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Who’s Next for Benson Henderson at Welterweight?

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After his David and Goliath-esque victory over welterweight prospect Brandon Thatch, Benson Henderson announced he was taking some time off to transform his body for some serious Welterweight competition. Henderson promised to be back in time for UFC’s first event in Seoul, South Korea on November 28th. But what potential fights could await the former lightweight champ?

Hyun Gyu Lim 
Another David-Goliath fight match-up for the former lightweight champion. Hyun Gyu Lim is coming off a loss for a top 15 spot on the rankings and is more than likely to bounce back on UFC Fight Night: South Korea. With Lim’s explosiveness and Henderson’s never say die attitude, this has all the makings of a fight of the night candidate.

Gunnar Nelson 
Yes I know, “Gunni” is currently booked against John Hathaway for UFC 189 but where does a win against the fellow European put him? A spot against the former lightweight champion on the vacant UFC Fight Night: South Korea card perhaps. Gunnar Nelson is quite possibly one of the most unique fighters in the UFC today. Against Henderson’s tae-kwon-do/wrestling background, this could shape up to be one of the most intriguing fights for the 170-pound division. This would also be Benson Henderson’s chance to crack the welterweight rankings with a win.

Winner of Jake Ellenberger v. Stephen Thompson 
The main event of The Ultimate Fighter Finale: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians features two tough welterweights in this super stacked weight class today.

If Thompson were to upset Ellenberger, the “Wonderboy” could get himself a bigger name in the business, Benson Henderson. The possible striking dynamics between these two would fascinating, from Thompson’s high-level karate techniques to Henderson’s leaping body hooks and front leg side kicks. This would be a kickboxing bout everyone would want to see.

If Ellenberger were to win on July 12th, the “Juggernaut” could see himself knocking down more future contenders in the welterweight division. Ellenberger would be the perfect test to see if Benson Henderson can hang with the best at 170. Ellenberger is durable, has good wrestling, and has KO power in everything he throws. If Henderson is able to beat Ellenberger, he would solidify himself within the top ten of the welterweight division.

Dong Hyun Kim 
Honestly, what would be a better event in Seoul than South Korea’s own “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim versus Ben “Smooth” Henderson? Nothing. With the absence of Chan Sung Jung, Dong Hyun Kim is without a doubt the biggest named fighter out of South Korea right now and plus Benson Henderson is already a huge name in the UFC.

Why should they fight? Both of these fighters push a frenetic pace, both fighters are talented grapplers, both fighters are coming submission victories but most importantly, both fighters don’t have an opponent lined up for them yet. Imagine a five round grapplings display of technique and skill; judo throws and trips, blasting double leg takedowns, submission attempt after submission attempt. Or Kim’s improved striking versus Henderson’s smooth standup: spinning fists and elbows, a variety of kicks. No matter where the fight goes, it is sure to bring excitement to the Korean crowd.

A win over the “Stun Gun” would catapult Benson Henderson into the rankings of a highly competitive welterweight division and in talks for title contention. So Joe Silva, Sean Shelby, if you see this… make this happen

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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