The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, successfully defended his belt against Frankie Edgar at UFC 150, and “Smooth” seems to be the new top-dog at 155 pounds.
However, cutting down to 155 pounds is becoming increasingly difficult for Henderson, and that might end up leading to a move to the welterweight division.
“I’m growing, but as far as maturing and getting thicker, I think I’m getting older right now, and it’s getting harder for me to lose the weight … and it’s harder for me to keep the weight off,” Henderson said during an interview with MMAjunkie.com.
Henderson plans to fight nature as much as he can, so a move to the welterweight division probably won’t happen anytime in the near-future. The 28 year-old has studied how other top athletes deal with the aging process, and he plans to follow in their footsteps.
“I read articles about guys like Steve Nash, who’s 37 and made decisions 10 years ago to take care of his body and eat smart or healthy,” Henderson added. “Because of that is why he performs at an all-star level at the age of 38, and the same thing of Grant Hill. Reading that at 24 or 25, I thought, ‘Hey, I should probably do that.'”
Henderson is currently set to defend his title against Nate Diaz, a bout that has the potential to be the fight of the year. The two will headline the “UFC on Fox 5” fight card scheduled for Dec. 8, at the Key Arena in Seattle, Wash.
While Henderson remains undefeated in the UFC, Diaz had been just as impressive lately, outclassing his last three opponents, winning two “Submission of the Night” and a “Fight of the Night” award in the process. Diaz’ boxing and submission skills have always been top notch, and his takedown defense looked significantly improved in his last outing against Jim Miller.
Diaz will be Henderson’s toughest opponent in the UFC, but “Smooth” will probably find some comfort in fact he’ll be the bigger, stronger man when the two meet inside the Octagon. That should give him all the motivation he needs to continue making the tough cut to 155 pounds.
Steven Marrocco, “Cutting to 155 from ‘a little too much,’ UFC champ Henderson…”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.