Benson Henderson Wants Rafael Dos Anjos on Journey Back to UFC Title
Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson is eyeing a return fight against Rafael dos Anjos as he seeks to regain the title he lost to Anthony Pettis earlier this year.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Monday, Bendo suggested that the Brazilian’s name has come up as a possible next opponent.
“Were not quite sure who it makes sense to match-up against,” said Bendo (H/T MMA Mania). “Who we want to ask to fight next, we are kind of leaning towards Rafael dos Anjos. We think it would be a good fight with him. It will be entertaining, good fight and the match-up works well for us. I don't know if he has anyone scheduled in (to fight) or not. I think it might work. I agree with Chael Sonnen, you need to have a name in mind. I'm not going to go so low as to say, ‘Oh, I want to beat somebody up because they are so ugly.' I think Rafael would be a good match-up, he's a tough fighter, he's on a five-fight win streak, I think it will be a good match-up.”
Dos Anjos is an interesting choice. The 29-year-old has been fighting for the UFC since 2008, but has never been in the title picture in what is, arguably, the most stacked division in the promotion. He has, however, steadily racked up a five-fight winning streak, culminating in a win against Donald Cerrone in August.
In that fight, dos Anjos showed an evolved striking game and, despite his BJJ background, demonstrated superior striking skills to the Muay Thai champion, Cerrone. The win has put him No. 6 in the UFC rankings, perhaps close enough to the top that Bendo believes he could quickly get a title shot after the fight.
Bendo’s loss to Pettis in August was his first defeat since his title fight loss to Pettis at WEC 53. Since then, he's gone on to defeat seven opponents in the UFC and captured the promotion’s 155-pound strap in the process. But he was undone again via an armbar sublimely planted by his nemesis at UFC 164, and who he fights next depends on the way potential title contenders line up to face Pettis.
Bendo was, for example, slated to defend his belt against T.J. Grant before an injury to Grant handed the shot to Pettis. That could be a possible match on Grant’s return. So could a rematch against Gilbert Melendez, who surged past Diego Sanchez at UFC 166 recently.
Bendo narrowly beat Melendez in a title fight earlier this year and told Helwani that he wasn’t too thrilled about rematches unless it was a title fight.
Others on the horizon at the top of the division include undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov or No. 5 ranked slugger, Gray Maynard.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?