Former lightweight champ Benson Henderson had to scratch and claw, but at night's end, The MMA Lab stalwart did just enough to nip Josh Thomson in the main event of UFC on Fox 10 on Saturday in Chicago.
The top-ranked Henderson survived a tumultuous first round with the fourth-ranked Thomson on his back for the bulk of the stanza. "Bendo" then scored on all four takedown attempts and used a high volume of strikes to best a game Thomson.
Thomson could only shake his head and walk away from referee John McCarthy when ring announcer Bruce Buffer announced that Henderson had won a 47-48, 48-47, 49-46, split decision.
Although "The Punk" passed Henderson's guard four times and controlled the fight at times with his grappling, he never genuinely threatened the always-cognizant Bendo.
Henderson's defensive wrestling seemed sharp after the first round, and the Arizona native stuffed six of Thomson's final nine shots.
Bendo hit each of his two shots in the third round and finished 4-of-4 on takedown attempts.
Additionally, Henderson outstruck Thomson, 114-33, including 46-19 in the significant strikes department.
Thomson obviously didn't agree with the split-decision loss, but let's see how Twitter reacted:
However the judges had that... it was such an awesome wrestling/grappling fight... Exciting stuff— AL IAQUINTA (@ALIAQUINTA) January 26, 2014
Props to thepunk for stepping up and fighting a top fighter when he probly don't need to and competing with broken hand and doing very well— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) January 26, 2014
I think Josh Thomson just "Hendersoned" Henderson. #UFConFox10— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) January 26, 2014