From MMATorch.com |
UFC 151's Ben Henderson plans on staying UFC Lightweight Champion a long, long time
Jul 20, 2012 - 4:05:28 PM
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson isn't a stranger to being at the top, but holding onto the UFC Title brings on a whole new set of issues from his time as the WEC Lightweight Champion. He knows how it feels to have many fighters behind you vying for what is yours, but it's magnified being the current best of the best.
"Once you have that belt, there's a bull's-eye on your back," said Henderson recently in an interview with Fox Sports Arizona. "When you have that bull's-eye on your back, it's a scary feeling, but it's a good feeling, too. It's something you need, something you need to use to drive and motivate you."
Henderson understands the belt won't be his forever, and he knows how it feels to lose a title as well. Having had that experience, his goal is to remain in possession of the belt for as long as he possibly can.
"Once you get there, it's double the work to keep that belt around your waist," Henderson said. "I had a belt before, I lost it, and I don't plan on losing this one for a long, long time. I'll lose it eventually; everyone does. You can't be champ forever, but I want it to be a while before I lose that belt."
His first challenge will be to defeat Frankie Edgar once again, as the two will rematch next month at UFC 150 in Denver, Colo. Regardless of the rematch aspect of the fight, Henderson simply wants to pick up the win, and he believes that's just what he'll do.
"Whether it's a rematch or whether it's your first time fighting somebody, whether it's your first time fighting in UFC or the WEC... whatever the case may be or your ranking may be, a fight's a fight," Henderson said.
"We'll see who comes back stronger, comes back better. Once you spend time in a cage with somebody dancing, once you kind of know their dance steps, the second time you dance, hopefully, you're smart enough to be better from it."
Penick's Analysis: This is going to be another good Lightweight Title fight, and it's going to come down to what adjustments are made, and which fighter can find a way to be more effective than they were in February. Henderson was the better fighter in that first fight, but it doesn't mean Edgar is incapable of adjusting enough from how that bout played out to recapture the title. That said, no one wants to see this fight end in another close decision if it's Edgar picking up the win, as it could lead to the division once again being held up.
[Ben Henderson art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
© Copyright by MMATorch.com