Benson Henderson Steps In For Injured Bobby Green
Benson Henderson took a page out of the Donald Cerrone handbook on Thursday when he agreed to step in for an injured Bobby Green just four days after losing to Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 59.
Not One Week but Just as Quick
Moments after losing a close and arguable decision to his rival Cerrone last January 18th, a visibly upset Henderson asked for an immediate next fight. “One week”, he quipped but he’s obviously not getting that. Instead, he will now face Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night 63 in Virginia on April 4th. It’s not the two week turnaround that Cerrone did to face Henderson, but’s it’s a quick one and one that Henderson badly needs.
The former UFC lightweight champion suffered the first back to back losses of his career against Cerrone. He was coming off a stunning first round KO loss to Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 49 last August of 2014 when he fought his third fight against Cowboy. And while Henderson proved that he still has what it takes to be an elite in the lightweight division, he needs a win to return to the winners’ circle.
Bobby Green, the UFC’s #7 ranked lightweight, had racked up eight consecutive wins prior to his unanimous decision loss to Edson Barboza last November 2014. The former King of the Cage lightweight champion was looking forward to locking horns with the #13th ranked Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal is 5-1 in the UFC and is on a three fight winning streak. The 30-year old veteran of Strikeforce, Bellator, Shark Fights and World Victory Road was in search of a big win against Green to barge into the Top 10.
However, Green suffered a torn quadriceps muscle. According to his trainer Jason House, Green might have suffered the injury during his tough fight against Barboza but it wasn’t “identified until last week”. Green is set to undergo surgery on Friday and won’t be ready for action until at least May.
Not Always Smooth Sailing
Henderson was said to be contemplating on moving up to the welterweight division following three losses in his last five fights. But with the opportunity for immediate redemption at 155 pounds, Henderson stepped in.
Against Cerrone, he still showed that he is an elite fighter at this stage of his career. However, more than skills it was probably his game plan which backfired on him during the Cowboy fight. Henderson kept the fight on his feet and decided not to take Cerrone down. He was able to land more strikes than Cerrone but the judges favored Cowboy’s aggression more than Bendo’s point fighting.
Despite those twin losses, Henderson is still ranked #5 in the lightweight division and is probably still only two fights away from another title shot. He is hell bent on regaining his strap from Anthony Pettis, who will defend the belt against Rafael Dos Anjos next and Cerrone or Khabib Nurmagomedov next. If Henderson wins against Masvidal, he will land a big fight with a top ranked contender. Another win will push him closer to regaining his lost glory.
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