Ben Henderson is at it again – for the second time this year the former lightweight champion is offering to help the UFC out by taking on a welterweight fight at short notice.
On this occasion Henderson made the offer after hearing that Ben Saunders had pulled out of his upcoming fight with Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 62 in just two weeks time due to an injury.
The seemingly fearless Henderson is only three weeks removed from his welterweight debut in which he came in on two weeks notice to fight Brandon Thatch and emerged with an impressive fourth round submission victory.
It should be noted that this came just a month after he’d lost somewhat controversially by unanimous decision to Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 59. That was his second loss in a row at the time, and unusual situation for ‘Smooth’ who’s been accustomed to long winning runs during his time in the UFC and WEC.
Instead of sulking about it Henderson has instead managed to quickly reinvent himself as a fighter willing to throw caution to the wind and fight anybody at any time – not unlike the aforementioned Cerrone – and it’s a strategy that’s rapidly winning him a whole new fanbase.
Having said that, whether the UFC will actually let him step in to fight Silva remains to be seen, but with time being so short to come up with a suitable replacement you’d have to think this offer is something of a godsend to them and will generate more interest in the event overall.
In terms of a next opponent for Henderson at 170lbs, Silva seems like a good next step after Thatch. While Silva’s record in the UFC is patchy – constantly alternating between wins and losses during his 5-4 run to date – he’s still recognised as a highly talented fighter who’s still waiting to live up to his full potential, and he’s a fan favorite in his native Brazil where the bout will take place.
A win for Henderson would prove beyond any doubt that he has a future at welterweight if he wants to pursue it, while on the other hand a victory over a former champion would be Siva’s biggest win to date and suggest that he’s finally ready to mount a serious push for a spot amongst the division’s elite.
So far the UFC have not announced what they plan to do and for the time being the UFC Fight Night 62 event remains headlined by another welterweight encounter, Demain Maia Vs Ryan LaFlare.