Newly named UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson has cleared the air surrounding divisional contendership, saying he is open to fight former title-holder Frankie Edgar a second time to eliminate any doubt surrounding who should have the strap after their closely-contested bout a few weeks back at UFC 144.
Edgar has been actively lobbying for a rematch since losing the five-round decision, as have fans, while UFC President Dana White has even gone on record saying he felt “The Answer” deserved the victory the first time around.
“Frankie had a very tough situation. He had a rough road with two rematches right away after his title defenses. So the fan in me feels that he deserves (one),” Henderson explained Monday as a guest on The MMA Hour. “He had to put himself on the line, I don’t want anybody coming back to me and saying ‘oh, Henderson didn’t want to rematch Frankie because he was scared.’ I’m more than willing to give Frankie a rematch. Let’s do it. Set it up for tomorrow.”
Henderson also addressed Anthony Pettis’ claims that he should be next in line based on a devastating knockout of Joe Lauzon in his most recent outing as well as being the man who last beat “Bendo”. While the 28-year old champion acknowledged Pettis’ abilities, he still doesn’t feel “Showtime” has done enough inside the Octagon yet to merit a title-shot.
“Does someone who has a Split Decision over someone who is not ranked, and then has a pretty good win against the No. 10 guy…is he deserving of a title shot because of those two wins? Or is he deserving of a title shot because he beat me last,” Henderson asked rhetorically, referring to Pettis’ narrow outpointing of Jeremy Stephens and finish of Lauzon.
While no indication has been given from the UFC brass on what they intend to do, Henderson’s support of Edgar’s cause certainly implies a second scrap between the two is far more likely now than it was as recently as last week.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC