Roufus: Henderson's striking got worse


Duke Roufus recently appeared on Ariel Helwanis The MMA Hour, and expressed confidence that his student Anthony Pettis has UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson's number, and will take the title in their rematch at UFC 164 on Saturday.

"Anthony has this guy's number and I think it's going to show Saturday night," said Roufus. "I think Anthony has improved in every area Benson Henderson's going to attack Anthony."

"He's actually gotten worse at striking in my humble opinion. He's tried to experiment more. Experimentation, when you make fundamental mistakes, is not good.

"That's actually what I do when I watch the Cerrone fight, even the Joe Lauzon fight. Having done this so long, my thing is fundamentals. I try and attack their fundamentals and Anthony picks up on their making a mistake fundamentally. That's where he capitalizes with the big finishes."

"I don't know if it bothers him," said Roufus of the Showtime Kick. "I know what does bother him down deep is the threat of a guy who can beat him again. Everything Benson tried to do, everything he's great at, he wasn't able to do to Anthony and Anthony was able to even take him down in the fight.

"I've been watching the fight daily and you can see in the beginning of the fifth round that Anthony had his number and I think that's what bothers Benson the most; not necessarily the kick, but 'Man, everything I did my best to do against everyone else didn't work against this guy'. And, at times, Anthony had him in his favorite positions on the mat and Anthony was threatening him on the mat."

"It was an amazing fight. Respect to both fighters. It takes two guys to make an incredible fight. They have a history and I think we're going to have our hands full Saturday, but it's going to be Anthony getting his hand raised.

"I've said it over and over: I think Ben is an incredible fighter. I just think Anthony Pettis is a special fighter."

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tags: UFC   Duke Roufus   Anthony Pettis (detail)  Benson Henderson   


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Recent Comments »

Bucephalus site profile image  

8/30/13 1:35 AM by Bucephalus

I'd say it has more to do with not understanding what Rufus was saying. Obviously Henderson has improved as a fighter, but as with any evolving system, you can have an overall trend of growth while certain elements fluctuate... especially in MMA when there are so many areas to develop. Do you think Cormier's wrestling has improved since doing MMA? Of course not. That's because his efforts are spread over a wider range of activity. Henderson was already very good at everything. His improvement since WEC has mostly been about making different aspects of his game work together more effectively. If anything, it's his wresting that has improved. All of that comes at a cost.. no matter how balanced the approach.That said.. it may very well be that overall improvement and a bump in wrestling skills is exactly what Henderson needs to beat Pettis, but that's not the same as the assumption that a guy like Rufus is just talking out of his ass because he is someone's coach. You're not gonna hear Rufus claiming that Pettis has stronger legs or a nicer afro.

Master Bater site profile image  

8/29/13 8:03 PM by Master Bater

I'm a huge Benson fan, however i agree with some of that... IMO his striking HAS got worse. and for someone who comes from a TKD background his kicking is not so great either??but what it looks like he has done is work the one area that seems to get THE most credit in the UFC at the moment, His Wrestling.@ 155 his wrestling is on another level and it could be a wise move coz that seems to be what the judges score the most highly?? there is definitely a trend as the majority of the current UFC champs have great wrestling..maybe the extra wrestling work is to the detriment of his striking? something has gotta give, and my guess is that they feel wrestling will win him more fights and keep him on top longer than his striking abilities would?ala GSP..

Don Silvio site profile image  

8/29/13 7:13 PM by Don Silvio

This fight reminded me of others, like Fitch/Sanchez. I thought Sanchez won that fight due to activity and attempts to sub, but I was wrong.Guida didn't do a thing other than takedown, hold and execute a strategy-point-fight. he didn't even do that all that well. I feel like Pettis could have gotten up several times, and would have done much better, but he was hell-bent on getting a submission that never materialized.

Argo site profile image  

8/29/13 6:42 PM by Argo

It's not about knowing more. It's more about knowing that Rufus is biased. (Just like all the "coaches" when they talk about a guy their guy is fighting)

Bucephalus site profile image  

8/29/13 4:10 PM by Bucephalus

Apparently the writers of the UG Blog don't agree that Henderson's striking got worse (considering the main photo). I guess they know more about striking than Duke Rufus.

bryangbrown site profile image  

8/29/13 12:27 PM by bryangbrown

Agreed Zed - people shouldn't underestimate Benda - especially considering his last couple fights. I gotta admit it would be more interesting in a way for Pettis to win though since that would allow for more combinations.Not sure about "sexy" title fights - how about interesting? thought provoking? Seeing Gina Carano coming out of retirement would constitute sexy >:D

Vote me down site profile image  

8/28/13 8:31 PM by Vote me down

Pettis taking it. 

KingofBJJ site profile image  

8/28/13 8:07 PM by KingofBJJ

I don't remember Pettis's striking being much of a factor the first time.

Zed Wayne Zed site profile image  

8/28/13 3:45 PM by Zed Wayne Zed

If Pettis can't finish Ben, I really can't see him winning a decision this time.Bendo is strangely underrated now.Sure he wins close fights, but that's still a W.Also, Ben is going to be a LOT more cautious about Pettis and his striking this time. We'll see though.Pettis as 155 champ opens up sexy title fights.

demonbasketball04 site profile image  

8/28/13 3:32 PM by demonbasketball04

There's a very slim chance that this weekends main event will actually end in a finish.Ben's improved his wrestling by so much since their first fight, he's gonna utilize it to try and wear Pettis out and keep the fight either stalled on the fence or on the ground. Ben's stand up isn't as sharp as Pettis', but he has great footwork and should be able to avoid taking any big shots from him. He's not gonna stand and trade with Pettis, but if he does, it'll be to attack his legs early to slow down Pettis' movement and set up his TD's.I'm a HUGEEE Pettis fan, but I can admit that it's gonna be a tall task to take the belt away from Benson. Anthony's gonna have to literally dominate every round or find a way to somehow finish Ben. The stand up advantage of course goes to Pettis, and the wrestling to Benson. Cardio wise, I'd have to go with Ben as well. We've seen him go 100% in every 5 round fight he's had (which have been a lot!) and coming off a major knee injury, who knows how strong Pettis' gas tank will be this time around.Either way, I won't be disappointed in whoever wins this fight. I'm an AZ guy, so seeing the belt stay here won't break my heart. I love the style and heart Pettis showcases, so if Ben's gonna drop the strap to anybody, I'd want Pettis to be the man.