Promoted by Mike Fagan.
Former WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson could be forgiven if he was bitter about his last fight: a tight decision loss to Anthony Pettis that will forever be remembered more for "The Kick" than any of the action leading up to it.
But the 27-year-old isn't looking back and is ready to travel to hostile territory when he faces Canadian Mark Bocek to open the PPV portion of UFC 129 in Toronto, Canada. He isn't concerned in the least with the task of battling Bocek in front of a raucous pro-Canadian crowd of 55,000.
"Not that I'm not fazed by it, but it's not the biggest deal. We are fighting and training accordingly and trying to emulate the hostile environment. It's not a determining factor in who wins and loses. Plenty of guys lose in their hometown," Henderson explained during a 25-minute interview with Bryan Alvarez and myself Tuesday for WrestlingObserver.com.
When Henderson steps into the cage in two weeks, it will end a long near five-month layoff -- one Henderson and his team wanted so he could work on his skills. Since then, many in the MMA world left him for dead after the Pettis defeat, which is just fine by him.
"It's more how our sport is and how our society is. 'What have you done for me lately?' 'How impressive were you in your last fight?'" Henderson said. "If people choose to not talk about me, that's fine. I'll just win 7, 8, 9 in a row, get a UFC belt around me and they can choose to not talk about or talk about me. Either way, I'm good with whatever."
Henderson gave Pettis a lot of praise for the victory, even though he thought he did enough to win the fight. While he's preparing for Bocek and looking toward making his own name in the Octagon, he guarantees that he and Pettis will do battle again but with a much different result.
"I think there's only way to find out (how he'd fare in a rematch) and I'd love to find out. Before I retire, I will absolutely face him again and it will definitely be a very fun fight for me when I face him again," he said.
In the interview (available for free download or stream), Henderson discussed getting into MMA, his thoughts on the Pettis fight and what he thought before and after the decision, returning to fight in Canada and where he feels he fits in today's 155-pound landscape.
Henderson will battle Bocek at UFC 129 in Toronto on Saturday, April 30th.