The UFC have announced that a lightweight fight between Ben Henderson and Josh Thomson will headline ‘UFC On FOX 10’ in January.
Thomson was originally scheduled to fight for the title against Anthony Pettis in the main event of ‘UFC On FOX 9’ in December, but Pettis requires surgery on his knee and is expected to be out for 6-8 months, so he now faces another tough fight to maintain his No.1 contender spot in the mean time.
Henderson was of course the lightweight champion until Pettis defeated him by submission back in August, so this is a chance for him to re-establish himself in the title mix.
However, given how decisive his loss was to Pettis, even a dominant win here is unlikely to earn him an immediate shot at the belt again. If he beats Thomson then it may well be that Gilbert Melendez or TJ Grant gets that honor instead (in fact it wouldn’t be too surprising if the aforementioned two fighters battle it out in the Octagon in 2014).
As for Thomson, he’ll no doubt be disappointed to have to give up his title opportunity, but perhaps on reflection he was a little fortunate to have been in that position in the first place.
After all, he’s only the fourth ranked contender at 155lbs right now and holds just one win since returning to the UFC, albeit a very impressive one in which he became the first fighter ever to TKO Nate Diaz.
With Thomson and Pettis off the ‘UFC On FOX 9’ card on December 14th in Sacramento, a flyweight title fight between Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson and Joseph Benavidez now headlines that show.
Meanwhile, no other bouts have been announced so far for ‘UFC On FOX 10’ which takes place on January 25th in Chicago, but it should start to fill up fast now that the main event has been established.