Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis have quite a bit of history between each other. But it's history that's been dominated by only one of the men.
The two men faced each other for a second time at UFC 164 and, once again, Pettis found his hand raised. In the first fight, it was the "Showtime Kick" which helped him take a decision victory. In the rematch, Pettis used his much undervalued weapon, his ground game, to win decisively.
Pettis seemed interested in a trilogy bout down the line in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, but UFC president Dana White doesn't agree. Although I wouldn't call Henderson-Pettis 2 a "first round annihilation" like White did, it's pretty clear to see who is the better fighter between the two.
Henderson is now 0-2 against Pettis and, so long as "Showtime" has the lightweight title around his waist, don't expect Henderson to get another title shot. And for good reason.
Henderson is one of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA and can be a tough match up for nearly everyone in the talented lightweight division. But against Pettis, it is clear Henderson has nothing left to offer him.
In the first meeting, both men exchanged offensive flurries and it was a pretty dead-even fight heading into the fifth round. Instead of looking to make a statement to declare himself the clear winner, Henderson was caught in one of the most timeless highlights in MMA history.
Henderson no doubt wanted to settle the score with his rival at UFC 164. He came in with a good strategy of keeping Pettis backing up and against the cage. After all, if Pettis has his back to the cage he can't use his flashy bag of kickboxing tricks.
The former champion even looked to use his wrestling game, which was believed to be the way to beat Pettis. In the end, nothing Henderson threw at Pettis mattered as the new lightweight champion had a counter.
Fans will likely say the line of Henderson simply getting caught and that's fair to say. Did Henderson really expect Pettis to attempt an armbar from the bottom? Probably not, considering his explanation of the hold when speaking to Rogan after the fight.
But I'm under the impression you don't just "catch" a fighter twice. Henderson had become a much better fighter since WEC 53, but it seems that Pettis has just become the better fighter since then.
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