Benson Henderson captured the UFC lightweight title from Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 144 on Saturday night, busting up the former champion en route to a unanimous decision victory at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Though Henderson (Pictured, file photo) may now reign over arguably the toughest division in the promotion, the new champion is taking the biggest win of his career in stride.

“It’s pretty cool. I enjoy it. I’m pretty tired. I had to take a lot of photos,” Henderson told Fox Sports following his title-winning performance. “[It’s been] a journey. I want to soak it up.”

Henderson’s victory did not come easily, as the notoriously resilient champion fought tooth-and-nail for 25 minutes in an effort to retain his title. Edgar tried to set the pace in the early going, finding a home for his jab. It was in round two, however, that the bout’s momentum swung in favor of the challenger.

Following an Edgar takedown, Henderson clipped the former champion with a perfectly-timed upkick, damaging Edgar’s nose as he attempted a haymaker. While the blow staggered Edgar, Henderson believes that the tide truly turned in the next frame.

“I wouldn’t say [I had him with the upkick],” Henderson recalled. “I would say in the third round [I did]. I was pumping my jab, and he flinched.”

Edgar and Henderson continued to scrap tit-for-tat through the championship rounds, but in the end, it was Henderson who had the gold strapped around his waist.

While Henderson now rules UFC lightweights, it was not so long ago that a bevy of questions surrounded the Arizonan following his WEC 53 loss to Anthony Pettis in December 2010. Four consecutive victories and one UFC title later, Henderson appears to have answered any doubters.

“I don’t begrudge anybody their opinions. I heard a few people [say], ‘Who is this Ben Henderson guy? Who does he think he is? He’s not Top 10 in the world,’” Henderson said. “Well, that was your opinion a year and a half ago, even less than that. I’m not mad at you for your opinion, but I think your opinion might be a little off.”

What will come next for the new champion is currently unknown. While many observers are pining for a rematch with Pettis -- the man who dethroned Henderson as World Extreme Cagefighting champion -- other feel that Edgar is deserving of another shot at the belt. As for Henderson, he welcomes either challenge.

“[Fighting Pettis or Edgar], it doesn’t really matter to me. I want to defend [my title] as many times as Anderson Silva defends his, plus one,” said Henderson. “Whoever it is, I’m OK with it. There is a long list of guys: Nate [Diaz], Jim [Miller], Frankie, Anthony. Let’s do every single one of them.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

How UFC lightweight Anthony Pettis used MMA to escape the violent streets of Milwaukee

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

"Showtime" was a guest on the SiriusXM UFC 188 pre-fight show last Saturday (June 13, 2015) and he spoke about staying away from gangs and trouble in his hometown, losing friends, and being glad he c read news >>

Jose Aldo welcomes pre-fight brawl with Conor McGregor: ‘It would be wonderful’

  • 16 days ago
  • 149 views

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jose Aldo can’t wait to put his hands on Conor McGregor. The UFC featherweight champion will face the Irish contender on July 11, but he’s not sure he will be able to wait for UFC 1 read news >>

Video: Nate Diaz calls out 'bitches' Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez

  • 18 days ago
  • 292 views

Nate Diaz was in Mexico City, Mexico supporting his friend and teammate, Gilbert Melendez, for his lightweight bout against Eddie Alvarez, which co-headlined last night's (Sat., June 13, 2015) UFC 18 read news >>

UFC 188 Embedded Ep. 6: Event Week Roller Coaster Ride

  • 20 days ago
  • 137 views

On episode 6 of UFC 188 Embedded, guest fighters Andrei Arlvoski, Anthony Pettis, Junior Dos Santos and Rafael Dos Anjos talk about their time in the Mexico and the main event on tap. read news >>

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan: Episode No. 11 from Mexico City

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

Episode No. 11 of The MMA Road Show with John Morgan podcast, featuring Anthony Pettis, Luke Rockhold, Rodrigo Del Campo, Brett Okamoto and Justin Park, is now available for streaming and download.Fi read news >>

Anthony Pettis: ‘As a man, I need that rematch’ with Rafael dos Anjos

  • 21 days ago
  • 15 views

MEXICO CITY – Anthony Pettis anticipates he’ll be back in the gym within three to four months and ready to fight in five to six. When he returns, he wants to fight Rafael dos Anjos, whether it’s for read news >>

Anthony Pettis says recent string of injuries forces him to deal with loss of father

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

MEXICO CITY -- Anthony Pettis talks about his recent title loss, why the elbow injury he suffered afterwards was the worst of his career, his take on Melendez vs. Alvarez at UFC 188, and more. read news >>

Frankie Edgar: In Constant Pursuit of Championship Gold

  • 23 days ago
  • 0 views

Frankie Edgar has his sights set on featherweight gold, and it's a goal he's pursuing relentlessly. Since dropping down into 145-pound waters in 2012, the former lightweight champion has carved a pat read news >>

Myles Jury Injured, Edson Barboza Draws New UFC on FOX 16 Opponent

  • 23 days ago
  • 12 views

The UFC on FOX 16 bout between former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and Myles Jury is officially no more. read news >>

Manager: If Frankie Edgar doesn't receive next title shot, 'there's going to be a riot'

  • 28 days ago
  • 23 views

The former UFC lightweight champion and his management don't like to be stepped over by the UFC. After his dominant win over Urijah Faber in the main event of UFC Fight Night Manila, former UFC light read news >>