By Benjamin Bieker
The two fights between current lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar were close. How close were they? Well, depending on who you ask you may find fans who are adamant that either of them decisively won. Now, to most fighter that would annoy them, and they would promise to go out there and destroy their next next opponent. The problem is that Benson Henderson is not most fighters
“I always fight to end fights and to be as decisive… But sometimes when you’re fighting the best guys on the planet you just can’t make it as easy as that. It’d be kind of offensive I think if I just said ‘oh yeah, I’m going there, I’m going to knockout Nate Diaz, no problem.’ No, I’m not going to say that. Nate Diaz is tough. He’s darn tough. And I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to get my hand raised any way possible.”
So, despite winning and retaining the belt against Frankie Edgar in their two fights, Henderson is not discounting the possibility that his fight with Nate Diaz could be just as close. Fans and MMA journalist usually throw a fighter under the bus when they lack the ability to finish a fight, but is that the real reason? Could it really be that the fighters they are facing are just too hard to finish?
At one time Georges St. Pierre was 13-1 with only three decision victories within that span. Many people call him boring, but how does a fighter who had such a high finishing percentage go to a being boring so fast? People say GSP’s knockout loss to Matt Serra spurred him to fight safely. Could GSP be scared to engage, or could it be that his last five opponents have only been stopped 17 times in their 150 professional bouts? If you ask Benson Henderson he is fine winning any way he can when facing the best in the world.
“I’m trying to get my hand raised however I can… He slips on a banana peel, I’ll take it. If it’s a decisive victory, I’ll take it. If it’s a closer razor thin decision, even closer than the second Frankie fight, I’ll take that too. Getting a W is not easy to come by in the UFC going against the best guy literally on the planet. I’ll take it any way I can get it.”
So, maybe fans and pundits should not condemn a fighter when they are unable to finish a fight. Yes, they can be upset at a fighters inability or lack of engagement within a bout. The reason fighters like GSP and Benson Henderson are not finishing fights is they are fighting the second best fighter in their weight class. Fighters who are eager to take their title and lay claim to being the best in the world, and as Henderson said he is looking to secure a win any way he can get it.
What are your thoughts?