WEC Lightweight Champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson recently appeared on MMAFighting.com’s The MMA Hour with host Ariel Helwani and revealed that, even after he defeated his “idol” BJ Penn twice, that he is confident he could take out UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar if the two organizations were to ever merge their 155lb divisions.
“If I were to fight Frankie Edgar, I would approach it very confidently,” Henderson told Helwani. “I would be excited about that match-up. I would go get it. Hands down, I would go get it.”
Henderson has trained with Penn in the past and was sure that “The Prodigy” would win in a rematch with Edgar, though that obviously did not turn out to be the case. Henderson gave Edgar props for a fight well fought and for sticking to a well laid-out game plan.
“I thought Frankie did a great job,” Henderson said of Edgar’s UFC 118 performance against Penn. “He does his game plan, he sticks to his game plan. A lot of fighters have a hard time — their coaching staff doesn’t come up with the best game plan — Frankie’s coaching staff, they did a great job, made a great game plan, he stuck to it, which you definitely have to give him credit for. He had the skill to follow through with it, but yeah, I don’t know (laughs), it was a good fight. It was a very solid performance for him.”
Though he is confident that he could take the top spot in the UFC, Henderson said that he wants to earn his position in the division before claiming to be the top dog.
“I want to fight everybody, I want to beat everybody,” he said. “I’m not going to say I’m the best until I literally fight everybody. I want to fight the entire top-10 list, I want to beat everybody. I literally want to fight everybody and I want to beat everybody. The only way you can truly say, for myself personally, the only way I am going to say I’m the best on the planet is if I literally go out there and beat everybody on the planet at the 155 division.”
Much speculation has abounded over a possible lightweight division merger between the UFC and it’s little sister promotion the WEC, as the 155lb weight class is the only one that overlaps between the two organizations. Whether he is absorbed by the UFC or simply gets an invitation, Henderson said he is ready and would welcome the chance to take on any of the UFC’s tough lightweight fighters.
“If the UFC sent me an invitation right now to go fight for one of their guys on the Sept. 15th card, I would cut down the weight and fight whoever they want me to,” said “Smooth.” “I would get it done, and I would put on a heck [of a fight], you better believe that.”
Though the match up has not yet been officially announced, Henderson is expected to take on exciting lightweight prospect Anthony Pettis in his second WEC Lightweight Title defense sometime in the future. Henderson could very well earn himself a spot in the UFC regardless of a divisional merger if he defeated Pettis as he has already burned through most if not all of the WEC’s top lightweight contenders.