After a closely contested battle between former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and current title-holder Benson Henderson at UFC 144 a large contingent called for an immediate rematch based on the belief Edgar had actually deserved the judges’ nod. However, while UFC President Dana White even felt Edgar should have emerged with his title-reign intact, the outspoken executive remained unsure on how the company would address the issue other than to say he would attempt to get “The Answer” to drop down to featherweight where he’s more naturally suited.
Henderson has now spoken out to offer his thoughts on who he’d like to face next and, in news no doubt inducing smiles across New Jersey, it’s Edgar rather than Anthony Pettis or any other potential contender like the winner of Jim Miller‘s upcoming fight with Nate Diaz.
“Frankie had a very tough situation. He had a rough road with two rematches right away after his title defenses. So the fan in me feels that he deserves (one),” said “Bendo” today in an interview on The MMA Hour. “He had to put himself on the line, I don’t want anybody coming back to me and saying ‘oh, Henderson didn’t want to rematch Frankie because he was scared.’ I’m more than willing to give Frankie a rematch. Let’s do it. Set it up for tomorrow.”
As far as Pettis, who was rubbed the wrong way by Henderson’s initial comments after winning the belt essentially dismissing him as a top challenger, Henderson followed up on claims that he was afraid to take on the last man to have beaten him.
“What did you have Jeremy Stephens ranked before the Anthony Pettis fight? Not in the Top Ten. What did you have Joe Lauzon ranked before his fight? Does someone who has a Split Decision over someone who is not ranked, and then has a pretty good win against the No. 10 guy…is he deserving of a title shot because of those two wins? Or is he deserving of a title shot because he beat me last?”
The 28-year old champion did add he absolutely expected to fight Pettis again in the future but not until “Showtime” got another relevant win or two under his belt.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Much respect to Henderson for his openness to a second scrap with Edgar instead of ignoring the pleas of many or pretending as though their bout wasn’t close. Hopefully his willingness to a rematch will help facilitate one, possibly this summer right around the time Miller-Diaz duke it out in May.