Don’t call him Ben, he has earned the right to be the only Benson in the UFC Universe. On four weeks’ notice, against a red hot prospect, in a weight class above his own Benson Henderson put on a legendary performance. Henderson ruined Brandon Thatch’s Valentine’s Day sometime around the middle of the fourth round.
Also let the record show Henderson also accepted the fight a couple miles away from Thatch’s hometown in Broomfield, Colorado.
Thatch came out of the gates at a slower pace than he normally does. Known for first round finishes in his UFC welterweight run, the methodical start from Thatch may have been a subtle nod of respect towards Henderson’s cage fighting abilities.
After dropping the first two rounds to the bigger man with precision boxing technique, Henderson threw Thatch off his game in the back half of the third frame. A determined Henderson managed to drag a tiring Thatch down to the floor in the third round and put the thought of a takedown in the 170 pound prospect’s head. In the fourth round Henderson would break Thatch’s will with a perfectly timed double leg shot.
Off the takedown Henderson grinded his way under Thatch’s chin until his arm was completely undetected. Game, set, choke out in favor of the former UFC lightweight champion. Post-fight Henderson called out Rory MacDonald because why the hell not?
In a year the UFC churns out a record number of fights off its assembly line, unique qusai-freak show fights should be applauded. Praise be the based MMA Gods that lets former champions chase challengers in higher weight classes and the MMA community said Amen.