Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Benson Henderson cleared yet another hurdle in his road to becoming the most decorated 155-pound title holder in the organization's history when he defeat Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in the UFC on FOX 5 headliner last night (Dec. 8, 2012) at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington.
As you may have heard in the past, "Smooth" has set some lofty goals for himself in the coming years. While it may prove to be impossible, Henderson wants to beat UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva's records for consecutive wins and title defenses.
With an undefeated (6-0) record in the UFC and two defenses, the 29-year-old still has a lot of work to do before catching Silva; however, he is nearing the record books at lightweight.
It will take "Smooth" just one more title defense to tie Frankie Edgar as the most successful lightweight champion in UFC history, and given Henderson's drastic improvements in recent years, it won't be surprising to see him knot or even surpass that mark.
By this point it has been determined that Henderson is young, talented and motivated. So what's next for him?
As the champion, Henderson's job is to have the UFC line up the challengers while he knocks ‘em down. So far so good for The MMA Lab-trained fighter, especially considering he is only getting better at this point.
There's no clear-cut No. 1 contender in the lightweight division right now, but judging by the current landscape of the division, there's a good chance one of the featured bouts at UFC on FOX 6 between Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis could determine the next title challenger.
Henderson has competed against both men before, defeating Cerrone twice under the WEC banner, while he came up short against Pettis in what is his only loss since 2007.
Although match ups with either man would make for a great UFC lightweight title fight, the Henderson vs. Pettis rematch absolutely needs to happen.
Henderson decisively beat Cerrone on two separate occasions, while the original fight between "Smooth" and "Showtime" is one of the most memorable bouts in mixed martial arts (MMA) history.
It was Dec. 16, 2010, and in what was the final bout in the history of the WEC organization, Henderson and Pettis delivered 25 minutes of thrilling action capped off by Pettis landing a off-the-cage jumping "Showtime Kick" to the head of Henderson that ultimately cost "Bendo" the fight.
To this day, Henderson still talks about how losing to Pettis eats away at him. If there is a chance at a rematch, you can absolutely guarantee Henderson will be chasing that fight. And even if Cerrone defeats Pettis, he has improved leaps and bounds since his last meeting with Henderson and would put up an extremely formidable challenge.
UFC on FOX 6 goes down Jan. 26, 2013, in Chicago, Ill., and you can rest assured Henderson will be keeping a close eye on the event.