The promos for UFC Fight Night in Boston may be hyping Conor McGregor, but it is the matchup between Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Smooth Benson Henderson that will be taking center stage.
McGregor's star may be on the rise, but he is fighting the 10th-ranked featherweight fighter for a chance at a title. He has yet to prove that he is a top-five fighter by defeating those above him.
The storyline between Henderson and Cerrone is way more interesting. Cerrone is once again proving himself to be the UFC's hardest-working fighter by taking this Henderson fight 48 hours after defeating Myles Jury. He may have come off the fight unscathed, but most people celebrate after a win.
He was extremely disappointed in the win, rating his last fight a "one from a scale of 1-10," in a post-fight interview with ESPN.
This is on top of the six straight wins he has piled up since November 2013. Basically, Cerrone has had a fight once every three months on average. Even UFC President Dana White recommended Cowboy take some time off when White asked Cowboy to take this fight against Henderson, according to Damon Martin at Fox Sports.
His work ethic has made him one of the most fan-favorite fighters in the UFC, which is enough to draw a crowd.
The icing on the cake is Cerrone and Henderson have squared off twice, with their first fight being a candidate for 2009 Fight of the Year. Henderson won that one by unanimous decision 49-48 on all three judges' score cards. The second fight was another Henderson victory by submission.
Henderson is coming off the first knockout loss of his career at the hands of Rafael Dos Anjos.
Despite getting two wins over Cerrone in his career, Henderson is not taking this fight lightly. He told Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie:
He’s definitely a different fighter. They were both such a long time ago. It’s not that I don’t take anything from those fights, but they are such a long time ago. He’s gotten better; I have gotten better. We’re not the same fighters we were back then, so there’s only so much you can take away from a fight that was so long ago.
If Henderson and Cerrone are looking to repeat their 2009 showdown, this easily will prove to be the marquee fight of the night this Saturday in Boston. The way both fighters are interacting with each other, it looks the fight is going down that path.
According to MMA Junkie's Steven Marrocco, Cerrone recently texted Henderson, "No hard feelings. Let's get 50-f-----g-k, brother."
To which Henderson replied, "Hell yeah."