If there is a controversial decision in a title fight in the UFC, you can be sure Benson Henderson will have participated in it.
Henderson narrowly bested Gilbert Melendez by split decision in the main event of the UFC on FOX 7 card, leading to various outcry and complaints on the Internet and social media.
The fighter they call “Smooth” proposed to his girlfriend immediately after Bruce Buffer announced the decision. The proposal was anything but, as it was practically drowned out by a cascade of boos from the Melendez-friendly San Jose hometown crowd.
This is Henderson’s second split-decision win in his last three title defenses.
“I knew it was going to be close,” Henderson said at the UFC on FOX 7 post-fight presser. “I didn’t know it would be a split but it is what it is.”
“Gray Maynard is ranked No. 3, TJ Grant is ranked No. 7. Those guys are going to fight at UFC 160 on May 25. The winner of that fight will fight Ben Henderson next. There you go, you got one.”
Maynard, at first glance, appears to be the tougher test out of the two for Henderson. He was in two of the all-time classic title fights versus former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, has only lost once in his career and has the experience of going five rounds in a title fight.
Grant is the fresher of the two opponents, having fought at the end of January, compared to Maynard fighting last June before being out due to a knee injury. Since his move down from welterweight, Grant is on a roll and has won all four of his fights at 155.
Henderson may now be competing with Georges St-Pierre in regards to finish-hungry fans, having failed to finish in all seven of his fights in the UFC. He continues to win, though, no matter who he faces, and the tough opponents will continue to come.
“There’s a lot of guys at 155 who are pretty tough, pretty good who all want to beat me up,” Henderson said.
We will find out at UFC 160 on May 25, who the next contender will be.