Just because he's the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion and has won seven straight fights in his division -- including two title defenses -- doesn't make Ben Henderson the best 155-pound mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the world.
At least, not according to Gray Maynard.
Appearing on today's (May 20, 2013) edition of "The MMA Hour," Maynard declared that "Smooth" is "tough to beat" and the current king of the lightweights, but that doesn't necessarily make him the best in his weight class.
"The Bully" breaks it down:
"No, he's not (the best lightweight). He's good though. He is good. Tough to beat. He's that guy that's hard to beat, but not the best, no. I think he has three bouts that could've gone either/or, that were very close. And to be honest, like I scored three of them to the other guy -- the two Edgar's and Gil. But it could've gone either way."
Gray will take on T.J. Grant -- whom Gray described as a "tough kid" -- this weekend (May 25, 2013) at UFC 160 in a fight that will provide the next challenger for "Smooth." Should Maynard defeat the scrappy Canadian, he will have a chance to find out firsthand if Ben is indeed the best lightweight in the world.
First "El Nino" and now "The Bully" are downplaying Henderson's status as the best 155-pounder in the world, so the question is, why no love for "Smooth?"
What does he have to do, or better yet, who does he have to beat in order to to earn his peers' respect?