Photo: Dave Mandel
The mugging can be a little much, but if you’re a fan of fighting, it’s impossible not to respect the performances of Benson Henderson. The 10-1 lightweight needed only a year to go from WEC rookie to interim world champion, outpointing Donald Cerrone while an ailing Jamie Varner seethed from the seats.
A year off due to injuries, Varner now has his chance to punctuate his talking by taking back the belt in its entirety. He’s the “on paper” favorite -- better wrestling, better striking -- but Henderson seems to delight in surprising people.
Wild Card: Varner’s time off. In addition to ring rust, any deficit in cardio conditioning will be exploited by Henderson.
Who Wins: Varner wins two early, Henderson wins three late: his pace will put demands on Varner’s de-conditioned body that he won’t be able to meet. Henderson by decision.