by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy Federico Eriksson)
Sometimes timing is indeed everything, as the old saying goes.
This has never been more true in the career of lightweight Benson “Ben” Henderson than at this moment.
Having previously passed up an opportunity with World Extreme Cagefighting, Henderson will now make his debut for the promotion on Sunday against Anthony Njokuani after Ed Radcliff was forced to drop out due to injury.
“I was of course happy for the call,” said Henderson. “I’m always grateful when someone takes notice and wants to have me on their show.
“I had a fight scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24, and the fight fell through and was postponed, so actually everything worked out pretty well for me. I had already had a good six-week training camp, my weight is good and all that, so it all fell in line.”
Taking the fight on short notice against an opponent he knows very little about doesn’t seem to faze Henderson, as he had already put the hard preparation behind him.
“I’m in tip-top shape. I’m feeling good and am 100 percent healthy,” he stated.
“Obviously with a change of opponent, you have to be aware if someone has KO power or really slick submission skills, but for the most part I play my game.”
While Njokuani remains an unknown commodity for the most part to Henderson, he feels by what little he’s seen of him, it will make for an explosive match should both fighters deliver as they have in previous fights.
“We can definitely tell that he likes to put on a show, likes to be entertaining, and so do I,” commented Henderson. “I’m expecting fireworks, and I think the fans will definitely be satisfied with the fight. It’s going to be a fan-favorite fight of the night for sure.”
Currently, the WEC’s 155-pound division is one of the most stacked in MMA. Knowing this, Henderson says he will be patient and let the opportunities come to him to rise up the ranks.
“I think I’m definitely ready for this next step up,” he said. “A couple of fights ago I would have been a little bit nervous or worried, but now I’m 100 percent comfortable going into this show.
“All good things come to those who wait, and I’m definitely going to be smart with my career. I just hope I can keep moving up levels from fight to fight where eventually I can fight for the title.”
Should Henderson win Sunday night in San Diego and take his first step towards becoming the WEC’s next rising star, timing could truly end up being everything after all.
“I want to say thanks to my LAB (Fight Team) family in Glendale, Ariz., and MTX Audio,” he concluded. “To all the fans, tune in and check it out. You’re going to being hearing a lot from me this year.”