Benson Henderson Defends Lightweight Title Against Nate Diaz On FOX

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Benson Henderson is still looking for respect as the UFC lightweight champion faces Nate Diaz tonight on FOX. After two controversial victories over Frankie Edgar, Henderson has a chance to confirm his place as the best lightweight in the world tonight.

Glendale's Benson "Smooth" Henderson returns to the Octagon tonight to battle Nate Diaz in the second defense of his UFC lightweight title. The bout serves as the main event for the UFC on FOX 5, airing live on network television.

"I have not been this excited for a fight in a long time," said UFC President Dana White at the pre-fight press conference. "This is the baddest fight ever on network television."

Henderson is looking to cap off a year that saw him win the belt from Frankie Edgar in February in Japan and defend it by defeating Edgar again in August. Henderson won both fights by unanimous decision, both controversially.

"I don't think he's had his due yet," said White about Henderson. "This is the fight for him, Nate Diaz is mean and nasty, if Ben Henderson wins this fight, he should finally start getting the respect he is due."

Henderson is currently riding a five fight winning streak, with victories over Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Mark Bocek and Frankie Edgar (twice). He is the former WEC lightweight champion and has not lost since 2010.

In steps Nate Diaz, the Ultimate Fighter season five winner is on a three fight win streak and has not lost since he returned to lightweight in 2011. Diaz has been awarded "Fight of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" five times apiece in his UFC career, and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

"We are both pretty agressive, he likes to come forward and I like to come forward," said Benson Henderson about his opponent. "Stylistically, fighting wise I think we are pretty similar. We go about it in different ways, and once we get into that Octagon, it's going to be pretty fun," said Henderson.

An added incentive for Henderson is the fact that he is fighting in his hometown. Although the fighter resides and trains in Glendale, Henderson was raised and went to high schol in Federal Way, Washington. However, for the champion it's just business as usual.

"I try to stay focused on the fight," said Henderson. "Obviously coming back here (Seattle) I have a ton of old high school buddies hitting me up, my cousins, cousins, cousins are hitting me up, but they are all pretty understanding."

In the main event of a nationally televised card, tonight could be the breakout performance that propels Henderson to stardom on the national stage.

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