Just minutes after his split decision victory over Gilbert Melendez in the UFC on FOX 7 main event, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Benson Henderson already has his next opponent lined up.
"Smooth" will attempt to break the record for most consecutive 155-pound title defenses in UFC history at four when he faces the winner of the UFC 160's collision between top-10 fighters Gray Maynard and T.J. Grant.
UFC President Dana White announced the forthcoming title bout at the UFC on FOX 7 post-fight press conference Saturday night (April 20, 2013) in San Jose, California.
A date and location for Henderson vs. Maynard or Grant was not announced, but the match up is expected to take place before the end of 2013 depending on the health of the fighters involved.
Henderson (19-2) holds the longest active win-streak in the lightweight division at seven and is undefeated since joining the UFC roster in 2011. The 29-year-old has set the goal of becoming the most dominant lightweight champion in UFC history and is well on his way with three successful title defenses under his belt.
Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC) is just one-fight removed from a title bout against Frankie Edgar, but will have the chance to get another crack at the gold with one more victory. "The Bully" is coming off a split decision win over Clay Guida in the summer of 2012 and with a win over Grant would present an interesting challenge to the champion.
Grant (20-5) is in the midst of a rocket-like rise up the lightweight ranks as he has won four-straight since dropping to the weight class. After putting together an average 3-3 record to start his UFC career, Grant made the decision to drop down from the welterweight division and has looked like a new man ever since.
Should the 29-year-old become just the second man to ever defeat Maynard, he would be more than deserving of a crack at the gold.
Henderson should enjoy his time off because at UFC 160 on May 25, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada, he will find out exactly who will be coming after his belt next.
For complete UFC on FOX 7 results, news and notes, check out our event archive here.