Winning 14 out of his last 15 bouts, including his five round battle with Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, late last month, it's safe to say that newly minted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion Ben Henderson is one of the hottest fighters in the sport today.
But is he cocky?
After defeating the former 155-pound kingpin in the "Land of the Rising Sun," Henderson stated that he would defeat any and all of the challenges ahead of him in the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's crowded Lightweight division.
Known for being one of the nicest and most humble guys in the sport today and never been one to come off as arrogant, perhaps his comments of proclaiming he can and will defeat all challengers over and over again were interpreted as arrogance by a select few people.
At least that's what "Smooth" told UFC.com.
Check it out:
"I definitely don't want to get too far ahead of myself. People seem to think that I'm arrogant or cocky, and I don't want to come across like that. I've said it from the very beginning that I want to be the best fighter and I want to fight and beat everybody. It's not me looking ahead and being cocky all of a sudden like, oh, I beat Frankie Edgar and now all of a sudden I'm gonna smash everybody. I was saying this from the beginning. I'm as confident as any other fighter on the UFC roster. I'm a very confident fighter and all fighters are, or they should be. I want to fight everybody on the roster at 155, I want to beat ‘em all, and I want to have a nice long reign at 155. I'll do a Bernard Hopkins or Joe Louis. I want to make 155 my weight class and I want my name to be synonymous with it. I think that would be something special."
"Smooth" simply feels he is a confident fighter, as is the rest of the promotion's roster. Henderson will have the chance to put that confidence into play real soon as he is slated to rematch Edgar sometime this summer:
"Let's run that back, let's do it again. In my eyes, I don't really see myself as one of those primadonna wide receivers: 'I want this, and this has gotta happen.' I represent the UFC, I'm the 155-pound guy right now, and even if you don't have the belt, it's not about you calling some guys out. To me, that's kinda tacky and disrespectful. It's Sean Shelby, Joe Silva, and Dana White's job to put somebody in front of you. Whoever they put in front of me, I will beat up. It doesn't matter. My job is not to match myself up and call this guy or that guy out. I'm not gonna go on Twitter and make my own match. Some guys are into that and that's the way they want to pursue their career, and they can go right ahead. My job is to beat people up."
With a bevy of challengers lining up who are all looking to dethrone Henderson, he will have plenty of opportunities to prove he can defeat the best of the best at 155 pounds.
First things first, however, as he will have to prove to the MMA world once again that his win over Edgar was indeed legit, by attempting to defeat him in back-to-back fights.
Can he do it? Or will "The Answer" reclaim his title when the two lock horns later this year?