Benson Henderson will defend his UFC lightweight championship for the third time on Saturday night, when “Smooth” takes on former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in the UFC on Fox 7 main event from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

Though many regard Melendez as an especially significant opponent due to the bout’s champion-versus-champion dynamic, Henderson remains unconcerned with such recognition. Instead, the 29-year-old is solely motivated by the prospect of earning another victory.

“You guys know me. I don’t care at all about belts and all that. I will take the belt and everything, but going into any fight -- I don’t care if it’s your first fight for the UFC, your first fight on the main card or your first fight in a main event -- it doesn’t matter. You just have to win,” Henderson recently said during a media conference call. “I can’t emphasize that enough. It doesn’t matter whether belts are on the line or it’s a ‘win or go home; loser leaves the UFC’ [situation]. All of that is just extra stuff to sell fights. I don’t care. I’m going to go out there and win every single fight.”

To that end, Henderson avoids the pressure inherent in trying to prove oneself worthy of holding the UFC title. For “Smooth,” every fight is weighted equally, and losing is simply not an acceptable outcome.

“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,” said Henderson. “There are always going to be new and different stipulations or new and different reasons to win. I don’t really need any ulterior motives. I’m a highly self-motivated person. I go out there to win every single fight. I don’t care who the guy is or what the extra stuff on top of it is. I just want to go win, period.”

Regardless of any championship hype, Henderson must still contend with Melendez’s considerable abilities. While some have pined for a potential clash with featherweight champion Jose Aldo if and when “Scarface” decides to move up in weight, Henderson said he is in no way distracted from the task at hand.

“I’m definitely not looking past Gilbert,” said Henderson. “I know how tough Gilbert is, and I know he is the Strikeforce champ and has been in the top two or three for a long time for a reason. I’m not looking past him at all. Not even close.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

NOS® Energy Drink MMA Rankings, Nov. 10: Thomas Almeida jumps up the rankings

  • 19 days ago

After running his winning streak to 20 with a UFC Fight Night 77 knockout of Anthony Birchak, undefeated Thomas Almeida has jumped up two spots in the latest NOS Energy Drink MMA Rankings.Filed under read news >>

Donald Cerrone Gets First Whereabouts Failure Prior to UFC on Fox 17 Title Bid

  • 19 days ago

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has one strike against him per USADA code. The UFC lightweight title contender picked up his first of three allotted whereabouts failures recently. Cerrone told Tait Fletcher read news >>

Jimmie Rivera hoping for spot on UFC on FOX 18 card in New Jersey after Brazil win

  • 20 days ago

SAO PAULO – After his upset of Pedro Munhoz on Saturday in enemy territory, Jimmie Rivera still isn’t ready to start calling out opponents. Sort of. Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 77 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

  • 21 days ago

Following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 77, fighters took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 77 post-fight facts: Almeida's winning streak hits 20, KO record and more

  • 22 days ago

The UFC's final stop in Brazil this year was a good one. Eight of 13 fights ended in a stoppage and multiple UFC record were set or tied. [autotag]Vitor Belfort[/autotag] (25-11 MMA, 14-7 UFC) scored read news >>

UFC Fight Night 77's Jimmie Rivera is a teacher first, fighter second

  • 22 days ago

Jimmie Rivera is on a 16-fight winning streak and made his UFC debut with a sub-90 second knockout win att UFC Fight Night 72. You might expect that fighting is his overwhelming passion with that lev read news >>

Titles are Nice, but Marcin Held Fighting to be the Best in the World

  • 24 days ago

While winning the Bellator championship would be nice, Marcin Held's focus is on becoming the best fighter in the world. read news >>

Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader Fight Announced for UFC on Fox Newark Card

  • 25 days ago

Anthony Johnson will fight fellow light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader in the headline clash in the first UFC on Fox event of 2016 on Jan. 30. The five-round fight will take place at the Prudential read news >>

Light Heavyweights Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader Headline UFC on Fox 18 on Jan. 30

  • 25 days ago

Top-ranked light heavyweight Anthony Johnson (20-5) faces third ranked Ryan Bader (20-4) in the the UFC on Fox 18 main event in New Jersey on Jan. 30. read news >>

Anthony Johnson gets wish, meets Ryan Bader in UFC on FOX 18 headliner on Jan. 30

  • 25 days ago

Anthony Johnson campaigned hard for a matchup with fellow UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader. His desire has come to fruition in the form of a five-round main event at UFC on FOX 18. Filed un read news >>