In the main event of UFC’s epic UFC on Fox 5 broadcast, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson defeated Nate Diaz via unanimous decision to retain his title and continue his reign over the division.
Besides a loss to Anthony Pettis in 2010 (dubbed fight of the year), Benson has won 17 of his last 18 fights and all six of his bouts in the UFC after coming over from WEC.
A win over the always-tough Diaz further cements his place on top of the weight class and proves he deserves the honor of being the No. 1 lightweight in MMA.
What It Means
With another title defense, Henderson has proved that he is the top dog in the lightweight division, but he needs more elite competition to take the next step up to MMA superstardom.
There are big names in the division like Clay Guida, Gray Maynard and Donald Cerrone, but the UFC should think about putting a budding young star like Edson Barboza against Henderson.
Or even a possible rematch with Anthony Pettis.
As for Diaz, another tough loss sets the always-entertaining fighter back significantly. With three losses in his last six fights and his first loss since his return to lightweight, it looks like the change in weight class hasn’t gone as planned.
While Diaz tries to pick up the pieces after a devastating loss, Henderson has proved to the UFC that he is the kind of dominant champion that could become the Anderson Silva, Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre of the lightweight division.
With a bona-fide star at the top of the division, UFC can’t squander Henderson’s momentum.
It doesn’t matter whom UFC selects as the next top contender for Henderson’s title. As long as the company treats the young star as one of its biggest draws, the company has a new MMA sensation.