Fighter of the Night: Benson Henderson earns title with swagger

Swagger can help win fights, and that’s what happened when Benson Henderson edged Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 in Japan. He’s the new UFC lightweight champion and he earned the title for more than just scoring more points. It’s as though he knew he was the champ the moment he stepped into the Octagon.

As the fight wore on, Henderson’s confidence grew more and more. Up-kicking the champion late in the second round certainly helped boost his confidence, and it was a clear turning point in the fight.

Henderson smelled the blood dripping from the then-champion’s nose.

What Henderson said in the corner leading into the final round perfectly illustrated his swagger. His coach asked him, “you got five good minutes?” Bendo’s response came with a smirk as if to dismiss the notion that he didn’t have anything left to give.

“I got 15 (minutes), coach!” he declared, which was followed by an emotionally energetic shout toward the crowd as he stood up for the final frame.

And once it was all done, Henderson stood with the referee between he and his badly damaged opponent. The scores were unanimously in his favor, and if you noticed the look on his face, Bendo wasn’t even surprised. He lifted his arms with the body language that said, “yeah, you’re damn right I won.”

Following the win, the new champion went one step further in establishing his swagger. He wants to reign over the 155-pound division like Anderson Silva does at middleweight.

“I want to defend it however many times Anderson Silva defends his, plus one,” Henderson said as he donned a three-piece suit, with no visible damage from the 15-minute title fight he just won.

Next on the newly-crowned champion’s list is a foe who found a way to kill his confidence in the past. Anthony Pettis, who defeated Henderson in the last ever WEC lightweight title fight, stole Bendo’s thunder with what he called the “showtime kick” in December 2010.

If Henderson has it his way, lightning won’t strike him twice. In the meantime, he’s the MMAWeekly.com UFC 144 Fighter of the Night.

Honorable Mention: Tim Boetsch comes back from the dead

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch went into the third round of his UFC 144 fight with Yushin Okami knowing he was down 2-0. But a headkick early in the last round turned the tides with a thunderous crash of waves.

Everyone counted Boetsch out before that headkick landed, except him. Knowing Okami was on his heels, Boetsch kept moving forward, throwing everything he could muster up at his backpedaling foe. Okami tried keeping his opponent at bay by extending his enormous reach, but Boetsch landed several uppercuts, one of them dropping the Japanese fighter to the canvas moments before the fight was stopped.

With his back against the wall, the Barbarian pressed forward and prevented what was sure to be a unanimous decision loss. With that, Tim Boetsch is the UFC 144 Honorable Mention.

Worth a Mention: Mark Hunt is 3-1 in the UFC

No, that’s not a typo. Mark Hunt has won 75 percent of his UFC fights and three in a row.

Do the record and streak warrant contention for UFC gold? Probably not. The first chance a relatively seasoned ground fighter gets to put Hunt on his back, they put a quick stop to his improbable rise up the heavyweight rankings.

But hey, it sure is fun to watch the New Zealander throw heavy leather for a round or two. Well done, “Super Samoan.”

Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik Fontanez.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

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

Related News

Pioneer Marco Ruas looks back on contribution to MMA, wishes he'd had more UFC fights

  • 29 days ago
  • 11 views

Long before Marco Ruas became UFC 7’s tournament winner, he was engaging on the now-famous unregulated fights between rival gyms in Rio. He might have gone 9-4 in his MMA career but on the streets, R read news >>

Hendricks, Borg miss weight; fights still on for UFC 207

  • 26 days ago
  • 3 views

Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and flyweight Ray Borg both missed weight for thier fights at UFC 207. read news >>

UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey - Fantasy Cheat Sheet

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

All the big fights at UFC 207 are hard to pick but we have you covered with this week's fantasy cheat sheet. Who will win between Amanda Nunes-Ronda Rousey, Dominick Cruz-Cody Garbrandt and more. read news >>

Fightland’s Best UFC Moments of 2016 | FIGHTLAND

  • 19 days ago
  • 4 views

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC Total UFC Fights in 2016: 493 Total UFC Events in 2016: 41 KOs: 53 TKOs: 99 Submissions: 90 Unanimous Decisions: 183 Split Decisions: 54 Majority Decisions: 4 Draws: 7 read news >>

Despite 23 UFC fights, here's why 32-year-old Joe Lauzon isn't slowing down

  • 11 days ago
  • 9 views

PHOENIX – At 32 lightweight Joe Lauzon has been in the UFC for more tha a decade. Still, he doesn’t see himself falling behind his younger competition: “I don’t feel that they’ve got a head start on read news >>

UFC 207's Antonio Carlos Junior wants to keep the rhythm of 3 fights a year going in 2017

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

LAS VEGAS – Throughout history, the number 3 has held much symbolism. Antonio Carlos Junior is hoping the number is key for him in 2017 the way it was in 2016.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 107 gets 6 fights, including Brad Pickett's likely farewell

  • 13 days ago
  • 18 views

The UFC’s return to England is still short on a headliner, but the card is starting to take shape.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 209 title fights about best vs. the best

  • 4 days ago
  • 7 views

At UFC 209, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley defends his title against No. 1-ranked Stephen Thompson. Also, No. 1-ranked lightweight Khabib Nuramgomedov meets No. 2-ranked Tony Ferguson for th read news >>

Dear Bellator: Thanks for Making the Fights That the UFC Shouldn't

  • 3 days ago
  • 355 views

Saturday night in Inglewood, California, a legend will make his walk one last time while another will return to make it for the first time in three years at Bellator 170. Tito Ortiz, he of the flamin read news >>

Two New Fights Added to Growing UFC 209 Fight Card | MMAWeekly.com

  • 20 days ago
  • 37 views

Two new bouts have been added to the UFC 209 pay-per-view fight card taking place on March 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>