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Monday Morning Hangover: After to losing to a lightweight, what's next for Brandon Thatch?

Losing to Ben Henderson may not be the worst thing in the world.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 60 blew the roof off the 1STBANK Center this past weekend (Sat., Feb. 14, 2015) in Broomfield, Colorado.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Kiichi Kunimoto, who was beat down and eventually choked out by local boy Neil Magney (recap). And Cole Miller, who was picked apart by featherweight contender Max Hollaway (highlights).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Brandon Thatch.

The rising welterweight contender looked to make a successful return to the cage after sitting on the sidelines for over a year due to injury. If stepping into the Octagon after such a long layoff wasn't tough enough, Thatch had to deal with a change of on opponent just two weeks from fight night.

And not just any opponent, but a former champion in the form of Ben Henderson.

Many fans (and pundits) were convinced the switch would only benefit "Rukus," as he would be battling a man who normally competes at lightweight, which meant the former kickboxer would enjoy an obvious size and strength advantage.

Once the action started, it seemed that Benson was in for a long night, as Thatch -- who looked two weight classes heavier -- started the action early by walking down his foe with constant pressure in search of his eleventh straight first-round victory.

Henderson's gameplan wasn't a secret, either.

Stick and move.

And at the end of the first five minutes, Henderson earned himself a small victory, becoming the first man in seven years to survive more than five minutes against Thatch.

In rounds two and three, Thatch used his size to his advantage and absorbed most of Benson's body blows with little to no effect while landing a couple of seemingly effortless throws. Benson, however, proved game, as he managed to take down the larger man and do some damage to Brandon's right eye.

After nearly sinking in a rear-naked choke in round three, Benson realized the one way he could level out the playing field was to take the fight to the ground. He was right, as "Smooth" managed to once again take Thatch down with a tackle that would make J.J. Watt proud. From there, it was all she wrote, as Benson forced "Rukus" to tap after perfectly executing the rear-naked choke (see it again here).

Despite the setback, there's no shame for Brandon in losing to smaller foe, as he isn't the first and won't be the last person to come up short against someone smaller. Because if the Octagon has taught us anything since 1993, it's that size doesn't matter.

He can also hold his head high, as taking on a seasoned former champion is no easy task for anyone. Especially one trying to avoid a third straight loss on short notice.

For Thatch, a bout against Jordan Mein would be perfect comeback fight. These two men were originally scheduled to tango last year. And with both coming up short in their last outings, re-booking the 170-pound showdown makes now as good a time as any.

Any objections?

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