The landscape in the lightweight division got a little more clear after the UFC on Versus 5 event at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Sunday. Former WEC lightweight titleholder Ben Henderson snapped Jim Miller’s seven-fight win streak to become a UFC contender.
They stood and exchanged for the first minute of action before Henderson applied the clinch. Miller slapped on a standing arm triangle choke, but Henderson escaped and obtained top position on the ground where he worked punches to the body and head. Miller quickly worked his way back to his feet, but not free from Henderson’s grasp. From the clinch, Miller worked for a Kimura, then a guillotine choke, but Henderson freed himself and went back to ground and pound from the top position.
The second round looked much like the first, except worse for Miller. They exchanged for the first 60 seconds before Henderson secured a takedown and Miller tried to find a submission. Miller isolated Henderson’s left leg, taking damage in the process. Henderson escaped again and scrambled back to top position. Miller was bloodied by elbows while he worked for a heel hook.
With two rounds in the books, Henderson was well on his way to victory. Miller came out in the final round headhunting, looking for a finish. Ninety seconds in, it nearly happened. Miller dropped Henderson with a punch, but Henderson quickly recovered and put Miller on his back. The rest of the round played out with Henderson brutalizing Miller on the ground with heavy strikes. Miller was able to get back to his feet in the closing seconds and launched winging left hands in desperation as time ran out.
Henderson not only defeated Jim Miller, he dominated him in every aspect of the fight.
“Waves come, the ocean goes, and I beat people up. That’s my job. That’s what I do,” said Henderson following the bout.
During his post-fight interview with broadcaster Joe Rogan, Henderson got on his knees and pleaded to UFC president Dana White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to give his teammates an opportunity to compete in the UFC.
“They’re ready for it,” said Henderson.