Pettis: Henderson 'manipulates the rules' to keep title
Benson Henderson won the UFC lightweight title against Frankie Edgar in 2012 and has since successfully defended the title three times. Two of those title defenses he won via split decision, and at least according to Anthony Pettis, he won by manipulating the rules:
"I'm sure he's expecting a five-round fight," Pettis said. "He's the champ, and he knows he needs to win five rounds to keep that belt. GSP does it the same way. These guys are intelligent fighters, and they know they have to win the rounds to keep their belt. I'm expecting him to do what he's been doing. He's going to come out, do just enough to win the rounds, and keep his belt. That's his game plan, and that's never my game plan. I'm always looking to finish."
"I'm not a fan of that style," Pettis said. "I wouldn't even try doing that. That's just manipulating the rules of the game to keep your title. If you're truly the best, I mean, look at Anderson Silva. He got knocked out in his last fight, but I think he's truly the best because he's finished some top guys, and he does it impressively. He's not trying to grind it out and stay on top of you to win the rounds. He's out there fighting fights. That's what I respect, and that's who I want to be."
Coach: 'Showtime' kick a fluke
Henderson's coach doesn't believe the kick was as spectacular as most think:
"It was a fluke," he said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "It's like getting caught with a punch. All the best fighters have lost, you know what I mean? How many times has Anderson Silva seen the Ryo Chonan heel hook? How many times is he going to see Chris Weidman catching him with that hook? If you're great, if you compete with the best people in the sport, you are going to have an unfortunate moment at some point. And they're going to replay it and talk about it, but it's just another moment. Itís one speck of time. There was 24 minutes and 59 seconds of that fight that still went on.
"The thing that I remember about the 'Showtime Kick' or whatever you want to call it, is that Ben got up and was on a single leg to finish the fight," he continued. "He was going to get that single. He was getting that takedown. It there's 15 more seconds, Anthony's on his back."