Former lightweight champion Ben Henderson impressed tonight at UFC Fight Night 60 as he successfully made his welterweight debut against Brandon Thatch with a fourth round submission stoppage.
The main event of the evening is underway. Henderson with a low kick, and another. He’s working on the outside as Thatch begins to stalk him.
Front kick from Thatch just short. Henderson punches to the body. Hard body kick from Thatch.
Henderson with two kicks in a row. Punch from Thatch and Henderson tries to counter. Another leg kick from Henderson. Big body punch from Henderson.
Body kick from Thatch and a good right hand afterwards. Head kick just misses from Thatch. Thatch looking for a flurry, but Henderson knocks him off-balance to the mat with a front kick.
Kick from Thatch blocked. Nice right hand counter from Henderson. Henderson rips to the body with a right hand. Again he does the same move to good effect. Thatch comes back aggresively with strikes of his own.
A nice body kick from Thatch. A big kick from Thatch upstairs, but Henderson just rebounds off the cage casually and then smooths back his hair.
Another big right hand to the body from Henderson and that’s the final notable action of the round.
Leg kicks from Henderson to start the second. He tries a flying knee but Thatch backs away from it. Henderson tries to clinch up, but doesn’t work out. Thatch just misses with a big knee to the head.
Thatch still pushing the pace, but Henderson comfortable on the backfoot. Henderson almost knocks Thatch off balance with a low kick.
Nice body punch from Henderson. Couple of right hands land for Thatch. Thatch fakes with a left punch and lands a right kick upstairs.
Nice jab lands for Thatch. Straight left connects cleanly. Jab from Henderson and then to the body again.
A punch connects for Thatch and Henderson stumbles a little, but seems ok and steers clear of danger for now. Nice left hand for Henderson.
Thatch connecting and then bundles Henderson to the mat. Doesn’t capitalize on it though and Henderson is back up. More offense from Thatch including an uppercut and a knee upstairs. He trips Henderson to the mat again, but doesn’t follow him down there.
Henderson back up. Thatch misses with a spinning kick to the midsection. Henderson tries to let his hands go but doesn’t connect. Lots of pressure from Thatch in this round.
Henderson pumps out the jab and then works to the body as he’s been doing often with the right hand. Thatch returns with punches of his own. Leg kicks from Thatch. Henderson goes upstairs with a kick that glances his opponents head.
Henderson working behind the jab now to keep Thatch at bay. He lands a blow to the body then a kick to the leg.
Thatch with a leg kick and then a solid punch. Henderson continues pumping the jab. He tries to clinch up, but Thatch stuffs it and lands a knee in the process.
Henderson in on takedown attempt. Thatch defending, but Henderson working hard for this against the cage. Eventually he does get him down nicely and then is able to take his back. Good work from the former lightweight champion.
Henderson taking his time in this dominant position. Two minutes to go. Henderson with they body lock in tight. Thatch rolls to his knees but Henderson stays on him and lands a few short punches. Thatch rolls again. Henderson tries to work for an armbar attempt, but Thatch gets out of it quickly and back to his feet.
Time runs out in the round as Thatch starts to stalk Henderson again.
Both men pumping out the jab. Thatch lands a leg kick and is trying to find a home for the right hand. Henderson lands a left hand.
Jab connects for Henderson. He’s the lighter on his feet at this stage. Another body punch from Henderson. A few punches from him miss, but then he moves in on a single leg attempt that’s comfortably defended.
Knee from Thatch to the head. Exchange in close and a two-piece combination lands for Thatch. Solid left from Henderson and then a body shot. He immediately then moves in on a perfectly timed takedown with half the round to go.
Thatch gives up his back and Henderson gladly takes it again. Thatch scrambles, but Henderson stays on top and then moves to the back again. Thatch turtled on his knees and Henderson rains down some punches while postured up over him.
Thatch trying to get up, but Henderson drags him back down. Suddenly Henderson has an arm under Thatch’s chin and it looks tight. And that’s it, Thatch has tapped and former lightweight champion Ben Henderson earns the submission victory in his welterweight debut!
That was by no means easy for Henderson who looked significantly smaller than his opponent, and that only makes the fact that he not only beat Thatch, but stopped him inside the distance all the more impressive.