Benson “Smooth” Henderson owns a 7-1 mark in the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Two of the world’s premier lightweights collide when former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder Benson Henderson faces onetime Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson in the UFC on Fox 10 main event on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
Henderson finds himself on the rebound for the first time in more than three years, having submitted to an Anthony Pettis armbar at UFC 164 in August. The loss ended a seven-fight winning streak for the MMA Lab export and, more importantly, cost him the UFC’s lightweight crown. Thomson, meanwhile, made a triumphant return to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 7 in April, when he dispatched Nate Diaz with a head kick and punches at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The American Kickboxing Academy mainstay has rattled off 12 wins in his past 15 appearances.
Sherdog.com touched base with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC on Fox 10 headliner:
Nick Ring: Henderson wins.
James Vick: Henderson wins by unanimous decision.
Tom DeBlass: I am undecided.
Ricardo Liborio: Henderson wins by decision.
Jason Dent: I think Benson will grind out a unanimous decision victory in this one. Josh is very talented and definitely the better finisher of the two, but I believe the wrestling will be the deciding factor.
Gabe Ruediger: I’m going with Ben by decision or guillotine. It should be a good fight, though.
Joe Duarte: Henderson= nine letters, and Thomson= seven letters. The math is simple: Henderson > Thomson. Henderson wins via elementary math.
Kyle Kingsbury: Thomson will shake up the world once again.
Robert Drysdale: Benson wins.
Travis Wiuff: I’m taking the upset and picking Thompson by decision.
Eric Prindle: Henderson wins.
Colton Smith: This is an interesting fight. In the end, Benson will show to be too athletic for Thomson en route to a one-sided unanimous decision.
Travis Lutter: Benson will win this one, I think, but Thompson is tough.
Mark Bocek: Benson wins by decision.
Nam Phan: Thomson all the way.
John Gunderson: I’m going with Josh. I’ve known Josh for a long time, and the guy is an O.G. in this sport. Benson is a top 5 fighter, but I think this is Josh’s time. Josh is extremely athletic and comes from a great camp.
Igor Araujo: This fight is going to be great. I am picking Henderson by decision. He will stay away from Thomson’s striking and will take all five rounds. Benson wins by decision.
Mitch Clarke: Benson wins via decision by keeping Josh guessing with his kicks and wrestling.
Jeff Hougland: I like Thomson’s fighting style better and I hope he wins, but I think Henderson will come away with the W.
J.J. Ambrose: Josh looked good against [Nate] Diaz. If he brings that same elusive game plan to the fight, I think he wins. If not, I see Benson taking the decision. It’s a toss-up.
Bristol Marunde: Thomson has been in the MMA game as long as anyone, but that doesn’t give him the advantage in his fight with Henderson. Both fighters have tremendous skill, but Benson is faster and more aggressive with his attacks. I see Benson winning a decision.
Zach Makovsky: I think Benson will be a little too much for Thomson, slowly wearing him down with his physicality and pace. Henderson wins by submission late in the fight.
Chris Clements: I’m going to go with Josh by decision. It’s a close fight, but I think Josh is the more powerful of the two on the feet and he is the more experienced. I think he can deal with anything Henderson brings.
THE FINAL TALLYPros Picking Henderson: 16
Pros Picking Thomson: 5
No Pick: 2
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