UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson does not care about titles or belts. Winning is all that matters to him.
“I don’t care about belts and all that stuff. It’s nice and all of that,” Henderson said during a UFC on Fox 7 media conference call. “I will take the belt and everything, but going into any fight, I don’t care if it is your first fight in the UFC, your first time on the main card, your first time as a main event; it all doesn’t matter. You just have to win. I can’t emphasize that enough.”
Henderson will defend his title against the last Strikeforce lightweight titleholder Gilbert Melendez on April 20 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. It’s a champion vs. champion match-up between the top two ranked 155-pound fighters in the world, but Henderson isn’t out to prove anything.
“I’m not too worried about proving this or that. I just want to go out there and win every fight. It doesn’t matter. There’s always going to be new and different stipulations, new and different reasons to win. I don’t really need any ulterior motives. I’m a really highly self-motivated person. I just want to go out there and win every single fight. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care who the guy is, what extra stuff on top of it is. I just want to go win, period,” said Henderson.
Potential superfights await Henderson, but he’s not looking past Melendez. UFC featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo faces Anthony Pettis on Aug. 3, and if he wins, he’ll earn a lightweight title shot. Henderson has also expressed interest in a superfight with welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, but the only thing on his mind right now is Gilbert Melendez.
“I’m definitely not looking past Gilbert. Gilbert is tough as heck. He might not have the biggest name. There might be bigger fights and all that blah, blah, blah, out there, but I know how tough Gil is,” he said. “I know he’s the Strikeforce champ, rated top two or top three on the planet for a long time for a reason. I’m not looking past him at all. Not even close.”
Whoever is standing across the Octagon from Henderson or what’s at stake doesn’t mean that much to him.
“It doesn’t matter whether there’s a belt on the line, whether it’s win or go home, or loser leaves the UFC. It doesn’t matter, all that’s just extra shenanigans to sell fights. I don’t care. I’m going to go out there and win every single fight. That’s it.”