Benson Henderson Asks for Fight Against Georges St-Pierre; White Says No Way

Damon MartinContributor IFebruary 26, 2013

August 11, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Benson Henderson poses for a picture after defeating Frankie Edgar (not pictured) during UFC 150 at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In the land of superfights, UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has thrown out an interesting wrinkle because the world's top 155-pound fighter is targeting welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre for a future showdown.

According to a report from UFC Tonight on Tuesday evening, Henderson has asked to face St-Pierre following his bout against Gilbert Melendez at UFC on Fox 7 in April.

Henderson has teased about moving to 170 pounds in the past due to his body continuing to grow as he gets older and has said a shift to welterweight could happen regardless of any superfight happening.

Here's what Henderson had to say in an interview from late 2011:

There’s a few guys who’ve said things pretty similar as far as cutting weight when you get older, how hard it is. Dan (Henderson) is a perfect example. He’s wrestled forever. I wrestled and cut weight six months, seven months out of the year since I was 12 years old. It’s kind of getting old. I don’t like it so much anymore.

Henderson's call out now isn't as much about not cutting weight as taking the opportunity at a potentially huge fight by facing UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

Lately, the UFC has been all about the potential of superfights, with several competitors shifting weight classes for biggest bouts possible.

UFC lightweight contender Anthony Pettis was expected to fight the winner of Henderson and Melendez but instead jumped on the opportunity to call out featherweight champion Jose Aldo and now faces him in August.

The UFC has made no secret in its desire to put together a series of superfights with middleweight champion Anderson Silva either facing welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre or light heavyweight king Jon Jones.

Now Benson Henderson is throwing his name in the mix, as he's willing to move up to 170 pounds to face St-Pierre. Unfortunately for Henderson, just moments after his request was revealed, UFC president Dana White shot down the idea like a missile in the sky:

"No, that's not going to happen either," White said on UFC Tonight. "Ben Henderson, it's not going to happen, he just won that title not too long ago. There's plenty of guys in the 155 pound division to defend the title against, and a possible fight with (Jose) Aldo, if Aldo moves up and stays at 55. A possible fight with (Anthony) Pettis a couple of fights away again."

While the UFC has dealt with fighters bouncing around different weight classes in the past, it seems to be running rampant of late. White assures everybody that champions and challengers will not be switching much more, and he's squashing that idea before it gets started.

"There's not going to be all this jumping around," said White. "I don’t blame Ben Henderson for wanting to go to 170, that's the big money fight. The big money fight is Georges St-Pierre, everybody knows it.  If you're not fighting him you want to be fighting on his card."

Fighters have moved up from lightweight to challenge the welterweight champion previously, but both occasions involved a legendary fighter from Hawaii.

BJ Penn has twice left the lightweight division in search of a title at welterweight, winning it once with a victory over Matt Hughes, while losing in his second attempt when he faced St-Pierre in 2009.

The UFC doesn't seem willing to entertain the idea of Henderson vs. St-Pierre for now, but who knows what could change in the future if the right cards fall into place.


Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.