“I think you have to have those fights where you're just dominant and you show the world that you're that much better than your opponent,” Henderson said. “But you have to have those fights where the fans, the crowd knows that you were pushed to your limit, and you went out there and you showed your heart and soul — you gave it everything you had.
“To be a great champ, to be known as one of the greatest fighters, you have to have both of those.”
Henderson was certainly pushed to the edge in the 25-minute affair. And while he took the fight on all three judges' scorecards, many MMA observers have since debated whether or not Henderson earned the win.
Cerrone, himself, told MMAjunkie.com he “definitely” lost the fight, and Henderson today said he also felt in the right.
“I was pretty confident that I won rounds one, two and three,” Henderson said. “He definitely won the fourth round; he beat the crap out of me. But I definitely thought I won wounds one, two and three. The fourth and fifth round I thought he won.”
Those who believe Cerrone won the opening frame cite a pair of submission attempts. Henderson said he felt comfortable throughout his escapes of the maneuvers.
“Anytime you're a wrestler and shoot in for a shot, you have to be aware of the guillotines,” Henderson said. “Thankfully, I had a lot of guillotine defense practice for my last fight. I'm pretty comfortable there. I wasn't really too worried.
“I won't lie; it was pretty tight. But I wasn't too concerned. I wasn't like, 'Oh my God, I've got to get out of here.' I just stayed calm, nice and relaxed. I managed to do the proper defense ad work my way out of there.”