he defeats Thomson in January, it’s not likely that he’ll immediately jump back in the title picture, at least as long as Pettis holds the belt.
Pettis defeated Henderson for the WEC lightweight championship in December of 2010 and has the recent victory over him to capture the UFC belt, so Thomson is likely just the first step on a hard road back to the belt for Henderson.
UFC on Fox 10 takes place on Jan. 25 at the United Center in Chicago.