It's hard to remain on your throne in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and for Benson Henderson, who lost his lightweight crown to Anthony Pettis in Aug. 2013, it's been a tricky road back to title contention.
"Smooth" carved out a championship tenure by defeating the likes of Frankie Edgar (twice), Nate Diaz, and ex-Strikeforce lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez, but fell via armbar submission to "Showtime" over two years ago.
Since then, Henderson has been booked against lightweights and welterweights, ultimately taking home a rear-naked choke victory (video) over 170-pound prospect Brandon Thatch back in February.
The 32-year-old veteran now faces Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night 79 tomorrow morning (Sat., Nov. 28, 2015) on short notice after his original opponent and teammate of "Gamebred," Thiago Alves, was felled by injury.
What comes after a victory over the American Top Team (ATT) representative, nobody knows. Not even Henderson, who has endured a staggering drop to 155 pounds many times before.
All Henderson wants is a shot at gold, be it at lightweight or welterweight (via FOXSports).
"As far as the future at 170 or 155, as cliche as it may be, at this point in my career I'm more worried about getting a chance to fight for a belt again. I'm going to work my butt off, I'm going to put in the work and bust my butt every day to earn another shot at the belt again. I want a UFC strap around my waist. I'm going to bust my butt to make sure that happens."
If Henderson wants to further his career at welterweight, he will need an impressive victory over the one-time Strikeforce title contender Masvidal, who hasn't been stopped in over six years. His last victory was a technical-knockout (TKO) finish (video) of TUF: "Brazil" winner Cezar Ferreira last July.
Maybe if "Hendo" replicates some of these moves, life will be a bit easier in Seoul, South Korea.
For the complete UFC Fight Night 79: "Henderson vs. Masvidal" fight card and results, click here and here.