Although Benson Henderson lost to Anthony Pettis in the last ever WEC lightweight title, he ended up the UFC lightweight champion first and is anxious to erase that loss and solidify his title beating the only guy he's lost to in the last six years:
The switch from Grant to Pettis is a "curveball," Henderson said, but nothing he hasn't dealt with in the past. And with five and a half weeks remaining until fight night, there's plenty of time for Henderson to properly prepare. The fact is Henderson had already cut down on the length of training camps because, Crouch said, "he works too hard and beats his body up.” Since they were just about to get in the gym to prepare for Grant, "timing is just fine," the trainer said.
Henderson sees the scenario in front of him as typical, which means there's no such thing as a perfect situation in MMA. At a minimum, Pettis is a guy with a chance, and that's all any fighter requires to pull off something special. This is how the lightweight champion processed Chris Weidman’s stunning victory over Anderson Silva: “The reason why we fight is that any given day the best can lose.”
Pettis, of course, is no long shot. Oddsmakers have pegged the challenger, who’s fighting in his hometown, as the slight favorite.
"It doesn't matter to me where it's at, who's it against, what hometown," Henderson said. "Bump all that noise. It doesn't matter to me. I'm going to beat him up. At the end of the night I'm going to get my hand raised."