Benson Henderson will step into the cage on Saturday for the first in almost two years not as the UFC champion. Josh Thomson was the next in line for a title shot, but is putting his status on the line versus Henderson who expects a tough battle:
“I see this one being a war,” Henderson said. “I know he can go five rounds. He’s a true veteran of the game. You know he’s going to be prepared, going to be ready. He’s trained with so many guys in his MMA career and fought so many guys that there’s not going to be a whole lot that surprises him.
“I see this fight being a tough, knockdown, drag-out war – a battle of attrition. I need to make sure I win that battle.”
While there is limited tension between Henderson and Thomson going into the network-televised fight, the two fighters do have a bit of a history that was rehashed when the matchup was signed. A few years ago, Henderson was WEC lightweight champion, and Thomson was in Strikeforce. At the time Thomson questioned whether Henderson and the WEC’s other 155-pound fighters were deserving of the top-10 rankings they were receiving.
Little came of the situation at the time since the fighters were in different organizations, but years later, Henderson said he hasn’t forgotten those comments.
“I have a pretty good memory, and I remember when guys talk smack about me,” Henderson said. “I remember when other fighters say something derogatory about me. I don’t forget that stuff.”
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