It wasn’t a perfect night for Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night 60, but it ended with exactly what he wanted: a victory.
The former UFC lightweight champion made his Octagon welterweight debut Saturday night, defeating Brandon Thatch with a fourth-round rear-naked choke submission.
Following the win, Henderson (22-5) made it known that maybe 170 pounds is a place he could stay for a while.
“I hear a big name (Rory) MacDonald) up in Canada needs a fight,” he said. “If he needs it, I’m game.”
MacDonald, the consensus No. 1 contender to the welterweight title, lost a planned bout with Hector Lombard after Lombard failed a drug test. Most reports have him facing Robbie Lawler for the belt next.
After suffering a decision loss to Donald Cerrone just under a month ago, “Smooth” accepted the short notice fight – at a different weight class – without hesitation. He also lost via knockout to Rafael dos Anjos in 2014 after winning two in a row.
“Sometimes you have to go out there and test yourself,” he said. “I had to get the ‘W’ whatever it takes.
“Dude is a big dude and I didn’t want to stand with him for the first five minutes.”
Having defeated the likes of Frankie Edgar, Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson, Henderson said this fight is just as important as those.
“Every win you get, whether your first fight as an amateur or defending the UFC championship, every win is the most important one of your career,” he said.