Former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson pulled off an upset win tonight at UFC On Versus 5 by breaking Jim Miller’s seven fight winning streak to put himself into the mix in the upper reaches of the lightweight division.
The first round saw Miller getting creative with his submission attempts, going for a standing triangle choke early in the round which Henderson was able to fight off and then later dropping down for a kimura, though Henderson again escaped.
Meanwhile Henderson’s best work came during a brief spell of ground and pound towards the end of the round.
Onto the second round and it was Henderson who swooped for an early takedown. Miller was again looking for submissions, looking for leg locks in particular, but in return ‘Smooth’ fired back with punches and opened up a cut on Miller’s face.
As the round progressed it becomes clear that Henderson was gaining the ascendency with his ground and pound proving more effective than Miller’s submission attempts. At one point a hard elbow strike opened up a second cut on Miller’s scalp, while further blows to the head and body further sapped Miller’s strength.
There was still all to play for the in the final round and it was Henderson who looked the fresher man and he took the fight directly to Miller.
Before long he had Miller on the mat once more and for a change it was Henderson who suddenly went for a submission after a scramble, attempting to secure a rear-naked choke. Miller stood up and tried to drop down on Henderson but it didn’t shake him and he has to survive some tense moment as his opponent squeezes on the choke.
Miller makes it out of that sticky situation, but by this stage it’s clear he’s being overpowered in this fight and is getting roughed up in the process. At one point he’s seen grimacing up against the fence with blood leaking from several cuts as Henderson continues to deliver more punishment, rolling for a top-side guillotine attempt which is ultimately unsuccessful.
The final bell comes with Henderson in complete control and he is handed a well-earned unanimous decision victory by the judges.
This is a huge win for Henderson, arguably the biggest of his career to date. Nobody has dominated Miller like this and after this kind of exciting, energetic and entertaining performance Henderson has now surely catapulted himself into the title reckoning.
As for Miller, you have to feel sorry for him having racked up seven wins in a row and then fall just short of a title shot, but tonight showed that he’s not as invincible as he’s appeared prior to tonight.