Ben Henderson and Mark Bocek at UFC 129
Former WEC lightweight champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson (13-2) will meet top contender Jim Miller (20-2) in the co-main event for UFC on Versus 5 in Milwaukee.
The 27-year-old Henderson is riding high off of a successful debut in the Octagon with a decision victory the always-tough Mark Bocek at UFC 129.
Some pundits speculated prior to Henderson’s victory over Bocek that the bright lights and the magnitude of the event would get to him, as he fought in front of 55,000 people in his Octagon debut in Toronto. However, the MMA Lab pupil felt confident and already used to the pressure.
“To be honest, not to hop myself up too highly, but every fighter is confident,” Henderson told MMAWeekly Radio.
“You’re supposed to be confident as a fighter, and not go in there nervous. I think I have a knack for confidence, the same as every other fighter. I had a natural confidence going into that fight against Bocek. Biggest UFC ever, most people attended, and setting all sorts of records.
“I had a lot of questions from fans, the media, and whatnot about how I’m going to react to that and how I feel. I think so far in my career I’ve been a part of a lot of big events. People may have (written off) my experience because it was in the WEC, but my career is pretty much the exact way you want it to go.”
Many see the fight between Henderson and Miller as a very exciting lightweight contest that has all the potential to steal the show. The two lightweights are known for always coming forward and pressuring their opponents until something gives.
“I think this is going to be a fun fight. I’m definitely looking forward towards it. I’m looking forward to our styles matching up pretty well together. He wins a lot of decisions; most of his fights are against the top-level guys. He has a lot of fights that go to a decision, but he’s not one of those guys who fights for a decision, he fights for the finish.”
With UFC president Dana White promising Jim Miller a title shot with a victory, Henderson is not chomping at the bit with title concerns or rankings. Henderson just wants to fight and let his performance speak for itself.
“I want to show clearly and definitely how much better I am and make my statement. I don’t want to talk about it; I want to let the walking do the talking for me. I’m not going to go, ‘oh damn, I didn’t get the title shot,’ and ‘oh I think I’m ready.’ I’m not that guy; that’s not me. I’m going to be in there and let my actions speak for themselves.”
Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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