After he defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 a few weeks ago in Japan, there was no shortage of opponents jumping at the chance to be the first to dethrone the new 155-pound kingpin. Specifically, the aforementioned Frankie Edgar and the last man to defeat "Smooth," Anthony Pettis.
After participating in two back-to-back-rematches of his own, Edgar believes he is deserving of the promotion granting him an immediate rematch against Henderson while Pettis feels he has done enough to earn first crack at the title. "The Answer" ultimately got the nod after he stood his ground and refused to dip down to the Featherweight division.
Even though an opponent is now confirmed for his first title defense in a stacked UFC lightweight division, Henderson won't have any problems whatsoever moving forward finding suitable opponents to challenge him, but as Henderson said on his appearance on "The MMA Hour," he will take on anybody who is put in front of him and defeat them, too.
Check it out:
"I will fight anybody that Dana White puts inside the cage against me. I want to fight every UFC 55 pounder on the roster, I want to beat all of them. I want to be that dilemma child for Joe Silva and for Sean Shelby. I want them to be like, 'Oh man, who are we going to give to Henderson next? Who is he going to fight next? He beat the entire roster, who is he going to fight next?' The fan in me feels, Frankie had a very tough situation, he had a rough road with two rematches right away, so the fan in me feels that he deserves, he had to put himself on the line and ... I don't think you guys really understand when I say this, I want to fight everybody, I'm going to beat everybody, just line them up. But they are going to have to work their way up to me."
Anthony Pettis, the last man to defeat Henderson at WEC 53 two years ago, say's even though he would love nothing more than to rematch against Benson, he doesn't feel the feeling is mutual. Henderson gave his thoughts on the situation:
"Do I want to face Pettis again? Absolutely, we will see each other again, before I retire, before I die I'm going to see Anthony Pettis again. But it's not my job to give him a title shot, it's not up to me to be like "Oh hey, I want to fight this guy, let's go see this guy." It's his job to work his way up to me, but we will see each other again. He will work his way up again, I know that, he is a tough kid. But is he worth of shot for beating number 10 Joe Lauzon and then and split decision over unranked Jeremy Stephens, or is he deserving because he beat me last? What makes him deserving? But it is what it is, whoever Dana White wants to put in front of me, my job is to go out there and go beat them. I don't want anyone saying I'm afraid to fight this guy or that guy."
So what did we learn today?
Ben Henderson will fight anybody you put in front of him.
It's a good problem to have for the UFC and apparently Henderson, too.