Henderson vs. Thomson: Looking at What's Next for Each Fighter

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIJanuary 27, 2014

Josh Thomson, left, punches Benson Henderson right, during the main event of a UFC mixed martial arts event in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
PAUL BEATY/Associated Press

In what was a thrilling battle throughout, Benson Henderson was able to defeat Josh Thomson by split decision at UFC on Fox 10.

After losing his UFC Lightweight Championship title against Anthony Pettis back in August of last year, Henderson wanted to make sure to come out at Chicago's United Center and turn things around. It might not have been as clean of a victory as he would have wanted, but it's still a win he can add to his record.

With the fight now over, let's take a look at what the future holds for both of these lightweight fighters.


Josh Thomson (20-6-0, 1NC)

At 35 years old, the retirement talks are starting to begin for Thomson. He's been in 27 professional fights, losing three of his last five matches and four of his last eight.

But this isn't the fight that Thomson should end his career on.

A split-decision loss was a tough one to swallow for Thomson, especially when some felt that he should have won the fight. He may be 35, but considering the fact that he nearly took down a recent lightweight champion, those talks of retirement should be held off, if only for a little bit longer.

Had Thomson won, he likely would have been the top contender to take on Pettis. Now, his window for a title shot appears to have nearly closed, but that doesn't mean he'll keep trying to fight to prove himself once again.

According to Damon Martin from Fox Sports, Thomson hinted that this might have been his last fight, but if he decides to stay, he'll likely be fighting another lightweight contender.


Benson Henderson (20-3-0)

A bounce-back win after losing to Pettis was a big one for Henderson. It might have been a difficult one, but he's still now 8-1 over his last nine fights.

But Pettis seems to be Henderson's kryptonite. With the exception of Rocky Johnson back in 2007, Henderson has defeated everyone in his path except Pettis, who he has now lost to twice.

While Henderson has been winning fights, they haven't always been pretty. He's had to go the distance in each one of his wins since getting a first-round submission against Donald Cerrone back in April of 2010.

Still, Henderson is the clear No. 2 contender, and while there are a number of options for his next fight, the one that perhaps makes the most sense would be against Gilbert Melendez.

The two have met once before, back in April of 2013, and it was a close one. Henderson came away with the split-decision win to defend his lightweight title belt. Although Melendez has only fought in two UFC fights, he's still coming off of a unanimous decision win over Diego Sanchez and is once again a contender for the title.

Again, there are other options for Henderson's next fight, but a rematch against Melendez would be one a lot of people would enjoy watching.